Young Jewish innovators to gather in Buenos Aires


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Some 50 young Jewish social innovators from 16 countries will gather in Buenos Aires to discuss innovative ways to connect to Jewish life.

The social entrepreneurs and Jewish innovators will participate in the ROI Community’s Ibero-American Gathering Nov. 23-27. The ROI Community is an international network of 600 social entrepreneurs and Jewish innovators in 40 countries who are creating innovative ways to connect to Jewish life.

“We need a ‘Jewish Spring’ that transforms the Jewish world into a more inclusive and welcoming home for anyone who wants to be Jewish,” Lynn Schusterman, who created the ROI Community in 2005 as a partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel, told JTA.   

ROI Community Executive Director Justin Korda said the gathering will spotlight Latin America’s dynamic Jewish social entrepreneur.

“They are introducing inclusive, open and accessible ways of expressing Judaism," Korda said. "At the same time, they are fostering dialogue with society at large to encourage participation, promote diversity, and stem discrimination.”  

Among the young social leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Israel, Mexico and 10 other countries coming to Buenos Aires are artists, environmentalists, media and tech gurus, educators, Israel advocates, intercultural dialoguers and others whose projects are impacting and invigorating Jewish communities throughout Latin America and beyond.

"These young change agents are key to ensuring the vibrancy of Jewish life 3,000 years down the road,” Schusterman said.

As Latin America assumes a growing global role economically and diplomatically, the idea of a “Jewish Spring” in the region or from the region to the world apparently is not only a matter of youth.

On Nov. 16, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky announced  a $1 million Fund for the Jewish Future for 2012 to strength the connection between young South American Jews to Israel and the global Jewish community. The announcement was made at the end of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in Argentina, the first time in 15 years that the summit has been held outside Israel.

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