Spirit And Energy
Israel Scout Caravan uplifts attentive audiences at area JCCs.
Special to the Jewish News
ike many of the 300 people
watching the Israel Scouts'
Tzofim Friendship Caravan
— a group of 10 singers and
dancers from Israel — Ann Arbor resi-
dent Yael Zoldan felt a connection.
But her connection differed from the
others filling the Jewish Community
Center of Washtenaw County on Aug.
11. She shared the tug of the Jewish
homeland and heritage they all felt —
but, in addition, Zoldan had been once
been one of the performers.
When she was living in Israel and
about the same age as the 10 young
men and women on stage, Zoldan par-
ticipated in the co-educational youth
movement currently boasting 60,000
The performers, who have traveled to
17 states in 10 weeks in a white van
with a trailer attached, performed an
hour-long show addressing Israel's past,
the peaceful future they dream of, and
everyday life in the country they say
many only hear about through the
'A lot of people think of Israel as so
bad because of what they see on the
news, then they see us; they see there's so
much they don't see, so many sides,"
Caravan member Itay Ashkenazi said.
"They see us, our energy, us happy and
He and the others encouraged the
audience to clap along and pulled audi-
ence members to dance with them as
they sang popular, and often familiar,
tunes in Hebrew and English. They are
part of a 100-youth delegation of 16-
and 17-year-olds currently in the United
States on a summer tour. Thirty perform
in troupes of 10 around the country and
70 work at summer camps, sharing their
stories and experiences in a program that
was started in 1958.
Ashkenazi said he considers himself
and the other scouts "ambassadors of
Israel in an informal way." He said he
enjoys participating in the program
because he thinks more people need to
know that Israel is different than televi-
sion tells them it is — that it is a special
place that makes an impact on many
people's lives and a home for the Jewish
people. He thinks the crowds watching
this and the 88 other performances his
troupe has done so far, for the most
part, understand the message.
"When we start performing, the
crowd projects to us so much love and
SPIRIT on page 38
Seated are Israeli Scouts Eden Cohen of Ashdod, Tali Dotan of Ganei Tikvah, Matan Tzivamon of Asseret,
Mahol Hetly of Tel Mond, Itay Ashkenazi of Nofit. Standing are Hadar Moskovitz of Shoham, Lihi Erel of
Ramat Gan, Roei Dagul of Haifa, Yael Shirit of Ganei Tikvah, Oded Nadir of Deer Yakov.
Right: Itay Ashkenazi leads the troupe in song.