Meet Lior Ashkenazy Dor
Houston Hillel's new Israel Fellow.
Lior's love for Israel knows no bounds, and she can't wait to share her history and her story with Houston Hillel. Alyssa Silva, Houston Hillel's Assistant Executive Director, recent spoke with Lior. Read below to learn about Lior's family, her passions, and more!
Alyssa: We are so excited to meet you, Lior! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lior: Well, I grew up in Netanya, a city in the center of Israel. I am the youngest of two sisters and two brothers and grew up in a religious environment. When I was nine my parents became religious, so I went to Orthodox religious school, and an all girls high school. I served in the army as an observer at the West Bank for two years where I made sure that our borders were safe. I also met my husband, Tom, in the army, we have been married for one year, but have been together for seven years, and he is coming to Houston with me! We moved to Ashkelon after our army service and I have my degree in political science from Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva.
Alyssa: Wow, that is amazing! What made you want to be an Israel fellow?
Lior: I studied political science because I was interested in diplomacy and politics and things that are connected to Middle East and Israel studies. While I was in school I felt like I needed to do something for my country. Hillel at Ben Gurion University told us about this fellowship and it sounded like a very good opportunity to develop myself, and it sounded like an adventure! It also sounded like I would be doing something important for Israel and a great opportunity to learn about other kinds of Judaism that is practiced in the States. My husband Tom and I decided that this was a great opportunity for us to do something different and to get out of the box.
Alyssa: What’s an American stereotype that you think you will find here?
Lior: I think what is mostly different, is that in Israel there is this Israeli nerve, and Americans are more soft. This is what most Israeli’s think, I don’t know if it’s true.
Alyssa: Oh, that is very true, also you are coming to the south, so people are very polite here. Get ready to stand patiently in lines!
Alyssa: How do you eat your hummus? Around or through the middle?
Lior: I go around, which is a family tradition. My parents made Aliyah to Israel from Syria and Turkey, it’s in our blood to go around! Israelis do it both ways though.
Alyssa: What food are you going to miss from Israel? What are you most excited to try in the states?
Lior: I just talked to my father about this. Every Friday in the afternoon at my parents house, my father always makes Schnitzel, so I will miss that a lot, Friday lunch. My mom makes a dish called Kubeh which I will miss also. There isn’t anything specific, but I hear that in Houston there are a lot of different foods because Houston has a very diverse culture. Nofar, your former shlicha sent me a list of like a hundred restaurants to go to.
Alyssa: What do you like to do outside of work and school?
Lior: During quarantine I started to bake a little bit, which is not something that I have done before. I was surprised at myself that I started doing it, but it’s because I was very bored. I also like to read a lot!
Alyssa: What book are you reading right now?
Lior: I am reading a book by an Israeli comedian named Hanoch Daum, He wrote a book about his life that is very popular in Israel right now.
Alyssa: What will your husband do in Houston?
Lior: Tom is a former Israeli police officer and his big dream is to learn aviation studies, to be a pilot, so now he is going to finally do it in Houston! I hope everything will work out, and that he will also get to know the community as well.
Alyssa: Is there anything else that you want the Houston Hillel community to know about you?
Lior: My husband and I are very excited to come and meet you all!