Misel and his wife are a young couple from Greece (Thessaloniki and Larisa respectively) and parents to two kids. Misel is an active member of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, sitting on the board. He completed his undergrad in Economics in Macedonia University in Thessaloniki and then went to Leeds in UK to finish his masters degree in Management. Misel then returned to Thessaloniki to run the family business with his father and brother, importing and selling vitamins and food supplements to pharmacies all around Greece.
Although the economic situation is difficult in Greece they try hard to succeed in what they do. During this time, Misel was always involved in Jewish life and he hopes he can help continue Jewish life. Enter Junction and the micro grant project. Misel had the brilliant idea to get together young Jewish couples need for a getaway! He wanted to combine the getaway with Jewish life and networking with old Jewish friends from all around the country and knew such an event would be of great value to the community and help everyone keep in touch and be resilient to threats around them.
Q. What lead you to reach out to Junction?
A. As I have taken place on many older events as a young leader; i.e. leadership seminars, business seminars, Gesher and many more I knew that I could refer to Junction as a mother organization that could help me.
Q. What surprised you about the planning process?
A. What surprised me at first in a negative way is the fact that many people were willing to help at the beginning but when I really needed their help they took it back. What surprised me in a positive way is the fact that I realised how much I like being involved in creating a better Jewish life in my country even if it was very very difficult after all and I have spent so much of my little free time these past few months on this goal.
Q.What was your Jewish involvement in the past?
A. I was a member of the jewish board of young people in Thessaloniki and all of Greece for over 10 years and fact President of the youth for 3 years.
Q. What is your Jewish involvement now?
A. Now, I continue as a member of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki board. I am also a member of the committee of the Jewish school in Thessaloniki and also a member of the committee that has to do with the buildings that belong to the community.
Q. What excites you about the Jewish future?
A. What excites me about the Jewish future is the fact that I have to raise my children and make them feel as a part of it and not out of it!
Q. What should people know about the Greek Jewish Community?
A. People should know the Greek Jewish community is here and will be strong for the future no matter how difficult the economic and political environment is.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. What I hope is that this Seminar for Young Couples will take place every year at least once and to be more successful year by year. Also I hope that more people will be involved in more ideas around the same goal, keeping Jewish life alive!
Junction micro grants are awarded to innovative, engaging young adult community projects and can range from $1000 to $5000.
If you have a new program idea such as a celebration of a Jewish holiday or a Jewish social event and want to make it happen, find out more here!