Reform College Students Begin Cultural Ambassadorship to Argentina North and South American Reform Jews to Engage in Ten Days of Learning and Action
Sixteen Reform Jewish college students from across North America will start their summer vacations as cultural emissaries to Argentina. Students will travel from Miami to Buenos Aires to participate in the fourth annual KESHER Argentina Ambassadors Program from May 27 to June 7.
We are building bridges for the future of the Jewish community, said Rabbi Mike Mellen, director of Youth Programs. This program creates personal connections between two vibrant Reform Jewish communities, and has become important and meaningful to both the North American students and their Argentinean hosts.
The KESHER Ambassadors will spend ten days with their Argentinean peers, working on social action projects, learning about Jewish history in Argentina, and taking part in a unique Progressive Shabbat experience in Buenos Aires. Upon their return, the Ambassadors will work in their home communities and on their college campuses to educate others about the situation of the Argentine Jewish community.
Last year the Ambassadors set up a scholarship fund for Argentinean Progressive Jewish families to send their children to Jewish camps. Their efforts made it possible for 17 children to take part in the NETZER winter camp. NETZER is the International Reform Zionist Youth Movement.
This program is extremely selective. Each of the participants must demonstrate a strong commitment to Reform Judaism, social justice, and lifelong Jewish education. For more information please visit www.keshercollege.org/argentina. This years KESHER Argentina Ambassadors program was made possible through the generous support of the David Heller Family Foundation, the Lear Family Foundation Alternative Spring Break Fund at the Religious Action Center, and the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods.
KESHER, Hebrew for "connection" serves Reform Jews and supports Reform chavurot (groups) on campuses through partnerships with all Union congregations, Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and other campus organizations. KESHER also consults with Reform congregations and summer camps, as well as campus-based Hillel professionals to help them meet the needs of Reform college students.
The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.