Elisha Amiri
April 21, 2023

In honor of Yom Haatzmaut, Israels Independence Day, this month we are shining a spotlight on Israelis who have chosen to call Buffalo home. Today, we shine the spotlight on Elisha Amiri.

Elisha Amiri is a 23-year-old computer science sophomore at the University at Buffalo. He was born in the US but moved to Israel when he was four years-old and remained there until he started school in January of 2022. After serving in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantry commander, Elisha decided to go on a post-army trip to explore America in a rented van. He fell in love with the country and decided to stay for school, seeking a new experience and opportunities for growth.

Elisha admires the maturity and outgoing nature of Israelis, and how easy it is to make friends. In addition, Elisha finds the diverse cuisine in Israel to be another aspect of the culture that he enjoys. On the other hand, he likes how everyone in America is calmer, where things seem to move at a slower and easier pace compared to Israel. He believes there are endless opportunities for everything in the US, and Elisha is determined to make the most of them.

When it came time to choose a school, Elisha didn’t have a particular location in mind. He chose the University at Buffalo spontaneously because he liked its geographical location. Even though he had never been to the area before, he started his first semester at the university just one day after arriving in the city.

One of Elisha’s favorite things about Buffalo is the cold weather. After living in Israel, where temperatures can soar into the high 90s during the summer months, he finds the cold refreshing! He also appreciates the beautiful nature of Buffalo, particularly Niagara Falls and the nearby state parks.

Elisha’s role as the Israel program coordinator at the JCC is an opportunity for him to further engage with the community, promote the richness of Israeli culture, and connect with new individuals in Buffalo. Elisha hopes to change people’s perception of Israel as solely a place of conflict, and showcase it as a beautiful tourist destination filled with rich culture, delicious food, great activities and breathtaking destinations. 

Elisha is not an immigrant since he has citizenship in both the US and Israel. However, he understands the challenges that immigrants face when adapting to a new culture. He believes that everyone should look beyond their differences and embrace their similarities: “We all have something to learn from each other”.

The community is invited to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary on Sunday, April 30 at Noon at the Gretchen Gross Omanut Building on the Irving M. Shuman Campgrounds.  Enjoy traditional Israeli food, bounce houses, fun activities, and an upbeat performance of classic and modern Israeli music from TLV band, the premier Israeli music cover band in North America.

Elisha Amiri - Elisha