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Israel Committee

Bet Torah Israel Affairs on the Board of Directors are Phyllis Stone and Renana Shvil. To learn more about our engagement with Israel, and to see how you can help, please contact them directly:

Visit Israel

 Trips for TeensTaglit/Birthright Israel

Our connection to Israel is as strong as ever, and our clergy- and staff-led family trips to Israel are resuming post-pandemic, in December 2022. Contact Rabbi Brusso for more information.


What are Shinshinim?

We are very excited to be part of the Jewish Agency for Israel's "Shin-shinim" program!

2022-2023 Shinshin: Sagi Shlesinger

Sagi Shlesinger was born in Israel in the city Ra’anana. At 14 months old, he and his family moved to Seoul South Korea, they stayed there until Sagi was 11 years old. He came back to Israel and lived in a moshav called Bet Yehoshua which is where he lives till this day, with his parents, his older sister Idan (20) and his youngest sister Shahar (12). 

Sagi moved to Korea because of his dad’s work as an economic advisor for the Israeli embassy. In Korea, Sagi went to an international British school called SFBS and was very active in the after school activities. He participated in a sports competition in Asia called FOBISIA. In Sagi’s free time in Korea he would be with his friends, game on his computer, and go skiing on the weekends. 

When Sagi arrived in Israel he studied in the regional school called Hof Hasharon where he majored in Physics and Systems Engineering. Sagi was also in a youth movement called “Ichud Hachaklai” from grade 6 to grade 11, and was a madrich in the 10th and 11th grade. 

In Sagi’s free time he likes to hike in Israel with his friends, family, and youth movement. He likes to play many types of sports, go to the beach and spend as much time as he can with his friends. 

Sagi is very much looking forward to starting his gap year. He can’t wait to meet his institutions, engage with as many people as he can, get to know and be active in the Jewish community, and bring his personal story to the community.

2021-2022 Shinshin: Gilad Grinblat

My name is Gilad Grinblat, I am 18 years old and I live in Shoham. I am the older of two brothers. My brother Eitan is 15 years old and we like to talk about topics that interest each of us, and that helps me to learn about new things.

I was born in Israel, my parents made Aliyah from Latin America, my mother came from Venezuela and my father from Argentina. The two of them grew up in Jewish communities and made Aliyah alone out of Zionism and love for Israel, and they met here. Therefore, the values of Zionism and love for Israel have always been a main part of my education. The two came to Israel for the first time as participants in plans of the Jews Agency and their schools. My dad came for the second time as a
madrich. My dad is a dentist and my mom works in the clinic with him. I have a very open and sincere relationship with my parents.

I live in Shoham, a small city, and I spend most of my time here. Here I have my Tzofim activities, my sports group, swimming pool, gym, my school and my friends. We are a group of six very close friends, we all are active members in the Tzofim. Before Covid-19 we got together a lot, we talked and we played board games. Now with the limitations of the virus, we cannot get together so much, but we found a solution and we talk every day on the computer and meet less often.

2019-2020 Shinshinit: Brtukan Ezra

My name is Bartukan Ezra I was born in Ethiopia. I made Aliyah with my family when I was 3 years old I have four siblings, three brothers and one sister. I am the youngest in my family My mother works as a cleaner at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva and my father has a disability that prevents him from working.

I want to study medicine and be part of an organization called Doctors Without Borders that helps people in underdeveloped countries. 

What are Shin-shinim?

The Shin-shinim program is the "year of service program" that offers Israeli high school graduates an opportunity to delay mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces and serve Diaspora communities for up to 10 months. The program allows communities to meet young Israeli ambassadors who perform meaningful service prior to entering the army. In 2014-15, 98 Service Year Shlichim served in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and other countries; this number grew to 114 in 2017 and 2018.

Thu, June 1 2023 12 Sivan 5783