March 2010


Chile Chile
Earthquake in Chile


The Joint contributes its experience in dreadful disasters through its International Development Program (IDP) which, among many other things, provides immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of both natural disasters and those caused by men, in more than 60 countries.

On February 27th, at 3:30 AM, an earthquake measuring 8.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit Chile.
On the same day the Joint was at the disposal of the Jewish Community of Chile, by appointing a permanent representative who actively collaborated with and formed part of the  Community National Emergency Committee created immediately after the disaster. From that time onward, the Joint collaborated to plan actions tending to contribute to the assistance and re-building tasks resulting from the earthquake, and it launched a fundraising campaign within the international sphere for such purpose.

The Jewish Community of Chile has started a fundraising campaign to collaborate with these tasks. Besides, it became immediately in charge of a campaign to collect food and medicines aimed at assisting the victims from the most affected areas. The proceeds of such campaign, amounting to 200 tons of goods, has been sent to Cauquenes province, around 350 kilometers to the south of Santiago de Chile and carried by trucks by the president of the Community, together with an important group of leaders and voluntary youths, in conjunction with the Army and the national political authorities. 

The Jewish Community of Chile has assumed the commitment to collaborate in re-establishing the health services in Cauquenes province, mainly in Curanipe town, which suffered both the effects of the earthquake and the tsunami. Apart from the destruction of a significant number of homes, its health infrastructure remained almost unable to operate due to the damages suffered in hospitals.

Despite the fact that fortunately there are no Jewish victims, there are families whose homes suffered significant damages. At the same time, some community buildings (synagogues) have been hit in Santiago, Valparaíso, Concepción, Temuco, etc.

Once the health assessment was conducted, a plan with diverse actions and priorities was defined. During the trip by the Associate Director for Latin America in Chile, the Joint committed itself to collaborate with the different tasks carried out by the Community National Emergency Committee, among which we can mention the purchase of a fully equipped ambulance to be donated to the Cauquenes province healths authorities. 

The Communitarian Committee for the National Emergency has opened an account to collect funds aimed at assisting its work, as follows:

Beneficiary Current Account: 5-001-581139-07.
Name of the Beneficiary: Comité Representativo de las Entidades Judías de Chile.
Bank: Banco de Chile
Address: Huérfanos 740, Santiago.

If you prefer to donate through the Joint: 
By credit card: www.jdc.org/donation 
By telephone: 212-687-6200 
By mail: Check payable to 
JDC-Chile Earthquake Relief 
P.O. Box 530 
132 East 43rd St 
New York, NY, 10017

This is not the first time that the Latin American office of the Joint performs actions in response to natural disasters. In 2007, an earthquake that measured 8.0 degrees on the Richter scale hit the south of Peru. Like in the Chilean case, immediately in the quake´s aftermath a representative of the Joint was present in the disaster area. At the same time, a fundraising campaign was launched to strengthen the supportive work of the Jewish Community of Peru which was materialized in the building of a school in Sunampe town, inaugurated in August 2008 with the presence of leaders from the Joint and from the local community.

In the case of Haiti tragedy, the Joint got involved in two main areas: the provision of medicines and medical equipment, and the provision of food. 
The Joint, which responded in the matter of hours, opened a special account aimed at fundraising for aid tasks and began conversations with its partners to determine the most effective way to work in such situation. A great part of collected funds have been applied to re-building programs and to put into practice some initiatives to provide the victims of the earthquake with health, education and employment opportunities.
To see more pictures, click here

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welfare programs

Argentina Argentina
Baby Help Opens New Home

Baby Help

aby Help, the Joint program aimed at assisting the needs of vulnerable families with children up to 5 years old from the Argentine Jewish Community, inaugurated its new home at the New Home and Day Care Center for the Elderly LeDor VaDor.

The new facilities, specially built for such purpose, will enable to develop a genuinely “inter-generational center”, unique in its kind, where children and older adults may share activities. 

The building has been possible thanks to a generous contribution made by Mr. Howard Schultz and his family, from Dallas, USA and the funds granted by Secretaria de Obras Públicas de la Nación (Argentine Secretariat of Public Works). The latter is the result of a sole collaboration agreement which is part of the program to assist intermediate organizations of such Secretariat.

By this means, the Joint wishes to express its gratitude to the authorities of Sociedad Hebraica Argentina JCC, which fully collaborated with Baby Help by providing their facilities during the last two years, as well as to LeDor VaDor, for having faced this new challenge and asserted its community commitment. 

To see more pictures, please click here.

