Jewish Federation of St. Louis is pleased to announce the inception of the Shinshinim program in the St. Louis community. A “shinshin” is an 18-year-old Israeli emissary who defers their army service for one year to volunteer in Jewish communities abroad with the goal of educating people of all ages about Israel and Israeli culture. They teach about Israel through creative programs and challenging discussions, bringing an authentic Israel experience to the community they serve.

The program has existed in other North American Jewish communities for several years but this will be the first year St. Louis will be hosting shinshinim. The program has proved to have a tremendous positive impact on the local communities and has been a wonderful experience for host families and the shinshinim themselves.

The Shinshinim program is a partnership between the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and four local congregations: Bnai Amoona Congregation, Kol Rinah, Congregation Shaare Emeth and United Hebrew Congregation. St. Louis will host two shinshinim: Gal Roberman and Yuval Cohen. Furthermore, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis has hired Cynthia Wachtel, who will be coordinating the program. Gal and Yuval will join our St. Louis community in August.