Jewish Agency establishes South American fund


(JTA) — The Jewish Agency has established a Fund for the Jewish Future to strengthen the connection of young South American Jews to Israel and to the global Jewish community.

The program, announced Wednesday at the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting in Buenos Aires, will launch next year. The agency said that $1 million already has been committed to the fund.

The fund will focus on local activities for young South American Jews who have visited Israel through Taglit-Birthright or participated in long-term Israel experiences through Masa, and sending young people on social action missions throughout the world. More than 1,000 young people from Argentina participate each year in the Masa program.

“The Jewish community in Argentina is uniquely Israel-focused and connected," said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. "One quarter of the community has already made aliyah, and for those who remain in Argentina, Israel serves as the glue that keeps the community together and strong. The fund is a new model developed by the Jewish Agency where the local community finances the Israel experiences for the members of their own community,”

It is the first time in a decade that the Jewish Agency Board of Governors has met outside of Jerusalem, in order to observe the activities of the Jewish Agency in South America.

Board members held a memorial service for the victims of two terrorist attacks that shook the Jewish community in Argentina: the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, which killed 85 and wounded more than 200, and the attack on the Israeli Embassy in 1992 in which 29 people were killed.

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