#MakeItHappen Project in Action: Hava Nagila! A Taste of Israel


Elinor Magnusson works for the Jewish community in Malmö, Sweden as a bookkeeper and a member of a committee that runs events for community members. Elinor works hard to create social events that will be attractive to all members of her Jewish community.  Elinor’s idea to change the narrative of Israel in her city by celebrating Israeli food and culture was chosen to receive a #MakeItHappen micro grant! #MakeItHappen asked young Jews from around the world to submit ideas for what they would do to create a meaningful experience in their Jewish communities. With the support of several community partners, more than 150 ideas were selected to receive a $1k or $5k micro grant to help them go from dream to reality! 

Describe your #MakeItHappen project idea and how it came to life. We decided to create an event that would showcase some of the great things that Israel has to offer. And what better way to do that than music and food? We delivered invitations and spread the word on the community's blog, Facebook group and through word of mouth. We asked people we knew who were visiting Israel to bring back kosher materials and karaoke DVD's in Hebrew. We had many volunteers who agreed to help!

What was your favorite moment from your #MakeItHappen event?   My favorite moment was the feedback I received from people! Everyone had a great, delicious and relaxing time. It seemed like our community members and theirs guest had been wanting this kind of event and I found offering it to them to be very moving.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in putting your idea into action and how did you overcome this?   It was difficult to find kosher products including food, beer and wine. It was also expensive but we did a little research and eventually managed to find what we were looking for...but again, it was really expensive.

If you could plan a follow up event, what would it look like and why?   I think the content of the event would be the same but this time it would be nice to hold it during the winter (when there is no upcoming holiday and when everyone is in Sweden). We would also like to hold the event in a ballroom so we can dance "rikudei'am" (Israeli folk dance) and perhaps we can even find and hire an Israeli dance instructor!

What does your future hold?  My life is in Malmö right now. I am a mother to a 4 year old little girl and my biggest ambition is to instill Judaism in her and a love for Israel. I wish I could do more things for her, for her friends at day care and for our community members. This is the main reason I'm working for the Jewish community. Learn more about Elinor's idea here!

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.