Host with Us | Shalom Austin



Providing housing to Israeli and overseas guests from our Partnership Region (the Western Galilee and Budapest, Hungary), can spark real connections that last a lifetime! It allows us to strengthen our Jewish identity with Israel, build Jewish community, and learn about experiences different from our own. By sharing our world, we create community amongst ourselves in Austin and with Jewish people everywhere.

SHINSHINIM 2024-2025

What is ShinShinim?

As a part of Shalom Austin’s Israel initiative, a Zeff family grant, and local donors, we will be continuing our ShinShinim program for the 2024-2025 school year!

Two ShinShinim, young emissaries from Israel through the Jewish Agency, will be coming to Austin before entering the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), and will be a part of the Austin Jewish community as shlichim (emissaries) to educate and engage while experiencing the world of diaspora Jewry here in Austin.

Interested in hosting? Contact Iris Bartov at



We are looking for host families for our ShinShinim to provide:

  • A welcoming and supportive home for 4-5 months.
  • A private, designated, clean room that is not used for anything else.
  • Access to a bathroom that can be locked (a shared bathroom is fine).
  • Daily meals.
  • Include Shinshinim in family activities in town.
  • Each Shinshin is provided with their own transportation, cell phone, health insurance, and a stipend. 

Hosting […] helped us build community. This past summer, we hosted one of the Israeli shlichot at the beginning of her time in Austin. We felt a need to say goodbye, so we hosted all of the hosts for a final send-off. It was great to meet so many people who opened their doors!” 

                                                                                                                                                                                  – Kelly Finkel, host 


Who are the Shlichim?

A select group of outstanding emissaries, The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Shlichim are called to manifest our collective heritage in communities around the world. They provide a living connection to Israel by promoting Israeli experiences, facilitating Jewish social activism, and speaking authentically about faith and culture. All our Shlichim will have completed their army or national service by the beginning of camp and have a strong background in education and leadership. At camp, the Shlichim work hard and integrate Israel into day-to-day activities, bringing a “taste of Israel” to the community.

This program aims to bring Israel, Zionism and Judaism to camp and the greater community. Home hospitality has traditionally been an important part of teaching our Israeli ambassadors about American Jewish life and helping them to connect to it. Our Shlichim come with a strong desire to share in your day-to-day life. The success of the program cannot be measured in numbers but rather in the special relationships that form over time between the Shlichim and everyone they meet during the summer.


Six host families from June 9 to July 29 to provide:

  • A private, designated, clean room that is not used for anything else.
  • Access to a bathroom that can be locked (a shared bathroom is fine).
  • Daily meals. 
  • Transportation to and from camp.

I never thought I could feel such a sense of home so far away from Israel. 

                                                                                                                                                                – Yarden Belcher, ShinShinim


A group of kids listen and watch the Israeli Caravan members
What is the Israeli Tzofim Friendship Caravan?

Led by a group of passionate Israeli Austinites, the Tzofim Friendship Carvan’s mission is to foster a deep connection to Israeli heritage among young adults and cultivate a sense of belonging within the local Jewish community. 

The Tzofim organization was founded in 1995 and serves as a link between the Tzofim (Israeli Scouts) 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!


Five host families from Friday, June 21 to Monday, June 24 to provide:

  • Space to host up to 4 teens/young adult chaperones each
  • Access to a bathroom that can be locked (a shared bathroom is fine).
  • Some meals.
  • Transportation to and from campus. 
  • Family activities in town for Shabbat/the weekend!
Iris Bartov

Iris Bartov

Arts & Adults Director