When Rwanda Met Estonia: Launching a New Year of Global Jewish Service
When high schooler Danielle Falk picked up a copy of "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families," a book about the Rwandan genocide, it changed her life forever.
The vivid descriptions of the slaughter of Tutsis by the Hutu in the African country during the 1990s left a lasting impression on the 16-year-old, eventually influencing her decision to pursue a career in the not-for-profit world.
Now 25, the native New Yorker is preparing to spend a whole year in Rwanda at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village as part of JDC's Global Jewish Service Corps (JSC).
“Agahozo means to dry one's tears while shalom means peace,” she said, speaking at the JSC gathering held at JDC headquarters in New York City this August. “It provides an education that a lot of young adults would not have had access to and provides family structure and support.”
Falk was one of about 30 young adults who attended the orientation before going out into the field. Over the coming weeks and months, JSC fellows will ship out to places as far and wide as Buenos Aires, Argentina; Krakow, Poland; Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India and Jerusalem, Israel, where they will serve local Jewish communities and help individuals in need.
The Global Jewish Service Corps is an initiative of JDC Entwine, a one-of-a-kind movement of young Jewish advocates, influencers, and leaders who seek to make a lasting impact on the global Jewish community. For more information about JDC Entwine, go to www.jdcentwine.org.
“The Jewish Service Corps provides an unparalleled opportunity for young Jews to interact with real global Jewish needs and international issues and to use their unique skills and talents to address challenges in local communities” said Shauna Ruda, program director of global volunteer programs for JDC Entwine.
This year, JSC organizers selected fellows from among hundreds of applicants. Most participants are from North America but in recent years there has been increased interest from individuals from other countries.
Maytal Kuperard of London will spend a year in Shanghai, while Olena Kushnir of Kiev, Ukraine, will work at the Young Adult Centers in Jerusalem.
Most fellows will begin their service in the coming weeks. Until then, they are busy getting vaccinations, spending time with friends and family, and, for Falk, rereading the book that originally piqued her interest in Rwanda.
“I’m sure I’ll see it very differently once I’m there,” she said.
An Error Occurred
Logging In With One of Your Social Web Site Logins
Instead of trying to remember a bunch of special username/password combinations to log in to different web sites that you visit, you can now link your account on this web site to your account on one (or more) of the social media web sites shown and log in with the same username/password combination that you use on that social web site to log in to our site.
To provide this connection in a secure manner, we use Gigya, a social network connection provider that works behind the scenes to make safe, secure connections between user accounts on different systems, such as popular social media web sites like Facebook and web sites like ours where you are actively involved in social issues and causes.
Each time you log in, Gigya uses special application programming interfaces (APIs) to establish the connection between the sites and validate your username and password. Neither our web site or Gigya receive or store your social network passwords.
In addition to reducing the number of logins you have to remember, connecting your accounts can make it quicker and easier to share an activity or cause you feel passionately about from our web site with your friends on your social web sites.
You can break the connection between your accounts at any time.