19 Mar Amidst Coronavirus, Shlichim Activities Continue Online
The Jewish Agency’s Shlichim in North America, and in many other communities globally, are staying in the communities they were placed in, continuing their amazing work, just through a different medium. When it became clear that the Shlichim’s activities would need to shift from in-person to virtual, The Shlichut Institute provided training from resilience and mental health practices to more technical and technological instruction. And the Shlichim have proven to be up for the challenge, adjusting to this new reality with creativity and enthusiasm.
Ron, a Shlichah (female Israeli emissary) in Nebraska created an activity booklet for her Omaha community to keep children entertained at home. From Israeli games to learning Hebrew to Dead Sea science experiments, Ron wanted to make sure the kids she would otherwise be interacting with in-person still got a dose of Israel-related content in a fun way.
In Maryland, Shlichah Netta banded together with nearby Shlichim to host virtual activities on Zoom, leading sessions on Teen Leadership while others cover subjects like art, sports and Israel or lead classes for stretching and flexibility or cooking. To subscribe to the daily calendar of Zoom events that Netta and her Shlichim friends have organized so you can tune in too, click here.
Anni, The Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Florida International University’s Hillel organized an ongoing online program of Zoom lectures by guest speakers accessible to the public in order to continue activities despite the coronavirus. Another Israel Fellow, Shachar, who is at the Towson University Hillel, shared his delicious recipe for Shakshuka by doing a video tutorial from his kitchen in order to continue to connect with students from home.
And impressively, BBYO’s Central Shlichah in Washington D.C., Nitzan, along with her team came up with an amazing concept that they were able to actually develop called BBYO On Demand. BBYO On Demand is an evolving online space offering programming on a schedule similar to a TV channel that teens can tune into and enjoy from whatever time zone they’re in as often as you’d like. The virtual content features educational lessons, joint video games, and other interesting creative ways to pass time during the coronavirus.
These Shlichim, and others we’ll be highlighting in the coming weeks, are embracing (of course, not physically!) the challenges of interacting with their communities online with passion and imagination as they continue serving the Jewish public during this unprecedented crisis.