Shinshinim Program – שינשינים


A “shinshin” is an 18-year-old Israeli emissary who defers their army service for one year to volunteer in Jewish communities abroad with the goal of connecting people of all ages to Israel and Israeli culture. Shinshin is an abbreviation for "shanat sherut" in Hebrew, or a year of service in English. This is a common program in Israel where high school graduates defer their army service for one year in order to volunteer. The goal of the shinshinim program is to strengthen the local Jewish community and its institutions by directly connecting them, by way of their relationship-building and engagement with the community, to modern Israel and the concept of Jewish peoplehood.

What will they do for our community?

The two Shinshinim will volunteer their time working in various agencies throughout the community, but will focus their efforts at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC), Community Day School (CDS) and Joint Jewish Education Program (J-JEP) in Pittsburgh.

Having a Shinshin in your home is an experience of a lifetime!

What do you need in order to host Raz and Hadar for five months periods (August 2018 – February 2019; late February 2019 – August 2019)?

  • Provide a private bedroom for the Shinshin
  • Provide meals
  • Host them as part of the family
  • Families are preferred to also have children at home
  • Live in Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Point Breeze or Regent Square
  • Get ready to have a great time!

To learn more about the Shinshinim program, or if you are interested in hosting a Shinshin in your home, contact Shani Turel at or 412-320-1935.

Hadar Maravent, Shani Turel, Kim Salzman

Pictured left to right: Hadar Maravent, Shani Turel and Kim Salzman, Director, Israel & Overseas Operations.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is thrilled to announce the inception of the "Shinshinim" program in the Pittsburgh community!

Press Release - 3/27/2018
Two Israeli High School Grads Volunteer at Jewish Institutions in Pittsburgh Through the Jewish Federation's Shinshinim Program

We have arrived!


One of the first stops - PNC Park for Jewish Heritage Night!



Raz Levin

Meet Raz Levin

  • He grew up in Rosh Ha'ayin, which is a small city near Tel Aviv.
  • He attended Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) summer camp in London and traveled to Lithuania as a young ambassador for the State of Israel.
  • One of his favorite sports is tricking, which is a dynamic sport that combines kicks and gymnastics.
  • He recently competed in "Israel's Got Talent" on Israeli national television.
  • He loves that Israel includes many cultures.


Hadar Maravent

Meet Hadar Maravent

  • She grew up in Karmiel, part of Pittsburgh's Partnership2Gether region.
  • In high school, she majored in social science to learn about the human behavior, and about different cultures and societies.
  • She has participated and volunteered in the Diller Teen Fellows program.
  • For the past four years, she has been a junior counselor in a youth movement. 
  • She loves taking trips to various different cities in Israel.