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


Learn More


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


ShinShinim 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.


Thank you for your interest in hosting. All spots have been filled!


Email Nofar with any hosting questions.




Invite Maya and/or Naomi 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, Maya and/or Naomi will learn so much from conversation and interaction with members of our community. 



Request to Host a Meal


Email Nofar with any hosting questions.




Go on a 


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


Learn More

Maya and Naomi 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.


Request a Date for Tidewater Fun!


Email Nofar with any questions.





Meet Tidewater's Shinshinim

Maya and Naomi have arrived in Tidewater and will stay until mid-August 2024.



Maya Ostrov



I live in Ramat Gan, a city near Tel Aviv, with my mom, dad and two siblings.


Running, reading, spending time with friends and family


I like the people of Israel and the variety of colorful cultures, and that although there are differences and disputes there is still a mutual responsibility for one another, especially in difficult times. I like the fact that we are warm and welcoming, but also straight forward and have some "Israeli Chutzpah".

Naomi Friedland



I live with my parents, younger sister, and brother in Qiriat Ono (a suburb of Tel Aviv).


Meditative walks, art, reading, and working with children


I think the most striking thing in Israel that I appreciate is the mutual commitment between people. I'm always amazed to learn how many people volunteer in different charities. If I'm in trouble, I know I can rely even on a stranger to help me. The natural warmth of people makes every encounter familiar, as if you've always known the person you just met on the bus.



Aya Ben Chorin + Alma Sever 2022-2023



Alma + Aya handoff to Naomi + Maya!





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