Bring a Bit of Israel to Your Home this Summer
Host an Israeli Camp Counselor!
Each summer, Apachi Day Camp hires Israeli staff, known as shlichim, who enrich our Apachi community by exposing our campers to Israeli culture and traditions. This summer, you can bring a bit of Israel to your home by hosting an Israeli counselor! The J is looking for families who live in the surrounding areas of Lake Zurich and Evanston to host our schlichim.
I’ve got five GREAT reasons why you should be a host family!
1. We Learn What It’s Really Like to Live in Israel
Getting to know Israelis opens up a new way of seeing and understanding Israel. Shlichim bring Israeli customs, culture, perspective and traditions into your home for you and your family to experience with them. And for many, it’s what lights the fire that actually gets us there for a visit.
2. We get to Share a Slice of American Life
Our shlichim are also excited to learn about your family’s way of life, and you’ll get to introduce them to our holidays and traditions such as 4th of July! As you show them around, you can revisit some of your favorite places and maybe even take advantage of something you’ve been meaning to do (Sky Deck at Willis Tower? Skokie Lagoons? Boating at Independence Grove?)
3. They are our Home Away From Home When we go to Israel
No family in Israel? Not anymore. In Israel, lines between friends and family blur. Once you’ve connected with a shaliach, you will always have a home in Israel.
While Israel truly is a country of all different colors, languages, religious beliefs and observances, our shlichim show us that we have so much in common.
5. They Inspire us to be More, do More
We can always count on our Israeli staff to tackle a challenge or something unknown head on. It’s truly amazing to see them jump into a community that doesn’t speak their native language, fully integrate themselves, embrace our host families as their own and our special camp traditions.
A past host family has said “we loved having Re’em spend the summer with us. He was like a big brother to my boys and a little brother to me—we still miss having him here.”
In order to really understand how incredible being a host family is, you must experience it first-hand. This is a truly rewarding experience.
Being a Host Family – The Details
The length of hosting times can vary depending on the host family’s availability, but we ask for a minimum four-week (Apachi Evanston) or two-week (Elaine Frank Apachi) commitment. Staff orientation begins the week of June 6, and the shlichim usually arrive a few days before to get settled in. Camp runs from Monday, June 13 – Friday, August 5.
Host families are not legally responsible for our Israeli staff. Full medical and accident insurance coverage is provided. Israeli staff will provide his/her own spending money for expenses incurred outside of the home. Responsibilities of a host family include:
- Providing a separate bedroom
- Daily meals with the family
- Some local transportation; JCC Chicago will make arrangements for transportation to and from camp if needed
- Open communication, encouragement and advice
If you are interested in being a host family and welcoming an Israeli counselor into your heart and home, please email Andrea Merfeld, Director of Apachi Evanston, or email Jamee Smith, Director of Elaine Frank Apachi. They are happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss this special opportunity in more detail.