Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Young Judea's "Olami" Year Course track selling out!

Perhaps inspired by Kivunim, Young Judea is offering two specialized versions of their Year Course program featuring international travel. Alongside their other "gap year" programs in Israel for recent High School grads, the two "Olami" tracks include visits with Jewish communities around the world. Olami 1 is already sold out; as of June 14, there are 14 spots left for Olami 2, "Lost Jewish Communities ,which includes visits to Portugal, Uganda, India and South Africa. According to the educational rationale (can you believe a website that actually posts an educational rationale? Go Young Judea!):

"The four communities of Jews that Olami Two will encounter in their worldwide travels represent four major groups of people that are currently not fully accepted as Jews. The Marranos [of Portugal] were Jewish their forced conversion and secret practice of Judaism led to their gradual assimilation. The Lemba [in South Africa] were also Jews but left Israel and normative Judaism so long ago that they forgot much of the tradition. The B’nai Menashe [India] did not descend from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin as did the mainstream Jewish community of today. However, the “lost” tribes of Israel were never truly lost but rather spread throughout the world slowly loosing contact with the remainder of the Jewish people and “normative” Judaism. Finally, the Abayudaya [Uganda, of course] represent third-world communities interested in Judaism as the moral-ethical paradigm by which they wish to lead their lives."

Spaces are also still available for the Year Course Athletic program, but another new track, Shevet, "for students who want to explore their Jewish beliefs in an open Orthodox framework" is already sold out.

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