With every new year comes new Shinshinim, Israeli high school graduates taking a gap year before their military service. This year, Shinshinim Noa Ben Shimol and Ori Winestate have joined the AJA community. Ori explained his reason for partaking in the program, saying, “I truly believe in the connection between the Jewish people around the world and the Jewish people in Israel.” Because of this, when he “heard about the Shinshinim program that allows the Shinshinim to bring those two ends together,” he knew that he wanted to do that during his gap year. Similarly, Noa explained that, although she was passionate about Israel and her Jewish identity, she wasn’t acting on it. She “wanted a challenge” and felt there was no “better challenge than going halfway across the world.”
Noa and Ori both want the students to know that they can always contact them. Ori encouraged students to not “be afraid to reach out if there is anything [they] want to know.” Noa exuberantly said, “We can go for ice cream, have a long talk, whatever!” The Shinshinim are here for only a year and are looking forward to making the most of it.