In the final weeks of August, 90 students from seven cities (Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Cordoba, Bogota, Porto Alegre, Asuncion, and Montevideo) in five countries gathered in Punta del Este, Uruguay for the first-ever Hillel Latin America Student Leaders Assembly.
Latin America Hillel students participate in the first student leaders assembly in Uruguay.
The content of the conference was divided into two tracks that both challenged students to explore new themes, as well as devise initiatives that they would implement upon returning home. One track focused on Israel and Zionism, while the second was Tzedek-focused and explored the prevention of health-related issues afflicting young people today in Latin American societies. Additionally, Harvard Hillel Director Bernard Steinberg joined the group and delivered several sessions on Jewish leadership and the State of Israel.
The students left the conference having networked with other young, committed Jews from across the region and prepared to assume more active roles in their own communities.
In addition to the students, 26 lay leaders from the region participated in a parallel program that offered them the opportunity to discuss the characteristics of Jewish leadership and share experiences from their respective communities and experiences. Hillel Board Members Fred Margulies and Marcelo Cynovich played active roles in this part of the program, as well as presenting to the students real examples of modern-day Jewish leadership. Aaron Goldberg, Associate Vice President for Hillel’s International Division was also on hand to participate in this extraordinary conference.