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Arriving in Toronto 9/9/23

13/12/2023 09:22:37 AM


Sharon -

Good morning everyone, or as we were taught to say here in Canada - we hope this speech finds you well. My name is Sharon (or Sharon, whatever you prefer), and Omri and I will be your Shinshinim this year. The UJA Shinshinim program allows Israeli teens such as ourselves to join the Toronto jewish community for a year.

We are so happy to be joining the Beth Emeth community this year, and already know that it was worth the 12 hour flight. 

September 9th is an important date in my family. On this day, 26 years ago, my parents stood under a hupa in a national park near Jerusalem. For as long as I can remember, on this date, my brother and I have a tradition of trying to get up before my parents do and serve them breakfast in bed, Even if it meant forcing them back into bed because we didn’t get up early enough.

This year, due to distance issues, it wasn’t possible. I hope my parents manage to make themselves something to eat. 

In the last three weeks, the familiar sight of the cream-colored Jerusalem stone was replaced with red bricks, and my morning Aroma iced coffee with a Starbucks pink drink. Adjusting to a new place isn’t always easy, but I’m very lucky to get to say I’ve never had such a warm welcome. This amazing community welcomed us with open arms - and made us already feel at home. Thank you for your generosity and kind hearts. I couldn’t be happier to spend this time with this amazing community, and can only wish all of us an amazing year.

Omri -

For me, coming to Toronto was amazing. From the second, I saw the view from the plane window I was stung, only twelve hours ago I had to say goodbye to all of my family and friends at the airport, and now I'm here in Toronto in this fresh new start.

With a lot of mixed feelings, both homesickness and excitement for the future, the other ShinShinim and I went to five days of training and seminar at Camp Shalom. 

Afterward, we finally got to the city, to the bustling streets were so different from what I was familiar with in my small agricultural town in Israel. The high buildings and the concrete were so strange to me. But for a moment when I closed my eyes, I could almost feel like I was in tlv, it almost felt like I was not an Ocean apart from home. But when I opened my eyes I knew I could bring home here too. 

It really start to feel like home when really generous host family from the community opened their arms and hosted me. In that moment I felt how our Jewish values of compassion kindness and grace, are universal and apply to Jewish communities all over the world. Both Israel and Canada.

Sharon -

Jewish communities all over the world have a very deep connection that stems from our shared culture, values and history. We are so happy to be a part of connecting this amazing community with the Israeli community, and are eager to start our journy together.

Thank you so much and Shabbat Shalom.

Wed, 29 May 2024 21 Iyyar 5784