JCCs officially launch global partnership at JCC Global World Conference, Nov. 8, Tarrytown, NY

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Nov. 10 – Jewish Community Centers in Baltimore; Ashkelon, Israel; and Odessa, Ukraine, will partner for the first time as part of the JCC Global’s Amitim 2.0-Fellows: A Global Leadership Network program. The JCCs officially launched the partnership yesterday at the JCC Global World Conference, Nov. 5-9, in Tarrytown.

The Amitim 2.0-Fellows is a three-year Global Leadership Network program that brings Jewish Peoplehood concepts and programs to the next generation of JCCs worldwide and expands the global network of Jewish leaders and JCCs.

As part of the program, leaders of the JCC of Greater Baltimore; the JCC in Ashkelon, Israel; and the Beit Grand JCC in Odessa, Ukraine will gain a global Jewish perspective, learn about Jews in other communities and nurture their sense of responsibility for the Jewish people worldwide.

Participants will also develop their own Jewish identity and learn more about the Jewish world, while building long-term relationships between the JCCs to strengthen their respective Jewish Community Centers. Ultimately, Amitim 2.0 aims to allow Jews in different countries to connect, break down stereotypes and build bridges of understanding and support.

The conference convened 110 fellows from 53 JCCs in 15 countries, who participated in an in-depth process to meet global partners and programs. As part of this process, they engaged in speed dating – intense networking – in order to find global partners.

Funding for the Global Fellowship Programs comes from JCC Global and from a grant allocated by UJA-Federation of New York. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and participating JCCs are also supporting the program.

According to JCC Global Executive Director Smadar Bar-Akiva, JCCs are the center of Jewish peoplehood and the ideal venue to teach that concept.

“In today’s world, where fear and mistrust often segregate and isolate, the Jewish Community Centers are the big tent under which a wide range of people congregate. JCCs, often at the heart of the Jewish community, provide services and programs that build and strengthen Jewish communal life and provide Jewish educational experiences to and for Jews and non-Jews of all ages and orientations,” Bar-Akiva said.

“JCCs already promote Jewish Peoplehood via cultural, social, educational and recreational activities,“ she added. “This program helps to connect the dots locally and globally.”