The Next big Jewish Idea (from their website) “The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles is looking for the next big idea to help mobilize the Jewish community. To find it, we launched the search for the Next Big Jewish Idea, a unique opportunity for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and organizations to submit their innovative ideas for programs that will strengthen and benefit the greater Los Angeles Jewish community.”
One amazing project is the Jewish African Youth and Young Adult Partnership:
The Jewish African Youth and Young Adult Partnership is a program that aims to expand and continue the Los Angeles Partnership with the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda and the emerging Jewish communities of sub-Saharan Africa. It provides mutual support for both communities and engages our sub-Sahara African counterparts in leadership development and assists in the development of their youth and young adult organizations. The program is divided into three main parts, the Youth Partnership, the Young Adult Partnership, and the Abayudaya Youth Association (AYA) Convention in Uganda. The program began in 2008, when three teens from the Abayudaya Jewish community came from Uganda to Los Angeles for leadership training and to participate in the Far West USY Regional Convention. When they returned to Uganda, they were enthused and empowered. They engaged their peers and together created the Abayudaya Youth Association. Inspired by what they witnessed in Los Angeles, they decided they wanted to hold a convention for the Jewish youth in their area. The convention, bringing together 200 teens from 9 villages in Uganda and Kenya, was a great success for the AYA. The teens of the Abayudaya community united together over these five days and strengthened the relationships within their Jewish community, and have since held a second convention. Their impact on the Abayudaya community has been extremely positive and Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, Rabbi of the Abayudaya community, is excited about the AYA’s development, saying that, seeing the youth doing things together and taking on leadership roles, shows the Abayudaya community that the youth are willing to move forward and take on the future. Jewish teens and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa should know that they are not isolated and alone. We want them to know that they are part of a vibrant and supportive international Jewish community.