Relationships that will endure for a lifetime.
These exuberant teen ambassadors spend their time teaching about Israeli culture in all corners of our community – schools, synagogues, camps, and community organizations. They are hand-picked in a highly selective process to represent the very best of Israel and its diversity.
The Shinshinim are young educators who “teach” with a light, accessible, friendly touch. They bring their love of Israel into our Jewish day school and supplementary school classes through art, song, dance, and holiday observances. They work at our Jewish day and overnight camps, and increasingly reach out to all age groups — last year they added Jewish assisted living facilities and other programs for older adults to their outreach. By sharing themselves and their personal stories with us, they make Israel real!
Atlanta Host Families
Each Shinshin lives with an Atlanta host family for three-and-a-half months at a time, making a switch at mid-year to a second family. They bond quickly and deeply with their American families and the relationships they build are human bridges that will endure for a lifetime.
Meet your 2020-21 Schoenbaum Shinshinim!
Amit was involved in the scouts from fourth through twelfth grade. It was a huge part of his life and he plans to continue while he’s here in Atlanta. His favorite activities in the scouts were traveling and camping. Building and learning to cook for five hundred people were other great experiences that helped build his character. When it was time to choose a high school, Amit went to a boarding school called Haifa Command Military School. There he met Dekel Swissa, one of Atlanta’s former Shinshinim. After expressing his desire to do a gap year after high school Dekel introduced him to the Shinshinim program and our Atlanta community. Amit loves surfing, basketball, volleyball, reading, cooking, baking, traveling and hiking. He’s very friendly and outgoing and can’t wait for his next adventure with us in Atlanta.
Amit is bubbly, outgoing, and has a great sense of humor. She loves to laugh and she enjoys film making. She also has a very strong connection to a youth movement called Moadonthick. Her involvement in this organization built her self-confidence and purpose throughout her high school years and ultimately led her to the Shinshinim program. She plans to share her experiences in her youth movement and her love for the greenest city in Israel with all of Atlanta this year.
When Ilan was in middle school, his family took a leap of faith and moved to Las Vegas for a year, choosing to travel and immerse themselves in American culture. At first, it was challenging to figure out the cultural norms such as planning play dates and wearing school uniforms. Ilan enjoyed the American luxuries so much, he thought it would be difficult to leave but, in the end, he was glad to return to Modin. Throughout childhood, Ilan loved the “All Star Camp,” a summer day camp for American kids who have made aliyah. Ilan also spent time volunteering in a program called Yedid Nefesh, spending time with special needs children during Shabbat, as well as shopping and running errands for older people during the Coronavirus pandemic. Even with his previous American experiences, he can’t wait to share his Israeli life with Atlanta.
After many years spent in International schools, Maya graduated from high school in Binyamina. She focused on theater and diplomacy. She loves performing, dancing, and screenwriting. She won first place in a school competition and got to see her play performed on stage. Her true passion is children with special needs. Maya was involved in two special needs programs — Hong Kong’s Big Brother Big Sister Program and the Scouts in Israel. While in Atlanta she will deepen her love for exploration of new places and cultures while sharing her love for Israel with all of us.
Shiraz has been involved in a youth movement called Krambo’s Wings since 7th grade. It is the first organization in Israel that connects kids with and without special needs. She also volunteered at MaDA Ambulatory as both a participant and instructor. Shiraz was accepted into a leadership program called Ot Ramon, named for Ilan Ramon, to educate youth throughout Israel. Shiraz was student government president who planned all senior activities and celebrations throughout the year. Her goal in Atlanta is to be a delegator and do-er while sharing her love of our sister city Yokneam and her beloved country of Israel.
Yael was a competative swimmer, because of her religious beliefs, she felt that it was more appropriate to coach for the next two years. She was a volunteer MT for the MaDA Ambulatory program. She also pioneered an English language program called Sababta bringing senior citizens together with younger generations. Finally, she has been tutoring American neighbors who’ve made aliyah in their school subjects. Yael has never been to the United States before becoming a Shinshinit so she can’t wait to learn from us about what being Jewish is like here in Atlanta as well as she can't wait to bring Israel here as creatively as possible.