Photo Credit: The "Israeli Experience" company, an educational subsidiary of the Jewish Agency
Young Jewish teachers clean up the Bat Yam Riviera Beach, October 2022.

Some forty young Jewish teachers from the Diaspora cleaned up the Bat Yam beach, south of Tel Aviv during the “ten days of awe” between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year. They came to Israel through the “Israeli Experience” company, an educational subsidiary of the Jewish Agency, as part of the “Teachers’ Journey,” and arrived at Bat Yam’s Riviera beach to experience up close the traditional Jewish Tashlich (casting) ceremony while connecting with nature through the cleaning of the beach in Bat Yam.

According to Jewish tradition, in the casting ceremony, the sins of the past year are symbolically thrown into the water to start the new year with a pure heart. But the humans of our planet don’t throw only their sins into the sea: every year, humans throw about 6 million tons of garbage into the water, endangering the health and safety of sea animals, of nature, and, eventually, of humanity as well.

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That’s why the Israeli Experience company decided to add a modern ceremony alongside the traditional Jewish one and integrate for the young teachers the importance of cleaning up nature between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which they dubbed Tashlich Ha’Hof (Beach Casting).

Young Jewish teachers clean up the Bat Yam Riviera Beach, October 2022. / The “Israeli Experience” company, an educational subsidiary of the Jewish Agency

David Ohana, from Los Angeles, who participates in the program, said it was an excellent opportunity to come and clean up the beach, which he said made him feel that they did something good for Yom Kippur.

Ariel from Miami added that he feels they are giving back to Israeli society by cleaning up the beach.

This event was also part of the Surfrider Europe Foundation’s “Ocean Initiatives” program and will be joined by the charity team of Celine Chemoni-Corcia in collaboration with Clean.

Amos Hermon, CEO of the Israeli Experience Company, said that “The young Jews come to Israel to help teach spoken English in the elementary schools. This year, there was an operation of reverse casting, which is part of the ocean initiatives when teachers from Jewish communities from all over the world joined volunteers who collected waste that was thrown on the beach and pollutes the sea and beaches.”

The “Teachers’ Trip” program was launched a decade ago and as part of it, approximately 160 Jewish young men and women from around the world come to Israel for ten months every year, to teach English in schools throughout the country, as reinforcements for Israeli teachers. So far, more than a thousand young people have participated in the project. A third of the teachers come to Israel through the Israel Experience Company, which is a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency, which operates the program, and with the assistance of the Ministry of Education.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.