In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, this month we are shining a spotlight on Israeli’s who have chosen to call Buffalo home. Today, we shine the spotlight on Maya Langberg.
Maya Langberg is an Israeli-born teacher who was born in Ashkelon. She grew up in Israel, served in the army, and completed both undergraduate and graduate studies before working as a preschool and elementary school teacher. Maya describes Israelis as “open natured with warm hearts,” and appreciates their strong and determined spirit. Despite the challenges that Israel has faced over the years, Maya describes it as a modern and thriving country that has overcome numerous obstacles.
Ten years ago, Maya and her family moved to the United States after her husband accepted an offer from the University at Buffalo. She has enjoyed living in the US and finds Buffalo to be a great place to raise a family, where there is a great sense of community. Maya currently works at the JCC’s Getzville location, where she enjoys teaching and connecting with the local community.
While there are many differences between Israeli and American cultures, Maya emphasizes that both share common values and goals. “We are all loving people,” she says. Maya advocates for a more inclusive approach to cultural differences: “Both in Israel and the US, we should all look beyond our differences and embrace our several similarities.”
Maya has found the transition to life in the US to be smooth overall, but she acknowledges that there are certain cultural differences that have taken some getting used to. For example, she notes that the pace of life in the US is generally faster than in Israel, however, she sees these differences as opportunities to learn and grow. “It’s important to be open to new experiences and ways of thinking,” she says.
Overall, Maya is grateful for the opportunities that the US has provided her family, and she looks forward to continuing to embrace the similarities and differences between Israeli and American cultures through her work at the JCC and in her personal life.
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.
Thank you to Elisha Amiri, JCC Israel Program Coordinator for submitting today’s spotlight.