Hillel of Greater Baltimore and TAG (twentysomethings and graduate students) played host to ten medical and public health students from Hillel of Argentina, Buenos Aires, during their recent visit to Baltimore's Jewish community. The visit was an extension of a program that began in the summer of 2003 when seven graduate students from Baltimore area medical and public health schools visited Argentina's Jewish community.
The program provided graduate students with the opportunity to join in meaningful dialogue with their counterparts and connect with Argentinean Jewish students while engaging in health-related community service projects. The students also gained an understanding of Argentina's Jewish history, the structure of its Jewish community, and how international Jewish communities have responded to Argentina's current economic crisis.
During their visit to Baltimore, the Argentinean students met with local medical and public health students, lay leaders, and university deans and administrators, and participated in a variety of social, educational, and cultural experiences. The students' agenda included a visit to Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Sinai Hospital where they shadowed doctors on various rounds; a tour of the University of Maryland Hospital and Shock Trauma Unit; a tour of Baltimore's Jewish community, museums, and synagogues; participation in a Bikor Cholim project with the University of Maryland medical students; and visits to the Holocaust Museum and Hillel's Charles and Lynn Schusterman International Center in Washington, D.C. Students were hosted by area lay leaders at various dinner parties and participated in a community wide Shabbat dinner, which was attended by 80 local graduate students.
The Baltimore/Argentina exchange program was sponsored by Hillel of Greater Baltimore's Jewish Journeys Initiative, which actively seeks to engage Jewish students in intense short term Jewish experiences. Past Baltimore Jewish Journeys have included student trips to Israel, Odessa, El Salvador, and El Paso, Texas. In March, Hillel's Jewish Journeys will sponsor Alternative Spring Break trips for Baltimore area students to Mexico and Utica, Miss. Undergraduates from Hopkins, Goucher, Towson and UMBC will participate in these upcoming ventures.