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Meet Jco’s 2019-2020’s shinshinim

JEWISHcolorado, in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel, is hosting four Israeli teens, shinshinim, to take part in a community service gap year between high school and army service. 

These teens will share Israeli life, culture and politics with students and Coloradans of all ages at area synagogues, religious schools, secular schools and other Jewish organizations. They are spending the year living with local Colorado host families.

Omer Pereg is from Ramat HaNegev, and lived on Camp Ramon, the Israeli Air Force Base where his parents served as officers in the Israeli Air Force. Two months ago, his parents retired from service and the family moved to Shoham. Omer has two younger sisters, Yael, 13, and Noa, nine. 

Omer Pereg, left; Gaya Ben Zour

All four teens will spend time at Jewish Student Connection clubs, and have individual assignments.

Omer studied at Ramat HaNegev’s environmental studies boarding school. Three years ago, he came to Denver during the exchange program with Denver Jewish Day School’s 10th grade class. He fell in love with Colorado and knew he wanted to come back as a shinshin. 

Omer will appear at sites throughout Denver and Boulder, including the CU-Boulder Hillel, Har HaShem and Bonai Shalom. He is excited to teach Zionism and bring creativity to learning about Israel. He enjoys running, swimming, biking, hiking and climbing.

Gaya Ben Zour was born in Tel Aviv and her family lives in Shoham. Her father is a marketing and sales manager and her mother is an insurance company manager. She has a younger brother, Reem, 15. 

Gaya chose to do a gap year so that she could make a community impact and bring knowledge and experience back home to have an impact in Israel as well. She has served as a counselor with the Israeli scouts and enjoys opportunities to be a leader and inspire others.

Or Schraiber, left; Dana Doron

One will find Gaya working at the upper division of DJDS, HEA, B’nai B’rith and BMH-BJ preschool. She is excited to learn about a different culture and be involved in creative education. Gaya plays guitar and piano and enjoys singing, dancing, reading, cooking and traveling.

Or Schraiber is from Timorim, a small moshav in the North part of Israel. His father is a teacher and his mother is a doctor. Or has two younger siblings, Shay, 16 and Ram, 15.

Or is interested in the cultural exchange between Israel and Colorado, and hopes this year helps him learn about himself, American culture and Jewish life in America. 

Or will be in the lower school at DJDS, Rodef Shalom and Temple Emanuel. He enjoys working with children and teens, playing basketball, bowling and mini golf, and can’t wait to learn how to ski.

Dana Doron lives in Kohav Yair, a small town in the center of Israel. Her dad is a civil engineer and her mom is a teacher. Her family lived in India for three years, where she studied at an American school. She has an older sister, Neta, 22.

Dana is looking forward to sharing Israel with American kids and teens and experiencing a new culture outside of Israel. She hopes to learn more about Jewish life in the US. Dana spent many years in the Israeli scouts and brings a fresh perspective on Israel. 

Dana will be found at Temple Sinai and CU Hillel. She enjoys hiking, dancing, running and spending time outdoors.

Information: or Michelle Schwartz, 303-951-0270.

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