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The Shinshinim Program

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 Shinshinim program is a partnership between the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and several local organizations: Congregations Shaare Emeth, United Hebrew, Bnai Amoona, Kol Rinah, Temple Emanuel, the Israeli Scouts, and Saul Mirowitz Jewish Day School, as well as Camp Ben Frankel.



Their Work in the Community

The Shinshinim work at several different programs within the congregations, mainly with children ranging in ages 3-18, including the Sunday schools, religious and Hebrew schools, early childhood centers, USY, and NFTY. They also participate in special ‘chagim’ happenings, adult programming, weekend retreats and Shabbatonim, youth group conventions, summer camps, and other events.

One of the main objectives of bringing Shinshinim to our community is to encourage Israel engagement through educational programming, through formal and informal social interactions, and by building relationships with community members.

The Shinshinim serve as Israeli cultural ambassadors throughout the community, and the program ultimately builds a bridge between Israeli youth and Jewish communities, creating an educational dialogue between the two, in order to strengthen our Jewish family ties and to build the foundation for a secure Jewish future.


Photo Galleries

Past Shinshinim: Gilad, Dana, and Evyatar  |  Guy & Shaked  |  Gal & Yuval  |  Lir & Snir


Meet the Shinshinim – Maya Shapira, Shelly Udovick, Roi Mast, and Eshel Ben Dor

We are excited to introduce you all to the fifth cohort of Shinshinim who arrived to St. Louis in mid-August 2021!

Meet Maya Shapira, Shelly Udovick, Roi Mast, and Eshel Ben Dor.

Maya works at Shaare Emeth.
Shelly is at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Day School.
Roi works at Kol Rinah and United Hebrew
Eshel works with the Israeli Scouts and Temple Emanuel.



Connect With Us!
Cynthia Wachtel

Cynthia Wachtel

Manager, Israel Emissary Initiatives

For more information about Shinshinim, contact Cynthia Wachtel at 314-442-3878 or

Farewell Video from Our 2020-2021 Shinshinim – Gilad, Dana, and Evyatar

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