Israel & Overseas

ShinShinim/Israel Emissaries

Federation brings Israel to Rochester by welcoming a new cohort of ShinShinim each year.

ShinShinim—a Hebrew acronym for shnat sherut or "year of service"—are the best and brightest of Israel's recent high school graduates who defer army service for one year to become emissaries in Jewish communities around the world. They volunteer, engage people of all ages with Israel, build connections with community members, and bring Israeli culture to life through educational lessons, presentations, arts and crafts, and music.

The ShinShinim serve as a living bridge between the Rochester community and Israel. Each one brings their own unique energy, love of Israel, and fresh views to our synagogues, schools, preschools, JCC, and other institutions, both inside and outside the Jewish world.


Meet Our 2022 - 2023 ShinShinim!

We’ve handpicked this years three ShinShinim to be part of our Rochester community. We’re excited to have Amit, Shai, Sheleg here in Rochester, and they can’t wait to meet you. Here’s a little bit about them:


Left to right :  Amit Mazover, Shai Paz, Sheleg Rodnitzki

Amit Mazover

Amit lives in Modi’in with her parents, older sister, and dog Mimi. Amit majored in math and computer science in high school, and also studied software engineering. She loves playing guitar and has been video editing since she was 8 years old. She also enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, jewelry making, and recently taught herself how to knit. 

Amit has been part of Noam, a youth movement affiliated with the Conservative-Masorti movement, since she was 12. She held multiple leadership positions throughout high school and has volunteered much of her time to work with seniors and kids with disabilities. Amit loves working with children and can’t wait to bring her passion and creativity to Rochester as a ShinShinit! 

What are three things Amit loves about Israel? 
“Israeli people are extremely giving and caring, always willing to help each other out and go out of their way for one another. I love that about Israel. Secondly, the country itself. Israel has so many unique and special places that are so different from one another. Finally—the diversity of Israeli society. Everywhere you go, you meet and experience different people, cultures, music, and food.”

Shai Paz

Shai lives in Yavne, a small city in central Israel about 30 mins from Modi’in, with his parents, two older sisters, and dog Mika. Shai majored in physics and software engineering in high school and loves photography, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. Shai also enjoys working at Rebar, an Israeli smoothie shop. Shai is passionate about animals and loves caring for stray cats on his street together with his mom.

Shai has been a member of the Israeli Tzofim (scouts) since fourth grade, where he has held countless leadership roles, including as a part of his tribe leadership team. He has served as a mentor and trained other mentors, most recently as head of the 8th grade mentors team. Shai is excited to put his leadership experience and skills to good use as a ShinShin in Rochester. 

What are three things Shai loves about Israel? 
“The first thing is the people. It feels like everyone around you is your family and is ready to help each other—even those they don't know. Secondly, I love Israel’s culture and wide diversity. The fact that everyone came from a different place creates a huge variety of interests and a very beautiful culture. From cuisine, to fashion, to languages and more, everyone brought with them different traditions, and a very diverse, fun, and interesting society was created in Israel for all to enjoy. Last but not least, I love Israel’s diverse landscapes.” 

Sheleg Rodnitzki 

Sheleg grew up in Modi’in, where she lives with her parents and two older siblings. In high school, Sheleg’s majors were computer science and physics. She loves to cook, read books, listen to music, and make art—particularly drawing. She also loves to travel, which she has done quite a bit with her family. Since the fourth grade, Sheleg has participated in the Israeli Scouts youth movement, where she later was a counselor for 2 years! She really enjoys leading and gained lots of valuable experience and responsibility in her time as a counselor. 

This isn’t Sheleg’s first time as a Rochesterian. In 10th grade, she participated in Brighton High School’s student exchange and cannot wait to return as one of our very own ShinShinim! 

What are three things Sheleg loves about Israel?
“I love the variety of Israel’s landscapes, from the snow in the Hermon to the desert in the south. Also, our country has such a rich history. I love how in difficult times Israelis truly come together as a people. Finally, I love the great diversity of Israeli society. Jews from all over the world immigrate to Israel with the understanding that Israel is the safest place for them to be.”

Contact Us


Michal Spivak

Director of ShinShinim Programming



Are you interested in becoming a host family or already are one? 

Follow Our ShinShinim On Social Media!

Jewish Agency for Israel JAFI Logo
Partnership2Gether Modi'in Rochester Logo

Meet our past ShinShinim

Aviv, Ori, Avishag, and Alon (2021/2022)
As a parting gift to the Rochester community, these ShinShinim created their own Israel Travel Guide. It’s filled with recommendations on their favorite places to eat and hike, how not to look like a tourist, and other tips for seeing Israel like a local.


View their intro video.

Itamar and Oren (2020/2021)


View their intro video.

Yael, Keren, Gilad, and Ori (2019/2020)
After returning to Israel, this first group of ShinShinim created an Israeli Recipe Book filled with details on how to cook their favorite dishes from home.

Ways to Give

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