Israeli Emissaries

People-to-People Connections

We believe that relationship and connection between our Israeli emissaries and Coloradoans create a solid foundation for continued understanding and support of one another’s communities.

Emissary | Shlicha

Nelly Ben Tal and family

Our Senior Israeli Emissary serves a 3-year residency as an ambassador who helps build meaningful and lasting connections between our community and Israel.

From community dialogue and innovative partnerships to guidance with Aliyah and travel to Israel, JEWISHcolorado’s Senior Israeli Emissary facilitates dialogue between Israel and our community with an emphasis on mutual respect and the belief that the future of the Jewish people is based on its ability to establish a direct relationship between its various communities around the world.

Our current Israeli Emissary, Nelly Ben Tal, resides in Denver with her husband and children.

Teen Emissaries | Shinshinim

2023-2024 Shinshinim The teen emissaries are part of a larger program called the Sh’nat Sherut (or Shin Shin) Program run by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). JAFI is one of JEWISHcolorado’s two major overseas partners. This is the 9th year that JEWISHcolorado along with our community partners has brought this program to Colorado. The goal of the Shinshinim Program is to place high school graduates from Israel in Jewish communities abroad for a one-year program of volunteer service. The objective is to build bridges between Israeli youth and Jewish communities, creating educational dialogue between the two, in order to strengthen our Jewish family ties and to build the foundation for a secure Jewish future. Part of the experience for our Shinshinim is to place them with local families who provide them with room and board and a loving home.

The Shinshinim have just completed their senior year of high school and have deferred their army obligation for a year of community service. When they return to Israel, they will begin their mandatory service in the Israel Defense Force (IDF).

Each Shinshin is selected from a pool of over 1800 applicants and undergoes an extensive interview process. The finalists were interviewed by members of our community and were chosen for their outstanding leadership skills, previous experience working with groups and strong English language skills.

The Shinshinim are trained in Israel in an intense preparatory course focused on Jewish heritage, Jewish Pluralism, American culture, and issues of national and religious identity. They are also provided with counseling and leadership tools.

The Shinshinim will serve in partner institutions as informal educators and facilitators at synagogues and day schools, for youth movements, supplementary schools, other Jewish agencies and organizations, and several public schools in our community. Depending on where they are working, they will share about Israel and Israeli culture, about Jewish identity, Jewish celebrations, and life in Israel in general. In addition, they will help create community wide programs about Israel.

For more information about our Young Israeli Emissaries (Shinshinim) program, please email Michelle Schwartz,

Meet this year’s Shinshinim!

Host the Shinshinim in Your Home!

Every year, JEWISHcolorado welcomes 4 post-high school teens (Shinshinim) who work within our community. They bring a piece of Israel to Colorado and build relationships with the community by visiting local synagogues, Sunday schools, Jewish Day schools, Public schools, and more. Over the years, many community members have asked for an opportunity to meet and host these amazing teens for dinner in their homes. We are excited to offer hosting opportunities to you and your family! 

Dates will be posted soon, so keep checking back.

Please keep in mind: 

  • We request that either 2 or 4 Shinshinim are invited at a time.
  • Our Shinshinim are very busy. If your schedule changes and you need to cancel, please give us ample notice.

Please email to reserve a date.