COVID-19 Update: Unfortunately this summer Camp Shelanu will not be hosting shlichim. We will still continue to offer weekly camp programming that deepens our campers’ connection to Israel.
If you are interested in hosting shlichim in 2021, please fill out this easy form!
The Summer Shlichim program at Camp Shelanu has been an exciting part of our camp’s culture since our first shaliach arrived in 2011. The shlichim bring with them passion, energy, advanced skills, talents, and curiosity. Their contributions to our camp help our campers and community to connect with Judaism abroad and gain global perspectives, while building lasting relationships with these incredible young adults.
In order to maintain this wonderful program, we rely on the hospitality and generosity of families in our community who open their homes each summer to our Israeli visitors.
One of the essences of the traditional Jewish view on relationships is found in the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim—hospitality to guests (literally, bringing in guests); an important act of kindness. At Camp Shelanu, we practice the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim through our successful tradition of welcoming shlichim from Israel into our camp, our community, and our personal lives.
Home hospitality offers many opportunities for cultural exchange, enabling our families and young Israeli adults to live together, learn from each other and form meaningful relationships. Many of our shlichim and families maintain contact long after the summer is over!
Our shlichim want to share their love of Israel with their host family members, as well as to learn about and connect with American Jewish culture. They come with a strong desire to share in your day-to-day life. There is no pressure to impress your Israeli visitors—simple trips to the attractions in and around Durham-Chapel Hill, sharing family traditions, even shopping with your family will be memorable experiences for your new friends.
Below, you can find additional information on hosting shlichim in your home, as well as the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Summer Shlichim program. If you are interested in hosting shlichim, please fill out this easy form!
Guides and FAQs
How to Host Shlichim – adapted from JAFI info and FAQs
“Having Liran stay with us was the highlight of our summer. It was like having a rock star in the house, and our camper was on her best behavior!
She mentioned that she missed her mother’s soup so we wrote out the recipe and made it for her last night with us. Liran’s Imma’s Chicken Soup was delicious and we have made it many times since!” – Melissa and daughter Clementine, age 6, who hosted Liran for 2 weeks in 2017
“The best part for me was getting to know the girls and for my daughters to make Israeli friends.
They were all friendly and warm and it was fun having the big groups of kids in our house.” – Patty’s daughters Clare and Anna are Camp Shelanu staff and have hosted shlichim for several consecutive years.
“My favorite part is the bonding that the shlichim have with my kids. In the short time that they spent in my house the love and connection that is built among them makes it so sad to let them go!
[I choose to host] because I feel that both sides can benefit from the cultural exchange.
For the host, I’m bringing a little bit of Israel into my life and for the Israelis, we’re showing them how American Jews live and the culture of our country. I’ve been hosting for 7 years. I’ve found the program to be a very enjoyable time for the kids. They look forward to it every year!We still stay in touch, years later, with some of our shlichim! We’re still friends on Facebook. These connections last a lifetime.” – Perri, whose 4 children all attend or work at Camp Shelanu, has hosted shlichim for many years.
“I love Israeli culture and Israelis and I thought it would be fun for my kids to have a cross-cultural experience and to learn about Israel.
Plus, we wanted to open our home to someone who was a long way from home and needed some hospitality. We loved having a “guest” in the house!” – Miriam and daughter Sylvie, age 6, who hosted Shay for 2 weeks in 2018