Ofer Isseroff, Director of the The Jewish Agency's Shlichim and Israel Fellows Unit, welcomed the group, comparing the significance of the some 1,200-member mission to that of the founders of the State of Israel.
"Our parents' mission was to establish a state, and our mission is to connect people to the state – which is what you are all doing," he said.
One young shaliach bound for the Jewish community in North - Carolina is Eyal Tawil, 18, a member of the Druze village of Dalit El Carmel, near Haifa. A graduate of the port city's Reali High School, who majored in chemistry and Arabic, Tawil was also a member of the local Sea Scouts youth movement.
"Tzofim representatives approached us and asked if we were interested in going abroad as emmisaries. I applied, and, here I am," he told The Jewish Agency. When asked what pulled him towards the mission he emphasized "volunteerism among youth; to give, and to share my knowledge about Israel. For me, this is a very important mission," he said.
"My contribution to children will be - I hope – to unify and get them to collaborate, cooperate, and be attentive to one another," Tawil said, noting that he comes to the role after four years of leadership in the Sea Scouts.
Among the shlichim was also Reba Cooper of the town of Tekoa, in Gush Etzion.
Her parents met in Israel ("My mother's a Yemenite Israeli, and my father's American"). The family later moved to California, and then made Aliyah.
"When I was a child, I was at a summer camp in California, and that experience left me with some great memories," Reba said. "When we immigrated to Israel, of course, we settled in here – but those memories remain."
After completing her IDF service in the Intelligence Corps, she was accepted to study materials engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
"I've always worked with children and the opportunity to work with children in North America is completing a circle for me," Reba noted.
She foresees her chief achievement this summer to be "an opportunity to represent Israel in the international Jewish community, to lead the children to think about coming to Israel."
25 year-old Shay-El Tamir of Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv, came on an IDF delegation to Los Angeles a few years ago.
"I headed the delegation and was responsible for Israel-related camp programming," said Tamir, a sophomore in college.
"I came here for more training, because it is important for us to help educate the campers," according to Tamir.
"In addition, this mission has added value: getting familiarized with Jewish life abroad, and acculturating global Jewish youth with Israel," he said.Summer Camp Shlichim Voices Israel In Your Community More than a thousand are prepping for an exciting, educational trekThe shilichim, camp and unit directors, and veterans of previous missions, who are acquainted with the communities they served in throughout North America, completing their training at coastal Kibbutz Shfayim.Israel In Your Community