The St. Louis Friends of Israel Scouts (FOIS) troop was formed eight years ago. The troop was named “Shevet Keshet” (in Hebrew), which translates to the “Arch Troop.” Throughout the school year, Shevet Keshet holds weekly meetings, special ceremonies and events, and two weekend overnight camping trips (one in the Spring; one in the Fall) for children in grades 3-8. All of the programs are in Hebrew and are planned, organized and led by the Scouts in grades 10-12, who are known as the “Shachbag” (an acronym for the words “older level”), with support and supervision from an adult Scouting Coordinator (“Merakezet”) and parent volunteers.
The goal of FOIS is to develop and maintain a connection between the Tzofim (Israel Scouts) movement in Israel and North American Jewry. The Tzofim movement is the only youth movement in Israel that is both non-political and non-sectarian. Both the Tzofim and FOIS recognize that Israel’s youth are its hope and future.
FOIS’ objectives are to:
- Strengthen relationships between Israel and North American Jewry
- Project Israel in a positive light
- Promote brotherhood, tolerance and respect among people of all faiths
- Form strong bonds of friendship between the Israeli youth