In a ground breaking new initiative, the Jewish Agency is teaming up with local philanthropists to make Israel experiences more accessible to young Argentinian and other Latin American Jews.
The Fund for the Jewish Future (Cono Sur) will grant its first million dollars in 2012 for pre- and post-birthright programs, professional internship trips to Israel, social action programs and Israel experiences for the smaller “interior communities” where assimilation is higher than in the large coastal cities. The fund is a partnership between the Jewish Agency and local Argentinian philanthropists to provide Israel experience programs to their own young members. The funders have committed an initial $1m. to be spent next year.
Speaking to eJP during the current Board of Governors meetings in Buenos Aires, Natan Sharansky said, “Argentina’s Jewish community is uniquely Israel-focused and connected. A quarter of the community has made aliyah and Israel is the glue that holds the community together.”
What is unique in this arrangement is donors from Argentina are paying for the Jewish Agency platform in order to provide Israel experiences for Argentinians. Expect to see this model roll-out in multiple locales going forward.