ShinShin (ש”ש) is the Hebrew acronym for Shenat Sherut (שנת שירות), meaning Year of Service.


What are ShinShinim?

ShinShinim are a select group of promising Israeli high school graduates who choose to defer their enlistments in the Israel Defense Forces so that they can spend a year as Israeli ambassadors in communities around the world


This initiative, through the Jewish Agency for Israel, one of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater's Israel & Overseas partners, is made possible in part by your gifts to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater's annual campaign.

Why ShinShinim?

There's no more effective way to strengthen vital ties between Israel and our Jewish community than through authentic, interpersonal relationships with Israelis themselves.


The ShinShinim initiative enables the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Simon Family JCC, synagogues, and other community partners to build relationships with these young Israelis.


During the ShinShinim's year here, community members have the rare chance to connect with Israeli life and build lasting memories while sharing what makes Jewish life in Tidewater meaningful.




Connect. Support. Engage. Get Involved!






Welcome Aya or Alma into your home as part of the family!  This unique opportunity builds meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime.


Learn More


Alma and Aya will stay with individual families in Tidewater for durations of 1-3 months. All that you need to host is a private room, daily meals, and a nurturing home environment.


Alma and Aya will each have a cell phone, health insurance, a car, and a financial stipend provided by our community agencies.


After immersing themselves into the complexities of Jewish life outside of Israel, exploring their own Jewish identities and gaining new perspectives, our ShinShinim return to Israel to become change-makers in Israeli society.


Apply to Host Alma or Aya


Email Nofar with any hosting questions.




Invite Aya and/or Alma to a


Sharing traditions and meals with new friends fosters deep connection. Gathering is good for both body and spirit.


Learn More

The best way for our visiting ShinShinim to experience Jewish life and community here in Tidewater is to be invited to a Shabbat (or holiday) dinner.


Whether a smaller family meal or a celebratory event, Aya and/or Alma will learn so much from conversation and interaction with members of our community. 



Register for Holiday Hosting


Email Nofar with any hosting questions.




Go on a 


Help welcome Aya and Alma by hosting the group for a mid-week dinner or, take excursions around Tidewater, or have a fun day at your home!


Learn More

Aya and Alma would like to experience the best of what Tidewater has to offer. If you or your family & friends can invite them on a hike, kayak ride, surf day, movie night, dinner at a local restaurant, or even a fun day at home, they would welcome the opportunity.


Register for Tidewater Fun


Email Nofar with any questions.





Meet Tidewater's Shinshinim

Aya and Alma will arrive in Tidewater mid-August, 2022 and will stay for a full year.




Aya Sever



"I live in Kfar Saba, Israel with my parents, sisters, and my dog Sushi"


Tzofim (Israel Scouts), fitness training, and spending time with family + friends.

One thing Aya loves about Israel

I love the combination between old and new in the country. In Israel you can find in the same city old, historical, and preserved places next to new restaurants, museums, or malls. This mix between old and new makes Israel more unique and represents the idea of the importance of remembering the past for having a future.

Alma Ben Chorin



"I live in Herzliya which is a city located right by Tel Aviv with my mom, dad, and two sisters."


Exercise, cooking, dance, and singing

One thing Alma loves about Israel

Israel is a beautiful country. My family loves traveling and hiking and since I was very young, we travelled all through Israel. Though Israel is small it has different landscapes and I think it is amazing. Because of that we get to travel easily all year round.



Share the hospitality that our Tidewater Jewish community is known for!




Shinshinim מה חדש (What’s New?)


Take a look at our facebook album to see how Alma + Aya are enriching the fabric of our community and creating deep and meaningful relationships!









Contact Nofar Trem, Youth and Family Program Coordinator, at or (757) 321-2334