Jewish Agency shlichim numbers up by 33%
The number of shlichim (emissaries) dispatched by The Jewish Agency for Israel around the world has soared by over 33%, from approximately 1,300 in 2010 to some 1,730.
Some 430 Israelis are currently posted in communities around the world for extended periods of time, including some 80 Jewish Agency Israel Fellows to Hillel, who serve tens of thousands of Jewish students on some 150 college campuses, and more than 100 ShinShinim, Israeli teens who spend their post-high school gap year between volunteering in Jewish communities abroad. Additionally, in just a few months, The Jewish Agency will dispatch some 1,300 young Israelis to serve as counsellors and work with children at Jewish summer camps, primarily in North America.
The sharp increase in the number of emissaries is due to increased demand by Jewish communities around world, which seek the emissaries’ unique contributions in strengthening Jewish identity and attachment to Israel among Jewish children and young people, as well as in combating expressions of hate against Jews and Israel. The number of communities in which Jewish Agency emissaries are posted has also grown significantly since the start of the decade, and today emissaries are posted in dozens of communities in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Australia, and South Africa.
Jewish Agency emissaries undergo intensive educational training and are equipped with the tools necessary to combat expressions of hate against Jews and Israel. During the course of their time abroad, they concentrate on strengthening young Jews’ Jewish identities and connections to Israel, boosting Jewish life, and presenting Jews with opportunities to experience life in Israel.
Yehuda Setton, Director of The Jewish Agency’s Shlichim and Israel Fellows Unit, said: “Jewish Agency emissaries share the Israeli story with Jewish young people abroad in a direct and personal way. The emissaries are the best way to bring young Jews from abroad to experience life in Israel on a range of Jewish Agency programs, as well as to increase their familiarity with Israel and deepen their sense of attachment to the Jewish state.”