Tzofim, The Israeli Scouts, Find a Warm Welcome in Austin's Jewish Community | Shalom Austin

Tzofim, The Israeli Scouts, Find a Warm Welcome in Austin’s Jewish Community

The Jewish Outlook

Jun 28, 2023

Tzofim young leaders (Madrichim). Credit: Dali Litinski

By Devorah Fuchs

A heartwarming initiative has blossomed in Austin as the Tzofim, the Israeli Scouts, establish their presence for the first time in the city. Led by a group of passionate Israeli Austinites, their mission is to foster a deep connection to Israeli heritage among young adults and cultivate a sense of belonging within the local Jewish community. Austin’s Jewish community, with its exceptional warmth and receptiveness, played a vital role in the successful launch of this initiative.

“Watching a vision become a reality is an inspiring privilege,” said Dali Litinski, one of the primary drivers of this initiative and the co-head of the Austin chapter (Shevet Keren). “Our vision was to create a united group of young adults in Austin who feel a strong connection to their Israeli identity, a genuine sense of belonging to one another, and a deep commitment to the local Jewish community.”

The Tzofim organization in North America was founded in 1995 and serves as a link between the Tzofim movement in Israel and Jewish communities across North America. Their aim is to strengthen the bonds between Israel and North American Jewry, showcase the beauty of Israel, promote unity and respect among diverse faiths, and forge lasting friendships between Israeli and American youth. With over 20 Tzofim chapters throughout North America, impacting more than 4,500 children, their influence continues to grow.

Lital Yacov, a parent of one of the Tzofim young leaders (Madrichim) said, “Shevet Keren brings a unique opportunity for Israeli-American youth and children to connect with their Israeli roots. We want to thank Shalom Austin for their support and for the warm welcome to the campus and the community!”

Since November 2022, Austin has become part of this remarkable mission and has successfully recruited 28 local teens who, in just a few short months, have transformed into inspiring leaders. Recently, Shevet Keren organized an unforgettable inaugural event where these teens took charge and led the program, engaging 50 children ages 8-13 in educational and fun Israeli-themed activities, all conducted in Hebrew, on the grounds of the JCC in the heart of Austin.

Liron Kreitman, a parent of one of the young participants, shared her excitement, saying, “I am thrilled to witness the Tzofim take root in Austin. This program empowers teenagers to lead, inspire children, and deepen their bond with Israel and their Israeli heritage.”

The Austin chapter is now planning to open a full year of activities, including a comprehensive program for children, who will meet every Sunday afternoon beginning in the fall.

For more information about the Tzofim, visit israelscouts.org. For additional details on Shevet Keren and how to get involved, email Dali Litinski at ATXisraelscouts@gmail.com.

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