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Boost to the Development of Fundraising in Brazil

During last December, Dr. Jorge Schulman delivered a workshop about basic strategies on fundraising within the framework of the General Conference of the Confederation of Jewish Institutions of Brazil (CONIB, for its Portuguese acronym). The presence of the country´s different federations and the interest shown by participants once again confirmed that the institutions require huge amounts of funds to accomplish their mission. It is necessary to mention that only an constant educational assignmente based on our main principles of Tzedaka may assure us future generations prepared to improve the community and the society where they live in.

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Cuba Cuba
Strengthening of Community Development in Cuba


The Joint has been accompanying the community development in Cuba for approximately 20 years, thus contributing its experience through the permanent presence of a couple of professionals who collaborate with the management and supervision of the different programs carried out in the different communities that make up the Jewish presence in this country. Weekly religious services, celebration of festivities, Judaic Studies Machon, rikudim, activities for older adults, children and adolescents are historically supported by JDC.

The training of young madrijim has a core role in the mission to guarantee the continuity of the Jewish life in Cuba, and the JDC has been promoting diverse initiatives contributing to their constant training.

Within this context, the second seminar for the training of madrijim in Cuba took place in Havana from January 22nd to 31st, where 17 youths participated from all over the country. The seminar was organized and coordinated by 8 madrijim from Shoresh supportive project belonging to Macabi JCC in Buenos Aires who traveled especially for this purpose. The seminar was organized in modules where different matters were addressed: non-formal education, Jewish festivities, history of Israel, Jewish philosophy, art and Judaism, among others. Both the Argentine and the Cuban youths carried out voluntary work by visiting beneficiaries of the Kesher program on social welfare and by weeding the Jewish cemetery. Participants have highlighted the importance of the experience which was possible for coexistence and the exchange of experiences.

On the other hand, on February 24 the annual course began aimed at communities from the interior of the island, especially focused on those people who wish to accomplish the requirements for their religious regularization. The workshop is in charge of Rabbi Shmuel Szteinhendler, who has been carrying out this task for the last 20 years in Cuba.

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Colombia Colombia
Advisory Services for Barranquilla and Medellín Communities

On January 19th and 20th, Joint consultant for Colombia Ram Tapia visited the cities of Barranquilla and Medellín to conduct advisory tasks related to the operation and future scenario of the community schools located in both cities: Unión Hebrew School, in Barranquilla and Teodoro Hertzl School, in Medellín.

The work agenda included meetings with leaders, professionals and volunteers of each community and school.

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Ecuador Ecuador
Teacher Training at Einstein School in Quito

The Joint has been developing an advisory and training process at Einstein School in the City of Quito, in charge of Rivka Anijovich. The joint work of the areas involving official and Judaic studies has been outstanding during February in relation to teacher training of primary school, high school and kindergarten teams, as well as the inclusion of topics related to project and learning evaluation. 

In addition to the above, the Joint and Einstein School organized an open conference aimed at Head Teachers and Teachers, where 300 Headmistresses and teachers from all over Quito participated, mostly from public schools, and which was also attended by the Kindergarten Supervisor of the Ministry of Education.

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UJCL´s 12th Convention

The Union of Jewish Communities of Latin America and the Caribbean (UJCL, for its Spanish acronym) celebrated its 12th Convention in the city of Panama, in January. Fabián Triskier and Jorge Schulman participated in the Convention and had the opportunity to be lecturers in different activities. Dr. Triskier lectured on welfare actions as foundation of community life, interspersing his experience on implementation of welfare programs in Latin America´s crisis, and his vision from a Jewish world view. On the other hand, Dr. Schulman lectured on the situation of the Jewish Community in Venezuela which, as the entire Venezuelan society, is immersed in the social changes driven by President Chávez and going through the resulting work of adaptation to the new situation. To see images and read more about the Convention http://ujcl2010.blogspot.com/

We wish to take advantage of this opportunity to publicly congratulate the Executive Commission of the UJCL and the organizers of the Convention for the strength, quality and warmth of the proposal.

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organizational consultancy

Argentina Argentina

The Latin American Center of Training and Research for Jewish Institutional Leadership organized different training and consultancy meetings with professionals and volunteers belonging to diverse organizations located in the City of Buenos Aires during the summer months. Last February 24th a training activity was carried out for Jewish School head teachers in collaboration with Bamah. It was entitled “Miscellaneous Reflections on some Ingredients forming part of the Head Teacher’s Role” and it was in charge of Lic. Natan Sonis. Attendants included 30 head teachers from Buenos Aires, Bahía Blanca, La Plata, Tucumán, Mendoza, Chaco and Montevideo, among others. 

