Friends, for this week's Shabbat message I've asked Carrie Berman, Federation's Coordinator of Educational Services and the Young Emissary Program, to share a bit about our new Israeli Young Emissaries, or ShinShinim. I spent some time with Amit and Nir this week, and they are delightful. I hope you are able to meet them soon! Shabbat Shalom. - Howard
In a few hours, Amit Akerman and Nir Sultan, our community's new ShinShinim (Israel Young Emissaries), will be joining their host families for their first Shabbat meals in Avon and West Hartford. It's exciting to think about how they'll experience and process their first Friday night since leaving home for a year of adventure, learning and cultural exchange. Fortunately, they are in good hands with loving and gracious local families who will help them acclimate to their new life here. After a fun-filled Labor Day weekend, Amit and Nir will spend their first week exploring the community, navigating the American way of life, meeting hundreds of new people and visiting our many Jewish schools, synagogues and institutions. They'll visit the Crown Market and, of course, Westfarms.
Amit hails from Modi'in and Nir comes from our sister city of Afula. They arrived in New York last Sunday with 12 other New England-bound 18-year-olds, all of whom are eager to share their passion for and knowledge of Israel.
Amit and Nir were carefully selected and trained by the Jewish Agency for Israel to come to our community and "make a difference" - and they will. They'll connect with every student in our synagogue schools and Day Schools. You'll find them at the Mandell JCC, JTConnect and our local Hillels; at our many synagogue and community events; and even visiting our public schools. They're eager to meet as many Americans as possible - so if you see them, please introduce yourself, try out your Hebrew, chat for a while and feel free to invite them over for a meal. They'll even share their family recipes for shakshuka!
In this week's Torah portion, Ki Tavo, we read of blessings and curses. One of those blessings, found in Deuteronomy 28:6, reads, "Blessed shall you be in your comings and blessed shall you be in your goings." We are so fortunate that, through your generous contributions to Federation's Annual Campaign, we are able to welcome Amit and Nir, the "fruit of Israel's trees," into our community. Through their "comings and goings" these two young Israelis will become part of our Greater Hartford family. They will share themselves and Israel with us while we show them the uniqueness and warmth of American Jewish life.
Coordinator, Educational Services and Young Emissary Program
If you would like to meet Amit and Nir or have them visit your organization, please contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.727.6137.
Photo caption: Nir (left) and Amit at Camp Laurelwood.