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Israel is Real at CBY

By Melissa Cohavi, JID Director

There are so many exciting changes coming to CBY starting in the fall of 2019, and one is so great that I feel I need to shout it from the rooftops. The JID program will be participating in a Westchester community program (run through the Westchester Jewish Council) where our 4th through 7th graders will have young Israeli emissaries in their classrooms each week. You may be thinking, how is this possible? Well CBY will have four ShinShinim (or year of service students) at our congregation. A “shinshin” is an 18-year-old Israeli emissary sent by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel to communities abroad with the goal of educating people of all ages about Israel and Israeli culture. These young people have chosen to do a year of service outside of Israel prior to enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces. They have gone through an extensive application and interview process and were chosen to be with us in Westchester. They will be living in Westchester for the year with host families, and will be integrated in a way that has never before been seen at CBY.

The vision and mission of the ShinShinim program is to bring ruach Yisraelit (Israeli spirit) to the people with whom they work and provide informal programming to build Jewish identity and educate children and adults about the Jewish homeland. The “ShinShinim” program strengthens Israel and Diaspora relations through the strong people to people connections that the program cultivates.

The goals of the “ShinShinim” program are:

  1. To build a solid relationship between the community and Israel by nurturing a real personal connection between young Israelis and the Westchester County Jewish community.
  2. To encourage members of our community to see Israel as an integral and crucial piece of our Jewish identity
  3. To move people from a simple love to a more complex understanding of and pride in Israel (as reinforced through the hugging and wrestling educational approach.

The main reason for bringing ShinShinim to the JID program is so our children can develop personal relationships with young Israelis and help them to see that Israel is an integral piece of their Jewish identity. There will also be events and programs that bring parents, children, teens and our ShinShinim together at the same time for educational and relationship building purposes. They will also be involved in the life of our congregation in other ways. Look out for more information about our ShinShinim in August.

The ShinShinim program is funded by the CBY’s Weinstein Endowment Fund which supports education at Congregation B’nai Yisrael.

Registration is now open for the 2019/20 school year.

Fri, June 9 2023 20 Sivan 5783