Perform the Mitzvah of Hospitality: Be A Host Family

You may have already met Or and Ofir, our local Shin-Shinim who are participants in a volunteer program through Jewish Federation and our partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel.

These two Israelis are in the Lower Mainland for a year before their army service and have been leading Israel-focused programs at Vancouver Talmud Torah, Richmond Jewish Day School, King David High School, Beth Israel, Beth Tikvah and the Langley Hebrew School, and soon at Temple Sholom.

If yours is a family with school-age children, you have an amazing opportunity to host one of these university-age volunteers from Israel this winter or spring. Many local families have loved hosting Shin-Shinim in the past – watch the video below to hear from some of them.

Ofir Gady and Or Aharoni, this year’s Shin-Shinim, are a long way from their homes in Israel. They are incredibly busy delivering programs in our community and have numerous commitments over the course of the week. But when they have time to relax, they want to be with host families who will help them feel at home, providing a comfortable reprieve from their very demanding schedules.

The highly selective Shin-Shinim program, run by our partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel, sends over 100 Israeli post-secondary volunteers to provide Israeli content and activities in diaspora communities on a gap-year before their military service. Ofir and Or, both 18 years old, are the kinds of keen over-achievers who make parents proud.

Ofir has been involved in Israeli scouts for the last nine years, was a counsellor for two years, and this past year headed up the counsellor team. He loves to hike and swim, and he enjoys playing guitar.

Or has been a youth movement counsellor for several years, and she double-majored in dance and diplomacy in high school. She loves travel, dance, music, yoga, aerobics, and going to shows and concerts.

Hosting one of the Shin-Shinim as part of your family is an amazing opportunity to build a relationship with an impressive young person and do a mitzvah for the community.

If you have school-age children, live in Vancouver or Richmond (preferably close to transit), and have a spare bedroom, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Dan Stern at for more information.

If this simply isn't the right time for your family to host but you'd be interested in hosting in the future, we'd also love to hear from you.