In turn, in February and March two meetings were held with the Executive Committee of AMIJAI community. It was entitled "Reviewing the Mission" and the work focal point was to rethink the organization´s actions in the future. On this occasion the teacher facilitating the activity was Lic. Patricia Kahane. 

On the other hand, and in the context of the work the Lamroth Hakol Community Center has been performing for several years now, on February 26th an institutional planning and reflection meeting was held. The meeting was attended by 70 professional and volunteer leaders and was aimed at thinking of the possible future scenarios for this community, as well as at establishing actions enabling to consolidate the organization´s growth. Coordination was in charge of Lic. Rubén Schonfeld who contributed his personal experience and knowledge of the organization, and was able to set an ideal work climate to comply with the proposed objectives. 

To see other Organizational Consultancy activities carried out by Leatid, click here...

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Chile Chile
Collaboration Agreement between the Villa Israel Home for the Elderly and the Joint

The Home for the Elderly Villa Israel in Santiago, Chile, has addressed the challenge to move to a new location where facilities will be built within an advanced project, trying to provide the adequate response to the needs of its residents. The premises where the new site will be built is located at La Dehesa, next to several community institutions and to the places of residence of most of Santiago´s Jews. 

The current facilities will be sold in order to allocate such funds to build the new Home. The Home Executive Committee has conducted a significant task in planning the new Project, and has requested to be advised on its implementation by the Joint. Jorge Schulman and Fabian Triskier traveled to Santiago in January and jointly with Villa Israel directors defined a series of training activities comprising fundraising and advisory tasks in everything related to services and operation. 


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Paraguay Paraguay
The Joint accompanies the Community of Asunción in its process of change

Starting with the current year´s school term, Estado de Israel School will move to a new site. This change is due to the need of counting on a modern space in the area where most Jewish families live in Asunción. It is a very ample house that has conveniently been adapted in the summer in order to be in optimal conditions when classes start. 

On the other hand, religious services will begin to be performed at the sports camp of Unión Hebraica of Paraguay. Thus, it will be possible to achieve a better concentration of activities in a more modern and adequate place as well as the reduction of fixed costs. 

From both these moves, a building has been released and members of the Jewish Representative Council of Paraguay (CRIP, for its Spanish acronym) are considering which the best real estate option is according to the Community´s objectives and interests.

The Joint continues supporting this transformation and change process through its consultants, by means of advisory and training tasks as well as by accompanying both directors and professional staff members of the Jewish Community of Paraguay in this undertaking.

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Argentina Argentina
Promotion of Projects aimed at Adolescents and Youths

1317 Project

13/17 was conceived as a non- formal education project for Jewish adolescents in school break periods when, except for camps, there are not many opportunities to participate in community institutions in Argentina. It began in 2003, when this country was going through a socio-economic crisis, and it has been going on uninterruptedly during all these years. Its challenge consisted in generating an innovation and experimentation place for proposals aimed at adolescents. 

In 2010, 13/17 Project carried out a new summer season. The program was conducted at Amzse JCC facilities, located in Tigre, and was sponsored by the University of Palermo and the Argentine Federation of Maccabean Community Centers (FACCMA, for its Spanish acronym). A total 1180 adolescents took part, and a significant percentage of them are not related to any community institutional framework. Thus, 13/17 becomes an entrance door to community life.

In addition to traditional activities such as sports, board games, crafts, among others, 13/17 offered activities responding to concerns and problems of current youths and contributing to strengthen their Jewish identity. 

On the other hand, Club Nautico Hacoaj JCC aimed at providing a new space for participation and interaction for Jewish youths between 18 and 30 years, in the summer months. In order to do this, it generated an exclusive proposal for this population, by offering its facilities on the island it owns in the Delta of Tigre, about 40 kilometers from the City of Buenos Aires. Said proposal consisted in several meetings open to all Community youths and not only to club members. Approximately 130 youths attended these meetings, and approximately 70% of them are not related to any community institutional framework. 

The Joint was invited to take part in the planning activities and supported the initiative jointly with other Jewish organizations. 

To see more pictures, click here.

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Argentina Argentina
Free Passover Haggadah for visually impaired people

The JBI (Jewish Braille Institute), with support from the Joint, will freely distribute Passover Haggadot with expanded letters to visually impaired people.  For more information, please communicate with Cynthia Gurfinkel at: 4826-2000 (ext. 109) Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 to 14:30 or write to: cgurfinkel@jbilibrary.org

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Newsletter Nº 78
Non-sectarian Programs
Welfare Programs
Organizational Consultancy
Innovation & Program Development





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