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JCC Global Newsletter | January, 2019

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Jewish Peoplehood LATINOAMERICA

Jewish Peoplehood LATINOAMERICA is a new project of JCC Global together with Universidad Hebraica and Fundación Metta Saade in Mexico City and Bama, Buenos Aires.

It is a collaborative and interactive research project that will explore what beliefs, behaviors and belonging attitudes best represent the Latin American Jewish communities.

The concept behind this project is that Jewish Peoplehood is built and enriched in a process whereby Jews from different communities and with different points of view confront similar challenges and find common ground. It is felt that to date, the unique Latin American Jewish voice is absent from previous publications and gatherings and it is time to bring it forth. In addition, it is felt, that local Jewish leaders in Latin America need a better understanding of the concept of Jewish Peoplehood and how to bring it to their various institutions.

The project will be implemented in three phases. During the first phase, qualitative information from diverse representative populations of different countries in the region will be collected. During the second phase, quantitative information in connection with best practices and challenges will be gathered as well. During the third and last phase, a compilation of essays in the form of a book augmented by on line presentations and a seminar will summarize the process. As part of this third phase, a hands-on manual for practitioners will be developed to help disseminate Jewish Peoplehood concepts and programs across the region.

We would like to thank Marcos Metta Cohen for initiating and sponsoring this ground-breaking project and to Prof. Yehuda Bar Shalom and Dr. Daniel Feinstein for spearheading the project with much intellect and enthusiasm.

Universidad Hebraica is the only Jewish university in Latin America. You are welcome to click here to read their new publication in English, Hebrew and Spanish that highlights their research areas and invites contributions from around the Jewish world.

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JCC Global Strategic Planning Retreat in Prague

The top leadership of JCC Global convened in Prague to deliberate the Strategic Directions Evaluation Survey and pave the way for a 2020-2025 JCC Global Strategic Plan.

The senior leadership of JCC Global and a few representatives of Amitim– Fellows, from 16 organizations, gathered in Prague, November 15-16, 2018 for a 24 hours JCC Global Strategic Planning Retreat. The gathering was the culmination of a yearlong planning process. Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz presented the findings of an extensive Evaluation Report and delegates engaged in fruitful discussions in order to design a 2020-2025 strategic plan. In depth interviews, survey results and the board retreat identified the needs of the field and strongly recommend that JCC Global will utilize the resources of the global network in order to enhance human resource development for JCCs the world over. In a few weeks, we will present how this vision will be translated into an action plan.

Click here to see some photos from the retreat.

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Amitim Update

Amitim update: Documentary movies produced by Phoenix project delegates from The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC in Bridgewater, New Jersey, the Kedem JCC in Chisinau, Moldova and the Beit Hakerem Community Center in Jerusalem were presented in Israel during a weeklong seminar.

“It was amazing and a special experience for me. I met new people and it was amazing to do a project together with Jews in other countries”

“I met friends for life from all over the world and learned about the life of Jews in the diaspora, the personal connection makes the difference.”

These are just two quotes from teens who participated in the Phoenix seminar in Israel. Phoenix- Rising from the ashes of the Holocaust to Jewish Renewal- is a JCC Global Amitim teen project Teens from the three communities spent a week together in Israel. The teens spent time learning about each other, their communities and sharing common experiences. They also designed the second part of the project which will focus on Jewish Renewal and will culminate in a seminar hosted by the teens in Bridgewater, New Jersey this coming summer.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos.

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Amitim Update

Amitim update: Almost 100 teens from Macabi OHA in Buenos Aires were hosted by 70 Israeli teens in a program organized by the Acco Community Centers as part of the Found You global project.

The guests from Argentina traveled to Israel as part of a one month madrichim (counselors) training course. In Acco, the community center collaborated with the Ort Darsky Akko school and planned a day long program. The program included experiential activities led by the teens as well as a musical Kabbalat Shabbat. The participants had a chance to get a taste of Jewish life in Argentina and Acco. Amitim– Fellows from Acco: Yoram Posklinsky. Executive Director and Orly Dahan, Board Member had a chance to spend time with Amitim– Fellow, Naty Furmansky, the Executive Director of Macabi Buenos Aires. Together they planned future joint programs and meetings.

See the Facebook post for more photos, and watch this video to get a better sense of the connections that was created between the teens in such a short time. The visit was also covered in Akko local media.

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Amitim Update

Amitim update: JCC Global has developed a method of conducting virtual meetings for global project participants who may not have a way to travel and meet face to face.

We encourage every joint project group to hold virtual video meetings between their participants. This allows the participants to get to know each other, learn about their partner communities, and get excited about their joint project. Since the logistical aspects of these meetings is not so simple, we compiled some recommendations on how to hold global video meetings. Press here to view JCC Global’s manual for global virtual meetings.

 Watch our joint project “Found You”, with partners from Mid Island Y JCC, NY, Akko Community center, Israel, Beit Dan in Kharkov, Ukraine and Macabi Buenos Aires, Argentina, get together online and light the last candle of Hanukkah together.

And also  see the Jewish communities in Mumbai, India, Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem, Israel, Zaporozhye, Ukraine, and Sid Jacobson, NY, USA celebrate Hanukkah together – Facebook post.

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A new model for a staff retreat

A new model for a staff retreat initiated by JCC Global Fellow Smadar Dromy, Director of the Community Centers in East Netanya who led a 30 staff member delegation to Bulgaria including a day long encounter with Shalom Bulgaria JCC.

The delegation included staff members from several community centers in Netanya East. For some of them, this was their first trip abroad. It was a chance to encounter first-hand the life of a thriving Jewish community that was re-established some 20 years ago. They learned about the history of the community and the current programs and activities. More than anything they were impressed by the young leadership that is leading the community. It was a chance for the guests to also reflect on their communities and identify strengths and weaknesses. The hospitality was so warm an inviting that the Netanya East guests invited their hosts to come visit.

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