Euro stars train­ing for the fu­ture

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JEN­NIFER LIP­MAN ‘It’s re­ally ben­e­fi­cial to share ideas and re­sources’

FIVE TEENAGERS from Lon­don, Bath and Dublin are spend­ing their sum­mer on a pro­ject look­ing to the fu­ture of Euro­pean Jewish life.

The teens are in Is­rael on a three­week train­ing and lead­er­ship seminar or­gan­ised by World Ort.

Along with other young Euro­pean Jews from a range of so­cial and re­li­gious back­grounds, they have been meet­ing gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and so­cial ac­tivists and re­ceiv­ing a crash course in Jewish his­tory. They have also vis­ited Ort’s Sha’ar Ha­negev School near the Gaza bor­der. A Sha’ar Ha­negev pupil was killed when a rocket hit the school bus in April.

The Is­rael seminar is part of World Ort’s in­au­gu­ral Fu­ture Lead­ers pro­gramme, arm­ing young peo­ple with the skills to en­hance their com­mu­ni­ties.

Af­ter leav­ing Is­rael next week, they will be as­signed men­tors to help them set up com­mu­nity projects.

“I’ve got so much out of it,” said Dubliner Sara Ep­stein, 16, who with her friend Jenna Good­win plans to de­velop a fun and ed­u­ca­tional web­site for Jewish chil­dren.

“The Ir­ish com­mu­nity is so small and the kids I teach at cheder are just not in­ter­ested,” she said. “They want to be like their friends and have com­mu­nion. I’ve met so many peo­ple who have given ad­vice on how to change that.”

“It’s been re­ally ben­e­fi­cial to meet peo­ple and share ideas and re­sources,” said Noa Les­sof-Gendler, a youth coun­cil mem­ber at New North Lon­don synagogue. “Ev­ery­one faces the same prob­lems and we can take home each other’s sug­ges­tions.”

JFS pupil Nancy Luz Toff and James Wal­ters are also on the seminar.

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