Israel and American Jewry are drifting apart. While many American Jews engage with Israel in multiple ways, Israelis know very little about their American sisters and brothers. The lack of familiarity results in a growing sense of estrangement, splintering the two centers of the Jewish world. In doing so, we are compromising the prosperity and risking the joint future of the Jewish people.
Interwoven/שָׁזוּר was founded to help Israelis gain a better understanding and renewed appreciation of their American counterparts. To bridge the emotional gap, we first need to overcome the knowledge gap. Interwoven/שָׁזוּר creates the conditions to bridge both of these gaps through its unique programming and approach.
We curate immersive experiences, interpersonal encounters, on-site learning, workshops and plain old fun, that introduce Israelis to the building blocks of American Jewry and its contribution to the unfolding story of our people. By offering our services to groups of all backgrounds and ages, we aim to reach a critical mass of Israeli opinion makers, and cultivate a renewed sense of shared destiny between the two epicenters of world Jewry.
Based on Dr. Elan Ezrachi's groundbreaking work, we at Interwoven/שָׁזוּר aim to serve three primary demographics:
In recent years, Interwoven/שָׁזוּר has provided educational content and logistical support for nearly all of the Israeli leadership missions visiting New York. We construct itineraries rich with impactful, immersive experiences that are tailor-made for the needs of each group. We create the pre and post component to every mission, allowing the participants to prepare for and reflect on the experience throughout the duration of the trip.
Interwoven/שָׁזוּר is the first and only trip provider in the field that abides by the standards of practice set forth by Belong and UJA Federation of New York. Our partnership with Belong allows us to set the standard for professionalism and excellence in this emerging educational field.
Founded by former emissaries (Shlichim), Interwoven/שָׁזוּר is best equipped to develop programs for the variety of emissaries in the field. To that end, we collaborate with the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to develop cutting-edge programs for their various emissary tracks. Including, but not limited to working with Shinshinim, Israel campus fellows, summer camp Shlichim and teacher Shlichim in the Greater N.Y. and Bay areas.
Each of these programs allows the Shlichim to process their experience, hold meaningful dialogue with American peers, and provides them with a better understanding of the community they serve, empowering them to act as living bridges between Israel and Diaspora Jewry upon their return to Israel.
Interwoven/שָׁזוּר and the Bnai Bayit program joined forces to enhance each other's work with this untapped demographic. Bnai Bayit matches Israeli graduate students with host families in the local Jewish community for the year. The opportunity to spend weekends, Jewish and national holidays together, offers these Israeli students an unmitigated insiders glimpse into American Jewish life.
Along with providing them with a host family, we offer the students membership at the JCC, giving them an additional access point to the broader community. Finally, the Israeli cohort commits to attend monthly symposiums which include academic level lectures, walking tours and workshops about the history, sociology, demography, and theology of American Jewry — providing a broader Jewish context for their experience in the U.S.
Metrowest Shinshinim and NYU Hillel tour of LES