Meet Our New Shinshinim – Cultural Emissaries from Israel

Federation is proud to host Shinshinim in Jewish Palm Beach! Shinshinim are cultural emissaries who have graduated high school but have not yet begun their Israeli military service.

Shinshinim energize our community’s connections to Israel through programming at our synagogues, with our teen community, with our partner organizations, and with their host families. These dynamic teens are excited to bring their unique perspective to our community and give us a chance to get to know Israel through their eyes. It is a true cultural exchange: They are teaching us about Israel and what teen life is like there, and they are learning from teens and adults in the Palm Beaches about what it’s like being Jewish in the Diaspora – knowledge they will bring back with them to Israel.

We are thrilled to introduce you to the 2023-2024 Shinshinim:

Nehoray Ben Shabo

Hometown: Tzfat
School Majors: Computer Engineering and Physics
Interests:  Guitar, travel and running

Nehoray wants to convey to our community that Israel is not only a land of conflict and politics, but a place where traditions and stories intertwine. He loves to travel, whether by car, train, bus or his favorite: walking through some of Israel’s most picturesque landscapes while listening to Coldplay.

“Through the shlichut (emissary) program, we can collaborate to identify fresh perspectives on, and respect for, Israel’s rich history and scenic beauty. I firmly think that it is our shared obligation to create a brighter future, and we may move closer to realizing this objective by encouraging relationships across various groups and showcasing the best features of Israeli culture.”

Gaya Gal

Hometown: Tzfat
School Majors: Biology, Medicine and Theater
Interests: Dance, art and sports

Gaya is looking forward to sharing how Israel celebrates holidays – especially Shabbat. She wants to share why Shabbat is so special, and how people in Israel observe the day of rest. Gaya has a variety of hobbies, but her first love is basketball! She has coached and played for four years and actively follows the NBA. She also was an artistic gymnast for 12 years, earning more than 100 medals.

“I want to do a shlichut (be an emissary) because I think that creating meaningful relationships with international organizations and those who work for Israel and Israeli society is important. I want to be a positive influence in advocating for Israel and helping different communities.”


Yarin Shlomovitz

Hometown: Gan Yavneh
School Majors: Theater, Biology, Math and English
Interests: Acting and Singing

Yarin is eager to share the Israeli spirit, including the culture and traditions, with Jewish Palm Beach. For as long as she can remember, she has loved to sing, act and perform on stage in front of large audiences. Yarin’s friends would say she’s a great listener who is always trying to challenge herself.

“Jewish people are always connected and united, and I plan to become the bridge to the Israeli spirit for the Palm Beaches while I’m here. I want to share the experience I’ve gained through the youth movements I’ve participated in Israel, and I think Jewish Palm Beach is absolutely the place to do so.”

Welcome Israel into Your Home!

We are looking for host families for our 2023-2024 Shinshinim and for our 2024-2025 Shinshinim!

Opening your home to a Shinshin is an incredible opportunity to build a unique relationship that will last a lifetime. 
As a host family, you provide a spare bedroom, meals, and a welcoming and inclusive home. Transportation will be provided for your Shinshin during their stay. Each Shinshin has three Palm Beaches host families, staying with each for several months at a time.


If you are interested in hosting one of the teens, please read through the General Host Family Guidelines and complete the form below.

Once your form is submitted, we will reach out to you to discuss the program and the role of the host family.
Throughout the application, there will be questions related to Jewish home observances, language, pets, allergies, etc. Please note, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. We are looking for ALL types of homes.

If you have any questions, or are interested in hosting Shinshinim in the future, please contact Marla Topiol at marla.topiol@jewishpalmbeach.org.

General Host Family Guidelines

  1. The Shinshinim will be placed in warm, loving, Jewish homes of all types. This includes families with or without children currently living in the home. 
  2. Family members should have time to dedicate for spending with their Shinshin. Regular family meals and activities are very important.
  3. Consider your family’s schedule and when you are available to include the Shinshin as part of your family. The Shinshin will be very busy with their community involvement, but the host family experience is also a crucial component of the program’s mission.
  4. The Shinshin will have a day off every week to spend with the host family and will generally be home/available during the evenings and at dinner time.
  5. The Shinshin must have a dedicated bedroom that is not used for other family needs (such as the family computer, the family TV, tutoring, etc.). During their stay, it’s preferred that the bedroom be a guest room or other unoccupied space so that they are not displacing a member of the family. Additional private space, such as a bathroom or living area, is a plus but not required.
  6. The Shinshinim program will provide transportation for the Shinshin, and all expenses other than room and board will be covered by the program.
  7. Please let us know whether you would like to host a male or a female Shinshin.




Discussion Questions

The following are more detailed questions we may ask during an interview with prospective host families. You do not need to answer them on this form.

  1. Briefly describe your parenting style.
  2. Have all members of the family been included in the decision to host a Shinshin?
  3. Where will the Shinshin be sleeping in your home? Will any additional spaces be available (bathroom, den, etc.)?
  4. Have there been or do you anticipate any major life events in your family within the next year (moving, house renovations, birth, bar/bat mitzvah, etc.)?
  5. Are there fixed times during the week that would be important for the Shinshin to be present with your family?