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JEUNES ADULTES - Reports on activities

4th Young Jewish Adult Forum: Testimony from Argentina

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A testimony from Sandra Sporn, participant to the 4th Young Jewish Adult Forum from Argentina

Doing a balance of my 2010, I realized that one of the most important things that I experienced was the Forum in Zurich so I wanted to share with you my thoughts and you can share this whoever you want...
Although it took some time and I was anxious until I was confirmed and told I was accepted to attend the event, along with the big decision I made on that time to invest my money to be part of Bnai Brith Forum Europe 2010, today I must say I am very glad I have trust it would be worthwhile to represent young people Bnai Brith Argentina and Latin America.

There are many emotions and thoughts that came across by sharing such an experience with 180 members from 25 countries, with whom you can find many similarities and differences and enrich amazing moments. The Forum opened a new world of endless possibilities, a human network and contacts with young brothers of Bnai Brith that create strong ties to be strengthen in the future.

Upon arrival, they gave us some time to exchange questions informally with other participants and I started noticing surprised faces and reactions from the majority because I was coming from Argentina: you came from so far away especially for this? I remember them saying. No one could believe it, because for them, only their 2, 3 or 4 hours trip to Zurich meant quite a lot.

Therefore, drawing the attention of my audience, I put “play” and went to explain that fairly recently we started in Buenos Aires to form the Social and Solidarity Youth Space and in some cases, at that point of my speech already triggered new questions which provided grounds to tell more details about our project.

How small is our world. In the hotel entrance, I met a participant from Luxembourg, we started talking and meanwhile I thought to myself what a familiar face!, but I thought I should be confused, he must have a resemblance with someone from Buenos Aires. While we were having dinner I shared what happened to me with him: his face looked me familiar, and coincidentally he told me that the same was happening to him. Incredible, we end up realizing that a year ago we were both part of a global convention of youth leaders in Israel.

It was really a unique opportunity. Bnai Brith Europe´s President was interested in getting to know more about our project and invited me to his city, London and said that we could count on him, which is great. For some minutes, I was abstracted from the dinner table, and starting paying attention to some people, which were having a conversation in one language and others in another language. French, English, German and even Spanish were the bridge to meet Bnai Brith experiences of the length and breadth of the world, but of course, English was the "official language" of the event.

I am very happy and proud knowing that in Buenos Aires, as youth, we are doing very well! It seems that it is not easy in any country, joining people together to commit and participate in Jewish institutions or socially or for solidarity purpose.

The assimilation is destroying future generations. As a young man told me, as we talked about the problems facing our communities: one day a bird and a fish fall in love, the two love each other deeply, but at one point they don´t know where to settle together and as a future family who wanted to be: in the water or in the air?

Without realizing it many mixed couples come to the same situation and put into jeopardize the continuity of the Jewish people for so many years been fighting to stay. And anti-Semitism was another big issue that repeatedly appeared in any casual conversation, no matter which countries´ representatives were part of that table.

We had passed through issues that moved and affected all alike as young Jews and had some others that we were different. We agreed that a big problem nowadays is that the huge population of Bnai Brith is old people. Therefore, it is extremely necessary that we join with youth strength, energy, new ideas and above all, commitment to achieving the goals.

I will assign a ten points grade to the Forum organizers, all well organized, including activities, speakers, food, hotel, tour. . It was really spectacular, taking into account up to the last detail. It is a unique experience sharing the kabalat shabbat and a special dinner with people from all over the world with different languages, but sharing all the same songs and prays.

It was very interesting to have the first day of an icebreaker, because from the beginning we were interacting with everybody. This dynamic was a great condiment, spontaneity and fun. I think it would have been good to promote, in the same way, the interaction between participants in other intermediate and a final moment during the forum.

It was very attractive the possibility they gave us to have a two-hours guided tour in the city of Zurich, as there were people traveling especially for the Forum and otherwise they would have gone home without any idea of that beautiful city.

On November 2011 it would have place the 5th Young Jewish Adult Forum in Marseille, France. Also, if everything goes well, perhaps next year they will be organizing a youth summit to be held on December in Uruguay! So those who are eager to participate can begin to join us to work and help us with the organizing and coordination of next year events.