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Shaliach to provide Israeli culture to JCC Summer Camp and Louisville community

The Jewish Community Center’s Summer Camp program offers many exciting opportunities for children to learn, grow, thrive and have fun over the summer, and the success of the program can be seen in the number of participants, which grows every summer.

Part of the camp’s success is the efforts of its staff to raise the bar higher each year by improving existing programming and looking for new opportunities.

This summer, the JCC turned to its parent organization, the Jewish Community Center Association, and received a grant to participate in JCCA’s Israel Up Close program.

Through this program, a shaliach or shlicha – a trained emissary from Israel – will come to Louisville for the summer.

This individual will teach campers and staff about Israel and why it is important. “To get this information from someone who lives there,” said Senior Director of Youth Services and Camp Director Julie Hollander, is much better than having “an American talk about what Israel is.”

As an added bonus, Hollander will be traveling to Israel for a six-day training program to learn how to use the shaliach effectively in camp and throughout the community. She’ll go through the same training program that the sh’lichim do, plus some additional work that will help her administer the program.

Camp directors from across the U.S. are participating in this program, but Hollander is one of only 10 chosen for this program and fully funded by JCCA.

Hollander is very excited about having a shaliach in Louisville this summer and is looking forward to her trip to Israel.

As part of the Israel Up Close program, participating communities provide home hospitality for the visiting shaliach. Hollander said, “We need host families for this person, and are asking for [them to open their homes] for at least two weeks at a time.”

Host families are asked to provide lodging and some meals for their guest.

“Transportation would be great,” Hollander added, “but it is not a necessity.” It would also be nice if the hosts could show the shaliach around Louisville.

If you are interested in hosting the shaliach for two weeks or more this summer, please contact Hollander at 238-2708 or jhollander@jewishlouisville.org. Watch future issues of Community for additional information.

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