This Shavuot, Jews around the world celebrate the receiving of Torah. Whether we remember the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai or engage with Jewish ideas from more modern times, we are blessed with access to an ancient and evolving tradition that brings meaning to our lives.
Yet, there are many people in the world who are thirsty to receive Torah and Jewish teaching, but lack the rabbis, teachers, and access needed to gain a Jewish education. They have not been known or helped by the wider Jewish community. The Jews of Suriname are one such group.
Suriname, the smallest country in South America, is home to the oldest surviving Jewish community in the Americas. Until recently, the Jewish community was disintegrating. Now, with help from Kulanu volunteers, the Jews of Suriname are working to reconnect with the Jewish past, and with the wider Jewish world.
Photo by Ryan Lee A Fong
In order to support this renaissance, the Jews of Suriname hope to send a group of its young people on Birthright Israel. There, Suriname’s young Jewish leaders will have the opportunity to see Israel, connect with Jews from all over the world, and learn Torah. Then, they are committed to returning to Suriname and bringing back what they have learned in order to strengthen and revitalize their community.
The good news is, Birthright has already agreed to include 16 Suriname participants and conduct a trip for them in their native language of Dutch, all expenses paid. The only requirement is that the community must arrange transportation for the participants to and from Miami, paying for airfare, visa fees, and other related expenses for the participants and one leader. For that, we need your help.
The Good People Fund has awarded a $2,000 matching grant. Now, we need your support to raise an additional $10,500. Your support will make a profound impact on the life of the Suriname Jewish community and its sixteen young Jewish leaders.
We hope we can count on you to help raise the balance.
Please donate online at www.kulanu.org/donate, or mail your check, payable to Kulanu in U.S. dollars, to Kulanu, 165 West End Ave, 3R, New York, NY 10023, USA. Write “Suriname” in the comments field online or the memo field on your check.
Please also pass this on to your friends via email, Facebook, or twitter. Here is sample “tweet”:
Help Kulanu send 16 from Suriname to Israel. If they get to Miami, all expenses will be paid by Birthright. tinyurl.com/surinameisraeltrip
For more photos and bios of some of the participants and a more detailed proposal, click here. www.kulanu.org/suriname/kulanu_suriname_birthright_proposal.pdf.