25 Jun 2018 Performance Report – A Year of Service in the Jewish Diaspora
Since I started this program, I understand what it means to be Jewish when you don’t live in Israel, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. I’ve also been able to really deepen my connection with Judaism.
“Hungary is not the easiest place to bring Israel’s message, considering the country’s complicated relationship with Israel and anti-Semitism. But we have really changed the Jewish story in this community, bringing Israeli pride to a part of Europe where it’s often lacking. After living in Hungary for nearly a year, I can say it’s truly an amazing place with a very warm community,” Shachar says.
As ShinShinim are young adults, often on their own for the first time, it’s even more impressive how much of an influence they have in a year’s time. Because of the success of the participants in Hungary, next year the number of ShinShinim there will double. Their young spirit and endless motivation make a lasting impact.
After her year abroad, Shachar will join the Israel Defense Forces as a member of the Intelligence Unit, a role she now feels carries a deeper sense of purpose.
“When living in Israel among Israelis, I couldn’t really comprehend or understand the meaning of living a Jewish lifestyle as a choice,” Shachar says. “But since coming to Budapest, I’ve learned how to appreciate my country and identity more… and that appreciation is something that will stay with me from now on.”
113 Gap Year Israeli emissaries served in more than 24 Jewish communities around the world, spreading a love of Israel, Hebrew language and pride in Jewish identity to nearly 34,000 people.
No matter the situation, the people of Israel will never have to face the aftermath alone. Together we carry a message of great hope.
No one should feel the need to hide their Jewish or pro-Israel identity. We empower young Israelis to help Jewish students feel safe and connected on campuses around the world.
Because our global Jewish story is strengthened through our individual connections, we empower young people to pass on our culture and traditions.