On July 20, the 2019 Tzofim Friendship Caravan arrived at the Baltimore Zionist District (BZD) to perform for five days throughout the Baltimore area.
In short, BZD is a nonprofit organization that helps to connect Baltimore to Israel through various events and programs. Under the program organization and scheduling from BZD’s executive director, Caren Leven, the Tzofim traveled to various venues to perform throughout Maryland. For the Tzofim, as well as for each audience they performed for, it was a one-of-a-kind experience for everyone who took part.
This year’s Tzofim consisted of 12 caravan members (boys and girls) ages 16-17, including two young adult leaders. This group of talented teens connected Baltimore to Israel in a way that left each of their audience’s either in happy tears or a standing ovation. Rightfully so, these teens train for six months in Israel after being accepted into the Tzofim amongst as many as 300 other applicants. While the performing arts play a big factor in the overall approval to be a member of a caravan, these teens are chosen not just by their talent, but as well as their ability to speak English and overall positive qualities that make them so special.
During the Tzofim’s time here in Maryland, they traveled to J Camps, JCC (Owings Mills), Camp Louise, BT Camps and the Myerberg Senior Center, where they left each audience member on their feet, singing and dancing along to their infamous songs.
The Tzofim also celebrated their 60th show here in Baltimore, as they have to complete a total of 100 shows. While many may wonder how these teens are able to sing and dance for hours on end, and then jump into their van to drive to their next destination miles away from their last, the answer is quite simple. These teens have a passion for Israel that goes farther than words can express. Their love for the Jewish state is their driving force for coming to the United States, and helping to connect as many people as they can to Israel. If that means that the Tzofim must complete as many as four shows in a day, to total 100 shows in the U.S., well, that is what they will do if it means bringing Israel just a little closer to us.
They are one big mitzvah. The community of Baltimore and the Baltimore Zionist District could not be more proud to have had them here to help spread the positive and uplifting message that is the state we all hold so dear to our hearts.