The Israel Scout Friendship Caravan arrives in the Valley on June 12. This energetic group of Israeli teens will be performing at venues around the Valley (see sidebar). The Scouts sing in Hebrew, English and Yiddish, dance and interact with the audience. The free shows last an hour and are free of politics. Each year the performances are well attended by people of all faiths.
A huge component of the Israel Scout Friendship tour program is the host families. Host families must have children ages 10 or older and be able to provide a separate bed for each Scout. Families are asked to attend most public shows and be willing to drive to a central meeting place each morning.
Since the Scouts live and interact with their host families, they often develop strong bonds. Frequently, the bonds between host families and the families of the Scouts in Israel become long-term relationships.
Two host families recently shared their experiences while visiting their Scouts in Israel.
Host Jill Leshin says, “Hosting an Israeli Scout has had a profoundly positive impact on my family. My boys look forward to meeting our Israeli Scout every year. It is the highlight of their summer. We have been a host family for four years and plan to host a scout again this summer.”
Last summer, Jill’s son Benjamin met up with two of the Israeli Scouts during his trip to Israel.
He sent Jill this text, “It was amazing to see Ido and Yogev in Israel. They showed me Israeli life through the eyes of a teenager. It has been the best part of my trip!”
Jill continues, “The Israeli Scout experience has not only ignited a love of Israel within my children, but it has also made them feel proud to be Jewish in America.”
Host Eric Lernor also had a positive experience to share. “I am returning from a trip to Israel that concluded with a three-day visit to Israel Scout Daniel Galiki who was in Caravan Gilad in 2013,” says Eric. “We had a great visit; it was nice to see him again and to meet his family – and it was all because we participated in the Arizona Friends of Israel Scouts hosting program.”
For more information on the shows or becoming a host family, contact Steve Rosenbaum at 480-216-4280.
ISRAELI SCOUTS FRIENDSHIP CARAVAN SCHEDULE
The Israel Scout Friendship Caravan will perform six shows in the Valley. All shows are free of charge and open to the public.
June 12, 7 pm: Congregation Or Tzion, 16415 N. 90th St., Scottsdale
June 13, 7 pm: Beth El Congregation, 1118 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix
June 18, 7 pm: Temple Solel, 6805 E. McDonald Dr., Paradise Valley
June 23, 11 am: Temple Beth Shalom, 12202 N. 101st Ave., Sun City
June 23, 4 pm: Temple Chai, 4645 E Marilyn Road, Scottsdale