Friends, current and former employees and longtime supporters of Israel Bonds gathered at the home of Zion and Cookie Avissar in Potomac last Wednesday to wish Michael and Shayne Hoffman well and say l’hitraot to the couple who will be making aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh on Sept. 10. Michael Hoffman, who has worked as a registered representative for Israel Bonds since April 2007, and his wife are leaving their longtime neighborhood of White Oak and will move to Har Nof to join their three daughters and numerous grandchildren.
“We’ve been talking about making aliyah since we moved to the [Washington] area in the ‘70s,” explained Hoffman. “Aside from being close to our family, I’m most looking forward to being in such a spiritual place and helping the country by being there and performing mitzvot that one can only do in Israel.”
“I’m looking forward to living in the majority,” added Shayne Hoffman. “I’m excited to live in a place where everyone celebrates the same holidays and everyone wishes you a Shabbat shalom.”
Jody Harburger, executive director of Israel Bonds’ Washington, D.C. regional office, spoke at the going-away event, describing Hoffman as an ish kesher, or a man who makes connections with everyone.
“Michael really brings people together and makes people think of themselves as his friends,” he said. “He’s also a man of his word and has formed trust not only with his co-workers but with our clients as well. We very much appreciate him being a man of peace who helps people work together in productive ways. He also has a great sense of humor and keeps things light. We’re so happy for him to be able to be with his grandchildren and fulfill his lifelong Zionist dream.”
After Harburger’s introduction, attendees had the chance to say a few words of their own to Hoffman. One described him as having “an energy that’s inspirational and a constant smile on his face.”
“Israel Bonds has been a great place to work and is an incredibly relevant organization,” said Hoffman. “It’s really been wonderful and even when I’m not here, I’ll still be here and try to remain connected to everyone.”
While Hoffman’s position has yet to be filled, Harburger said there have been a number of potential candidates and he hopes to have a new employee by November.