Eight area synagogues will play host to Caravan Dagania, one of four troupes of Israeli young people who are touring North America this summer as part of the Tzofim (Israel Scouts) Friendship Caravan.
Each group of 10 young men and women serve as emissaries who share their experiences about growing up in the Jewish state through song, dance and storytelling. By summer's end, they will have educated and entertained some 100,000 people in camps, schools, community centers, synagogues, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
Each teenager in the caravan is a member of the 60,000-member strong Tzofim movement, a part of the International Scouting movement.
The organization is the only nonpolitical and nonsectarian youth movement in Israel. To qualify for the Friendship Caravan, candidates must demonstrate leadership skills, a high level of scouting, and an extensive knowledge of Israeli and Jewish history. They must also be fluent in English, have strong communication skills, exhibit patriotism and a desire to share their love for the land and people of Israel with North Americans. Once selected, they participate in an intensive preparation program before coming here.
The program offers a unique chance for cultural exchanges between Americans and Israelis, as well as promotes an understanding of the similarities and ties that connect the two populations. The experience certainly seems lasting, as many of the adult leaders who chaperone caravan youth are themselves program alumnus.
Performances are free and open to the public, thanks to major support from the Center for Israel and Overseas of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Join the Israel Scouts after the show for conversation and summer snacks. No prior registration is required. But get there early; seats tend to fill up fast!
Friday, Aug. 6 (6 p.m.) -- Congregation Beth Or, 239 Welsh Road, Maple Glen. Shabbat services to follow.
Saturday, Aug. 7 (7 p.m.) -- Temple Brith Achim, 481 South Gulph Road, King of Prussia. Program includes Havdalah service.
Sunday, Aug. 8 (7 p.m.) -- Shaare Shamayim Congregations, 9768 Veree Road, Philadelphia
Monday, Aug. 9 (7:30 p.m.) -- Beth Am Israel, 1301 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley
Tuesday, Aug. 10 (7:30 p.m.) -- Old York Road Temple Beth Am, 971 Old York Road, Abington
Wednesday, Aug. 11 (7:30 p.m.) -- Congregation Kol Emet, 1360 Oxford Valley Road, Yardley
Friday, Aug. 13 (7 p.m.) -- Congregation Tiferes B'nai Israel, 2478 Street Road, Warrington. Program begins with Shabbat services.
Sunday, Aug. 15 (7:30 p.m.) -- Temple Sinai, 1401 N. Limekiln Pike, Dresher