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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


May 19, 2017  RSS feed

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Israeli Scouts to entertain in Clearwater and St. Pete

Israeili Scout troupe who will be performing here Israeili Scout troupe who will be performing here For more than 40 years, teen-age Israeli Scouts have been traveling to America every summer to serve as ambassadors for their nation, entertaining and making friends along the way.

The Tzofim Friendship Caravan of Scouts will roll into Pinellas County for two performances on Friday, June 16.

The scouts will bring their high-energy song and dance show to the Jewish Federation’s new Jewish Community Camp, at 2 p.m. at Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater. The community is invited to join campers for the performance. There is no charge to attend, but an RSVP is required by contacting the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties at (727) 530-3223 or

Later that day the teens will head to Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg for an interactive musical program for all ages at 5 p.m. and a musical Shabbat service at 6:30 p.m. These events are also open to the community and at no charge.

However, there is a $5 charge per person for a mac and cheese dinner, which will be served in conjunction with the event. For those interested in the dinner, RSVP to Maureen Sechan by Wednesday, June 14 at or (727) 381-4900, ext. 1011.

The scouts visit to Pinellas County are co-sponsored by the congregation and the Federation.

Founded in 1973, the first Caravan came to the United States to bring a message of hope and peace for Israel. Since that first Caravan, the program has grown to three different Caravans traveling across North America.

There is stiff competition from various scout chapters in Israel to become caravan members and each of the caravan groups consists of five boys and five girls, and two leaders. After several rounds of competitive auditions and interviews, the scouts spend a year training and rehearsing for their summer in North America. Their objectives, through the use of song, dance and telling their personal stories, are to strengthen relationships between Israel and North American Jewry, to project Israel in a positive light, and to promote brotherhood, tolerance and respect among all faiths.

The group that will be visiting here includes 16 and 17 year olds from a variety of backgrounds and locations within Israel, but all with a love of meeting new people and performing. Like their American teen-age counterparts, they enjoy sports, music, hanging out with friends. All are high schoolers and their lists of subjects or “majors” in high school are pretty impressive, including Omer Nulman, who majors in physics, biomedics, electronics and computers, and Nadav Blatman, who is majoring in theater, drama and chemistry. Another scout, Tamar Etzion, has been dancing since age 7, while another, Shir Haimov, is majoring in psychology and music, specifically jazz and funk.

One of the two leaders is Tom Sabban, 24, who was in the Caravan in 2009 and served in the Israeli SIGINT national unit as commanding officer heading a team of intelligence analysts. The other leader is Merav Lachman, 23, who was in the 2010 Caravan and served in the IDF as an intelligence officer, holding the rank of lieutenant before leaving the army after four years of service.

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