November 23, 2012
In western El Salvador (click here for a map), four communities totaling 400 individuals have embraced Judaism and come together to study, pray and celebrate Shabbat (Sabbath) and Jewish holidays. Some community members are anousim, descendants of Jews who were forced into hiding or conversion because of the Inquisition. Kulanu met the community of Armenia, El Salvador in 2008. In 2011, we appointed Rabbi Aaron Rehberg as Kulanu coordinator for El Salvador and sent him to visit the community. Rabbi Rehberg has now visited Armenia several times and works with them on an ongoing basis to help them deepen their knowledge and practice of Judaism. The community continues to make wonderful progress in their studies and observance and remains dedicated to living Jewish lives. But we need your help to continue supporting the journey of this remarkable Jewish community. Our most urgent need right now is to fund Rabbi Aaron Rehberg’s upcoming trip to Armenia in December. Donate online now to help Judaism flourish in Central America!
You can read Rabbi Rehberg’s informative trip reports, describing the holiday services and educational and community development programs he leads while he’s there, at www.kulanu.org/elsalvador. Between visits, Rehberg and other volunteer teachers teach members via Skype – but for the rabbi and his students and friends in Armenia, nothing compares to learning in person with the rabbi.Next month, from December 2nd through 27th, 2012, Rabbi Rehberg will return to El Salvador along with volunteers Kimberly Dueñas of Los Angeles, CA and Ana Chacon of Quebec, Canada to celebrate Hanukah and to conduct the next Beit Midrash (Jewish learning) session in Armenia. Thanks to the generosity of The Good People Fund (www.goodpeoplefund.org) we have $4,000 of the money needed to support this trip – but the total budget is $9,000. In addition, Rabbi Rehberg’s goal on this visit is to expand the community’s library. Check out Kimberly’s Personal Fundraising Page (PFP) for a detailed “wish list” of the items needed: tinyurl.com/Kimberlysfundraisingpage
The project budget includes stipends for a core group of men and women, young and old, who will concentrate on Talmudic and Hebraic studies. The stipends are critical in this impoverished region where jobs are scarce and livelihoods are precarious.
¡Gracias! ~ TODAH RABAH ~ Thank You!
We appreciate your support of the re-emerging Jewish community of El Salvador.
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