What is the UJA ShinShinim program? UJA’s ShinShinim are young post-high school Israeli young leaders who come to the GTA for one year to volunteer and bring the real and authentic Israel to our community. Living with local Toronto families and working with a wide variety of community partners, they engage more than 10,000 Jewish community members each year with diverse creative programs focusing on contemporary Israel.
Why be a Host Family? Hosting a UJA ShinShin in your home provides an opportunity to form meaningful and enriching relationships with the ShinShin and their family in Israel, introducing them to our lives as Jews in Canada, while gaining insider perspectives and enhanced knowledge of life in Israel today.
What’s required to be a Host Family? All you need is a dedicated bedroom in your home for the ShinShinim, with a bathroom close by, and an extra chair at your table. You DO NOT have to be affiliated with a Jewish institution and you do not have to have young children in your home in order to host a ShinShinim.
What support is offered by UJA to a Host Family? Experienced Israel Engagement volunteers will help and support you leading up to and throughout your hosting experience. UJA also has a dedicated professional team to guide you and support all of the ShinShinim. As well, UJA offers a cheque exchange program for Host Families, providing a donation tax receipt of up to $3,000.
How long is the hosting period? A hosting period can be anywhere from three to seven months, with each ShinShinim typically having two Host Families during their time in Toronto. The ShinShinim return to Israel to visit their families for two weeks during our winter break. We have Reserve Families available should it be necessary to relocate a ShinShinim temporarily (e.g., if your family has booked a vacation).
COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY
The UJA ShinShinim will arrive in Toronto fully vaccinated with full health coverage. UJA strictly follows health regulations and protocols in assigning its ShinShinim to their tasks and in keeping their safety as well as the safety of their host families, students and congregates.