"Ben Ami"- Religious Training in Jewish Communities in The Diaspora
In many Jewish communities in the Jewish Diaspora, there is a growing interest in Jewish continuity and in strengthening the spiritual dimension of the community in general and in particular among the youth and the young families. Many see in the State of Israel a center and focus of inspiration and therefore the religious emissaries from Israel constitute for them an effective means for religious strengthening of their communities, and for strengthening the identification with the State of Israel.
The "Ben Ami" emissary project of the Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora - volunteer service to Jewish communities in the Diaspora – is now in its sixth year. A "Ben Ami" emissary works principally in small Jewish communities and serves as a religious guide and informal educator for the community. Among the diversified activities carried out by him in the community, the emissary also has the following functions: he serves as instructor of the young people and youth in a religious, Zionist and Israeli spirit, runs youth clubs, organizes community events and celebrations around Jewish holidays and the Israeli national holidays. He helps the local rabbi in running the synagogue and in various educational roles, e.g.: lessons in Bible, Mishnah and Jewish thought.
The emissary is young, after army service, with a religious education, proven experience in working with youth and usually he was an officer in the IDF. This year 16 Ben Ami emissaries left for the Diaspora, as follows: Sweden two cities: 1. Stockholm, 2. Goteborg, Denmark - Copenhagen, France - Toulouse, Hungary - Budapest, Italy - Rome, USA - San Francisco, Austria – Vienna.
There is a great demand for Ben Ami emissaries in the communities and the Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora intends to expand the number of communities receiving a "Ben Ami" emissary, in a gradual and controlled way.