Our Marom Seminar in Latin America was held at Kehilat NCI, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The meeting was attended by 18 participants from Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, as well as local participants from Uruguay.
The main purpose was to work and to deep in traditional Jewish identity between young people who are leading or should soon lead projects related to Marom’s activity in South America.
On the other hand, the seminar took place at NCI, because they are interested in opening Marom’s activities in the city soon, and it seems to us that it was very appropriate to hold the seminar there in order to strengthen the identity of the movement in the region and to increase the local potential.
The seminar opened with a brief lecture that presented Marom’s work to participants through 6 different points that connect together: a spiritual-traditional center, “Merkaz Ruchani uMasorti”. Those are the values we believe in, and we also talked about how we develop these values, through the Kehilot, our connection to Israel, and leadership.
Rabbi Daniel Dolinsky, the local Masorti Rabbi, then carried out an activity that dealt with the question: Why is it important to establish young communities? Afterward, we discussed the challenges of working with young adults within adult communities.
In the evening, after the activities, the group went to a joint dinner.
On Friday, the group had a very fun guided tour through Montevideo, guided by Shai Abend, a Jewish educator who lived in Israel for many years and grew up in Uruguay. He worked in various youth movements and made the tour through the main Jewish places in Uruguay that tell the story of the Jewish community in the country through ancient synagogues. In addition, the group visited the Holocaust memorial on the beach.
After the tour, there was a preparatory activity for the Sabbath, which was led by members of the Bnei Yisrael congregation from Chile.
In the Kabbalat Shabbat, the rabbi dedicated a few words to Marom’s group. David Arias was invited to say a few words on behalf of the group, and after the prayer, there was a very festive Shabbat meal with songs, zmirot, and Torah. Activists from Brazil organized games for the Oneg Shabbat, and that was the end of the meal.
On Shabbat morning, the group arrived for morning prayers, participated in the Torah reading. After the prayer, we led a joint study based on the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot, which talks about the different ages in relation to the ability to study. We also discussed how we work with each age group in a different way.
In the afternoon, there were presentations of various projects of young people in Marom in Latin America. Each country presented its projects, and the other participants enriched the discussion with questions and comments.
On Saturday night, there was a great party towards the end of the seminar, and one morning, members of the Circulo Israelita community in Chile asked us on the question of what to do next, how to promote a joint project, how to leverage Marom’s brand in Latin America in particular and in the world in general.
The seminar was closed with very positive feedback from the participants, who asked for more information about Marom, and said at which points the seminar could be improved.