Jewish Federations of North America are thrilled to welcome 1,500 young shlichim (Israeli emissaries) with The Jewish Agency for Israel to 158 camps around the United States and Canada for an impactful summer where they will impart their authentic Israeli heritage and stories with their Jewish peers across the ocean. The shlichim serve as living bridges between young Jews in North America and Israel, and the meaningful bonds they form last well beyond the summer season.
The shlichim, who are all between the ages of 19-25, hail from around Israel and come from a variety of backgrounds, in a true display of the country’s rich diversity.
Chair of Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel & Overseas Committee Jeffrey Schoenfeld said, “Each year, Jewish Federations partner with The Jewish Agency to bring hundreds of shlichim to our communities. These Israel & Overseas investments by Jewish Federations make possible countless moments of spirited singing around the campfire and meaningful discussions at the camp cafeteria table, which leave indelible marks on the hearts of young Jews in North America and Israel and help strengthen the relationship between North American Jewry and Israel for years to come.”
Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency Mark Wilf said, “Our shlichim spend the summer at camps across North America. In doing so, they foster genuine relationships with young Jewish North Americans that leave lasting impressions on both the shlichim and the campers. This two-way street of mutual understanding and connection to Israel creates a fabulous experience for everyone and a foundation for a meaningful connection between our communities.”
Jewish Agency summer shlicha Gila Ariely from Ashkelon serving at Camp Louise in Maryland said, "I think representing Israel abroad is such a privilege because we get to make Israel fun, positive and engaging for all those kids who may not have this back home. So their parents often rely on camps being their source of knowledge of all things Israel. As a shlicha, our role is so important because we have the opportunity to shape or reshape someone's view of Israel."
Jewish Federations’ annual core dollars power the critical work of The Jewish Agency including facilitating aliyah (immigration to Israel) and absorption from around the globe, providing financial assistance to victims of terror, supporting Israel’s most vulnerable citizens and spearheading innovative initiatives to strengthen ties between North American Jewry and Israel.
*Photo courtesy of The Jewish Agency for Israel