Our Shinshinim Making a Difference!

BY DAVID GOLDSTEIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Shinshinim (Ambassadors) initiative, sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel, was brought to Westchester County several years ago by the Westchester Jewish Council. The goal of the Shinshinim initiative is simple–to bring recent Israeli High School graduates to American Jewish communities for one year, during which time they will work in various Jewish institutions and stay with local host families. WJC is proud to participate for the second year and to help create these very personal connections between the American Jewish community and Israel.

Ofir Harlev is from Nir Banim, a small village in south-central Israel. Her interests include communications, psychology, and computer programming. She works two days each week with the ECC and Religious School. On working with our youth, Orif remarks, “My favorite thing about being a Shinshin is when I’m teaching kids about Israel and they start getting excited about it. They start asking questions and it’s just really fun seeing how curious they can be about my own home. In the words of Aleza Kulp, “Ofir is amazing. So responsible and great to work with. The kids love her!”

Tomer Cohen Galor is equally as amazing. While raised in Beersheva, Tomer’s family (on his mother’s side) came to Israel from Eastern Europe in the nineties. I have the pleasure of working with Tomer in Hebrew High, and it is clear that he has a combination of love for Israel, passion for Judaism, and a knack for making connections. He says, “I am learning about Judaism in ways that I never experienced before, and I am grateful for that.”

There are many ways for our community to get to know these incredible individuals. Please reach out to me for additional information and to learn more about the Shinshinim program.

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