St. Paul Jewish Federation News

Inside Jewish Argentina: Our favorite experiences from the December trip


In December, a group of 18 Midwest Young Adults (including five from the Twin Cities) explored Argentina through a one-of-a-kind insider trip by JDC Entwine and YALA Twin Cities. From December 5-12, 2022, the group engaged with the Jewish culture, powerful history, and inspiring leaders that make up Argentina’s unique Latin American Jewish community. We asked each traveler to tell us about their favorite experience(s) from the trip. Read their answers (and see some photos) below!


My favorite thing about Argentina was meeting other young adult leaders from cities in the Midwest as well as in Buenos Aires and learning how they were contributing to their communities. It got my inspiration juices flowing for how I can bring new ideas and collaborate with others here in the Twin Cities to strengthen the Jewish community here. 


My favorite part of the trip was having the opportunity to meet young Jewish adults from Buenos Aires. On our first full day in Buenos Aires, we did a wine tasting on a rooftop with a group of about 10 young Jewish adults as part of a local networking organization called Lazos.  We compared our experiences growing up Jewish, talked a lot about the current struggles of living in Argentina, and of course, the World Cup. Several of the guests from Lazos are practicing Psychologists and I learned from them that Argentina has the most Psychologists per capita of any country in the world. One of the guests is a Financial Advisor like myself and we talked about each of our experiences in our jobs. We also went to a Hillel House and Moishe House where I got to meet more young Jews and hear their stories. It has also been fun to stay in contact after the trip with a few of the people I met as they celebrate Argentina winning the World Cup!


My favorite experience from visiting Argentina was making connections with the Buenos Aires Jewish community. At LeDor VaDor, the Buenos Aires Jewish Senior Home, we shared a lunch with residents and learned their stories. I was fortunate to eat with two residents, both of which were in their late 80s, where we discussed the differences between American and Argentinian Jewry. We found similarities around the pride we feel during the holiday seasons, the traditions we share as a result of our Jewish culture, and the importance of meeting and connecting with the worldwide Jewish community.


My favorite experience from participating in the Inside Jewish Argentina program was being able to engage and interact with the elderly population. I was so impressed to see the programs and facilities offered to that community. We were able to visit and share a lunch with the members of LeDor VaDor and also dance with a class at AMIA Community Center. It was such a good experience to see how happy these communities are and that they still feel active and spirited!


The JDC Entwine: Inside Jewish Argentina trip was an amazing, life-changing experience that gave me the opportunity to see what a global community looks like. As a Jewtino (Jewish Latino), even though I am not Argentinian, this trip helped me learn more about myself, my history, and who I am as a Jewish person. From meeting Holocaust survivors at Fundacion TZEDAKA, to spending some time with elementary school students at a Jewish elementary school, to experiencing a Shabbat service in Spanish, overall this experience allowed me to gain a sense of belonging. Something that perhaps I don't feel as often being a Jew of color living in the Midwest. However, if I had the chance I would totally do it again, and I hope that this experience can also become an open door for other Jewish people who at times need a sense of community to find a community that can help them feel like they also belong.

St. Paul and Minneapolis Jewish Federations are part of an international network of partners, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and the Jewish Federations of North America. Together, these organizations focus on sustaining Jewish life, taking care of Jewish communities and people all over the globe, providing vocational and educational training, and advocating for Jewish causes and values.
In 2022, YALA Twin Cities entered a three-year partnership with JDC Entwine. JDC Entwine seeks to build a generation of young Jews who lead and live a life of action with global Jewish responsibility at its core. It does this through travel, service, action, and connection. This ties in with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s emphasis on global experiences by promoting and strengthening the Jewish community and culture in Minneapolis and beyond. We are achieving this through innovative options to engage and educate Jews on the scope of local and global needs. We're already planning the next two Twin Cities trips with JDC Entwine. Please contact Gabe Herstig if you're curious to learn more more or support these life-changing experiences for the next generation of Jewish leaders.