(Courtesy of Young Israel of Scarsdale) On Shabbat, October 20, the Young Israel of Scarsdale welcomed children in first through eighth grade to the third snif of the year. Snif is a B’nai Akiva program held once a month, on Shabbat afternoons, that educates children about the State of Israel, upcoming holidays and current events in a fun-filled environment at YIS. The program is led by trained teenagers and by YIS’ two B’nai Akiva shlichot, who come to Scarsdale from Israel to spend a year in the community.
This year, YIS welcomed two new shlichot—Slenate Mkonen and Inbar Frenkel. Slenate is a 22-year-old former army commander from Tel Aviv. During her time in the army, Slenate worked with new Israeli immigrants, making sure that the “olim” made it through the grueling period of basic training. She also taught them Hebrew and helped them acclimate to Israeli culture. Inbar, 20, is from Rehovot. She just completed her two years of national service (sherut leumi), during which she worked at a school for at-risk high school students. Inbar is trained as a professional hair and makeup artist, but is taking the year off to work alongside Slenate and engage YIS youth and Westchester Day School students in the study of Hebrew language and the love of Israel.
This year marks the seventh anniversary of welcoming B’nai Akiva shlichot to the Young Israel of Scarsdale and Westchester Day School. The program was spearheaded by a local Scarsdale family who was hoping to raise excitement, engagement and awareness of Israel among the synagogue’s youngest members. Each year, YIS families host our shlichot in their own homes for lodging and Shabbat and holiday meals, allowing members to enjoy personal interactions with the B’nai Akiva leaders. Since the program’s beginning, says Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern, “it’s been an incredible value added for our community on so many levels. Over the years, the shlichot have truly brought the avirah (atmosphere) of Eretz Yisrael into so many homes and families throughout our kehillah.” For more information on the B’nai Akiva shlichot or other programs at the Young Israel of Scarsdale, visit yisny.org or call 914-636-8686.