Mazal Tov: Mass Jewish wedding in Havana
… It was no ordinary ceremony. Twenty other couples of all ages took their marriage vows in a ritual officiated by three visiting Argentine rabbis.Impoverished Cuban Jews began to receive aid from abroad, especially the JDC, which has helped rebuild a community of 1,500 people. Community leaders say their numbers have doubled, but many young Cuban Jews have immigrated to Israel…
Canadian Jewish News
Toronto student spends year volunteering in Poland
I grew up hearing the word kehillah – the Hebrew word for community – quite often in the Toronto Jewish community.I have learned a new wordgmina, the Polish word for community. I’ve learned that word since I began working for the JDC as a Jewish Service Corps volunteer placed in Warsaw, Poland, for one year.I have gotten involved in the local community, their programs, and their families. Each day I am amazed at what can be done here and how I, as a proud Canadian Jew, can help Jews in need overseas.
Baltimore Jewish Times
Black Sea Jews Plan E.U. Entry
…”We’ve been trying to break down walls between young people, to bring them together to realize there’s a whole Jewish community around them,” said Sadikario, 25, a Macedonian Jew — of a community of just 200 people — who works in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. However, with an E.U. border encircling Romania and Bulgaria, she said, “We will feel more unstable, as connecting and mobilizing people will be more difficult.” Attila Gulyas, 27, a Romanian Jewish youth leader, agrees. “Having 30 or 40 young people at an event is not the same as having 200 or 300” at a regional event, “which makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger,” Gulyas said. Not that the situation is so easy right now. A recent youth event in Sofia drew together several dozen Jews from Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Serbia, kicking off with a Shabbat dinner of bourekas, cheese and cake. But the event also came with a price: $600 for visas to bring the four young Turkish Jews by overnight bus. The fee, a small fortune for such communities, was paid by the JDC…
Canadian Jewish News
Buenos Aires: the suffering “Paris”
Today, I visited a shantytown a few blocks away from a strip of five-star hotels. I walked through with Ricardo, an employee of JDC. He is working with a contractor to build a $1,500 “home” for a single mother of eight children. I dropped into Baby Help, a program the JDC set up to help pregnant women and mothers of young children to supply them with the basic necessities to raise healthy Jewish children. I arrived when the children were napping and watched in amazement as they slept so peacefully. Many of these sweet children were from very impoverished homes and if not for Baby Help would eat one, perhaps two meals a day.
Israel to assist Sri Lanka improve emergency medicine
Israel has recently launched a long range plan to train the health authorities in Sri Lanka in the areas of trauma and emergency medicine. The project is being led by MASHAV, the Center for International Development and Cooperation in the Foreign Ministry, and in conjunction with the JOINT (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee), and is considered a flagship project. During the second stage, Israel will launch a donation of six ambulances (a donation from the JOINT) to Sri Lanka. In addition, Israeli experts will conduct workshops for local health professionals in Sri Lanka.
Federation of Jewish Communitites of CIS
Tatarstan Government Gives Major Grant to Rebuild Historic Synagogue and Jewish School
The President of the Republic of Tatarstan donated $400,000 to the Jewish Community of Kazan, to renovate the historic synagogue and Jewish school building. He stated that the Jewish Community will always feel at home on Tatar soil, since its aim is to unite all peoples, regardless of race or creed.The Chairman of the Community Mr. Alexander Velder, briefed the President with the Community’s activities throughout the past 10 years, including the humanitarian activities of the organization “Chesed,” funded by JDC, who serve more than 3,000 clients in the republic.
Baltimore Jewish Times
FSU Jews Struggle To Keep Young Leaders
…Indeed, many young Jews in the FSU — nourished by summer camps, youth groups, Jewish schools, training as youth counselors and perhaps a birthright israel trip — express pride in their Jewishness — Cognizant of this, the JDC, Hillel and others offer leadership and management training to scores of young FSU activists. “They are the backbone of Jewish renaissance in the region,” JDC Baltics representative Andres Spokoiny says. “Much of their childhood and youth was spent in democracy, in a context in which Jewish alternatives started to exist. Therefore, these kids are in a much better position than their parents to be community leaders because they have a much more Western outlook, more community experience and more Jewish knowledge.”