By Yonatan Glaser, Director, B’Tzedek, (and Manager of the joint initiative in India), and Nir Lahav, Director, Project T.E.N. and the Director of Young Activism Unit, The Jewish Agency For Israel
It is with great excitement that the Jewish Agency’s Project T.E.N. and B’Tzedek recently announced their partnership to create a volunteer center for service learning and international development in India. The Directors of T.E.N. (Nir Lahav) and B’Tzedek (Yonatan Glaser) met for the first time at Siach. The T.E.N.-B’Tzedek center will serve Jewish young adults from around the Jewish world (including Siach’s ‘Israel, North America and Europe’ formulation). The program will embody and build Jewish peoplehood, engage in service projects based on the insights and principles of international development, and deepen and carry forward the agenda of Tikkun Olam. It will launch with the first cohort on August 6, 2012.
Siach’s objective of deepening networks amongst people working in Jewish environmental and social justice work was of unique value to us. Siach created a space for us to come together to learn and network. The informal yet ‘electrified’ Siach setting had a formative impact on the formation and trajectory of our relationship. The opportunity to meet in a small group setting – we were in the international development track together – meant that we got to know each other ‘around the campfire’, as it were. Meeting in a setting that encouraged innovation, collaboration and dialogue was profound.
The project is part of the larger work of each organization; T.E.N. is initiating an initial four pilot centers (in addition to India: Safed, Brazil and Ethiopia) as the basis for what will grow to 10-12 centers internationally. B’Tzedek developed and has operated its nine-month career and leadership program LIFE in India and Israel for four years. The partnership leverages the strengths of each organization, and we couldn’t be happier. The T.E.N. website will provide all the details after its launch in June.
Thanks in anticipation to the Siach community for helping nurture the ‘newborn’ child; please be in touch with ideas for collaboration to Yonatan@btzedek.org.il.