Israeli Scouts coming to Temple Har Shalom |

Israeli Scouts coming to Temple Har Shalom

Scouting isn’t just about Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or Cub Scouts. It’s a worldwide and multi-religious program, said Arthur Lipman, vice president for relationships of the Great Salt Lake Council and Membership Impact of the Western Region.

"We have more than 220 countries in the world that are part of the Scouting movement," Lipman told The Park Record. "Also, while Scouting is largely identified in Utah with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we want people to understand that it isn’t just an LDS program.

"Charter partners of Scouting include all faiths, including Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist," he said. "We also have the service club charters such as the Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary and also have fraternal partners in the Elks and the Moose."

In addition, there is a fast-growing organization called Groups of Parents, has a Scouting program, as well.

"That group could be a neighborhood parent group, or a group that share hobbies and such," Lipman said.

One organization, the Israeli Scouts, are in Utah now and will perform along the Wasatch Front and Back, Lipman said.

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"They are called the Friends of Israel Scouts will be in the Salt Lake and Park City area for a week with performances," he said. "These kids are incredible. They sing, dance and are fluent in English. They will tell stories and customize the show to fit their audience."

The group will perform Friday at Temple Har Shalom, 3700 N. Brookside Ct., at 7:30 p.m.

Other performances include:

  • Wednesday, July 20, at the Bear Lake Aquatic Center, 12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 21, Olympic Plaza at the Gateway Center in Salt Lake City, noon, at Congregation Kol Ami, 6:30 p.m..

    The performances are co-sponsored by the Great Salt Lake Council and the United Jewish Federation of Utah. They are also supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Foundation.

    "This is now been several years in succession that these organizations have co-sponsored this group," he said.

    The Israeli Scouts do more than just introduce and celebrate Jewish culture, Lipman said.

    "It’s a cross-cultural sharing project," he explained. "They share culture of Israel with people in North America and it’s aimed at the general public and the scouting community."

    There are more than 1,000 young people in Israel who are active in the Israeli Scouts, known as Tzofim in Hebrew.

    "All of these youths have achieved the highest recognitions in that organization, an award that is somewhat analogous to our Eagle Scout," Lipman said. "More than 1,000 youngsters going into their senior year of high school auditioned for 40 positions within the Israeli Scouts."

    There are four caravans of 10 Scouts that cover different parts of the United States and Canada.

    "They will do part of the performances in Scout uniforms and some of the show in costumes, and they’ll mingle with the audience afterwards," Lipman said. "All the shows, which usually run from an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, will vary a bit from venue to venue, so it’s worth seeing more than one show."

    Lipman encourages the public, Scouts and Scout leaders to attend the performances.

    "Any Scout who comes will complete one of the requirements for the Citizenship in the World merit badge," he said. "That requirement is to participate in an international cultural event. We’ll give them all them a certificate that confirms they passed off that requirement.

    "Also, any Scout that comes in uniform will receive a commemorative patch as long as supplies last," he said.

    Programs such as the Israeli Scouts’ tour and performances are important because they introduce Scouting to segments of the community that may not be involved in a Scouting program, Lipman said.

    "Scouting is for all youth and encourages them to live ethical and moral lives according to the precepts of Scouting, which include the Scout Oath and Law," he said.

    The Israeli Scouts will perform Friday at Temple Har Shalom, 3700 N. Brookside Ct., at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.