Creating Global Connections, Building Jewish Identity
Pining for adventure? Missing the warmth of the sun and surf? Interested in engaging with distinctive Jewish communities?
Be'chol Lashon Alternative Spring Break Trips to Latin America, Africa and beyond combine adventure, service and engagement with diverse Jewish cultures. Be'chol Lashon offers students the unique opportunity to visit, learn about and interact with Jewish communities in Colombia, Panama, Equador, Uganda, among others. In addition to local culture and natural beauty, the trips are designed to strengthen Jewish identity for both the students and the host communities. Be'chol Lashon works closely with Hillels and partners on the ground to develop travel options that provide engagement with the local Jewish communities, immersive cultural experiences, and tons of fun!
Why Be'chol Lashon?
Be'chol Lashon trips provide young Jews with a vision of Judaism that is aligned with their global perspective of the world. The trips highlight inclusion, diversity and connection as hallmarks of Judaism, instilling Jewish pride and gaining cultural competence in an increasingly global world. The trips provide an experiential opportunity to engage millennials in an exciting vision of Jewish life at a critical stage identity formation. Be'chol Lashon has fostered relationships with diverse Jewish community leaders around the world for over a decade, ensuring a warm welcome and unparalleled opportunities for service learning and tikkun olam.
For more information: Contact Lindsey Newman / Lindsey@GlobalJews.org
Global Jewish Trips
Latin America has a rich, and often secret Jewish history. Driven from Europe by the Inquisition, Jews hid or abandoned their Jewish heritage as the Spanish Inquisition extended its reach across the Atlantic. The first Jews to arrive in the New World are deeply embedded into the geography and culture of Latin America. Today, as the religious monopoly of the Catholic Church crumbles, Judaism, along with other religions, is experiencing unprecedented interest, growth and change.
As forgotten family histories are being uncovered by Anusim (descendents of forced converts from the Inquisition), newly converted communities are popping up across the region. There is perhaps no better setting for American Jewish students to have an amazing and transformative travel experience, while simultaneously exploring and strengthening their Jewish identity and providing service to local populations.
- Colombia - Colombia has the distinction of having shores on both the Pacific and Caribbean as well as mountain peaks and lush jungles. A modern country, Colombia also has a long and varied history, from its diverse ancient civilizations to Spanish colonization to the modern struggle for political stability. The Colombian coast-Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta-was a popular destination for the first Jews to arrive in the New World. Be'chol staffer, Rabbi Juan Mejia, works a wide array of Jewish communities in Colombia, established and emerging.
- Panama - Be'chol Lashon trips to Panama offer an easily accessible, yet unforgettable experience. Once part of Greater Colombia during the days of Spanish colonization, Panama boasts one of the most centralized Jewish communities in Latin America.There is a strong Jewish presence with several day schools and nearly a dozen kosher restaurants. In addition to the extraordinary natural beauty of Panama and its ample opportunities for fun, students will have the opportunity get to know and engage in meaningful projects.
- Ecuador - From our base in Quito, Be'chol Lashon trips experience both urban and coastal life. Exemplifying the depth of Jewish history in Latin America, Antonio Jose de Sucro, the hero of Ecuadorian independence and president of both Ecuador and Bolivia is claimed to be Anusim. The traditional language of Sephardic Jews, Ladino, continues to be spoken by many Jews. Like Colombia, Ecuador is experiencing a growing interest in Judaism and the emergence of new communities proliferate across the country.
Be'chol Lashon maintains an extensive network of partners across the world, all of whom offer unique entry points to global Jewry. Be'chol Lashon provides custom trips to groups of 10 or more to locations across the globe, limited only by logistics and our collective imagination.
For just over 100 years, a Jewish community in Uganda called the Abayudaya or "People of Judah" has existed, withstanding the oppression of Idi Amin and emerging as a leader in African Jewish life. Visits to the Abayudaya begin at infamous Entebbe Airport, followed by a short stay in the nearby capital Kampala, before driving 4-5 hours east along the Nile to Mbale. In addition to Sipi Falls, Lake Victoria or a safari with Gorillas, Shabbat with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu and the Abayudaya is an unforgettable highlight.
Be'chol Lashon | www.GlobalJews.org | 415.386.2604