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Omer Oppenheim

Omer Oppenheim

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Even though Omer moved with his family to the Detroit suburbs, he always left a piece of his heart in his hometown of Ramat Gan, Israel. So, it made sense that Omer would one day return to Israel to serve his native country.

As a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces' elite units, he underwent rigorous training and was stationed along Israel's southern border and in the West Bank. It was in the IDF that Omer gained invaluable lessons in leadership, teamwork, and resilience.

When the U of I alum returned to Illinois five years ago, he immediately discovered JUF's Young Leadership Division, where he joined the Israel, Community Affairs, and LEADS committees, and graduated from the Gesher program for volunteer leadership and advocacy.

He also served as the president of the Friends of the IDF Young Leadership Board.

Omer believes in the importance of giving back outside the Jewish community, too. He is an associate board member for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. He also founded a scholarship fund called the K.E.Y. Scholarship Fund, awarded to college-bound minority students in underserved communities who wish to attend a historically Black college or university. 

AGE:
29

PRONOUNS:
he/him/his

PRIMARY GIG:
Director at AIPAC

ON THE SIDE:
2000's Hip Hop/R&B historian, wannabe Peloton instructor, aspiring movie buff, and washed-up high school basketball player

CELEBRITY DOPPELGANGER:
Sagi from Fauda

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE LAST 10 YEARS:
Serving in the Paratroopers unit of the IDF

YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE:
In the IDF, we would routinely go on week-long exercises across Israel, where a bus would drop you off in the middle of the night, and you'd train with little food and sleep, not knowing when the bus would be back to take you "home." But eventually, the bus always returned, teaching me a valuable lesson that nothing lasts forever. So, whether you're having a tough day at work or problems at home, the "bus" will eventually come back for you, symbolizing the start of a new day.

IF TIME AND MONEY WERE LIMITLESS, I WOULD:
I would open a chocolate and wine shop in the French Alps.

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