1. What is the UJA ShinShinim program? UJA’s ShinShinim are young Israeli leaders who defer their post-high school army service to come to the GTA for one year to volunteer in our community. Living with local Toronto families and working with a wide variety of community partners, they engage more than 3,000 Jewish community members each year with diverse creative programs focusing on contemporary Israel.

  2. Why be a Host Family? Hosting a UJA ShinShin in your home provides an opportunity to form meaningful and enriching relationships with the ShinShin and their family in Israel, introducing them to our lives as Jews in Canada, while gaining insider perspectives and enhanced knowledge of life in Israel today.

  3. What’s required to be a Host Family? All you need is a dedicated bedroom in your home for the ShinShin, with a bathroom close by, and an extra chair at your table. You DO NOT have to be affiliated with a Jewish institution and you do not have to have young children in your home in order to host a ShinShin.

  4. What support is offered by UJA to a Host Family? Experienced Israel Engagement volunteers will help and support you leading up to and throughout your hosting experience. UJA also has a dedicated professional team to guide you and support all of the ShinShinim. As well, UJA offers a cheque exchange program for Host Families, providing a donation tax receipt of up to $3,000.

  5. How long is the hosting period? A hosting period can be anywhere from three to seven months, with each ShinShin typically having two Host Families during their time in Toronto. The ShinShinim return to Israel to visit their families for two weeks during our winter break. We have Reserve Families available should it be necessary to relocate a ShinShin temporarily (e.g. if your family has booked a vacation).


The UJA ShinShinim will arrive in Toronto fully vaccinated with full health coverage. They will quarantine together for two weeks before moving in with their Host Families. Depending upon the evolving public health situation, the program will be run virtually, in person, or as a hybrid of both. All of UJA’s partner institutions work with medical and safety advisors, who will be constantly examining and evolving health and safety protocols, together with UJA.

UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and UJA's Shinshinim logos