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Shinshin News

This week we'll start with an introduction.

So – Shalom! I am Yuval Lapidoth, an 18 years old high school graduate who decided to dedicate a year of my life (just before drafting) to Shnat Sherut. What does that mean? Shnat Sherut, Shin-Shin/ש״ש in short, translates to a 'year of service'.

As all Israelis are required to join the army as we turn 18, some choose to defer service for one year to give back to the country in addition to army service. Thousands of 18-year-olds each year choose that path and give back to the community in many different fields such as youth movements, community initiatives, education for kids with special needs, hiking guidance, settlement, supporting teens at risk, and creating a stronger connection between Israel and overseas Jewish communities. You can guess what did I go to Shnat Sherut for.

But Yuval, Why?

As I grew up and got more mature, Judaism became a bigger part of my identity, not as a religion but as a culture. I was happy living in a country where the leading values of my society, my Jewish society, are about helping each other (Arvut Hadadit), making the world better day by day (Tikkun Olam), and so on with many other Jewish values that take a big part in my identity.

And then I met Jewish teens from North America for the first time.

I was shocked to find out there are many more people in this great community, that are located on the other side of the ocean, and I didn’t know how similar we are. After a great summer program where I got to meet new friends and bond through experiences, I decided (without knowing where, when, or how) that I will take part in bringing this community together.

By being in Atlanta I want to make the community feel a stronger connection to Israel, to meet new people and create personal connections, to learn about the similarities and differences of our Jewish life and mainly to make us all feel we are a part of one big community.

That's it for this week, hope you enjoyed!

If you have any questions or requests for next week's ShinshiNews Ha'aretz (or in general) you are more than welcomed to email me.

Shabbat Shalom!

Tue, April 13 2021 1 Iyar 5781