Teens build bridges, from So Cal to Uganda

Teens build bridges – from So Cal to Uganda – by Rachel Heller – Feb 24, 2010 – http://www.jewishjournal.com/tribe/article/teens_build_bridges_from_so_cal_to_uganda_20100224/


Harriet Bograd, President of Kulanu, spoke at this event


Tefillah, sports, study sessions and even a dance — the four-day youth convention on Nabugoye Hill in late January was almost like a typical United Synagogue Youth (USY) convention, according to the three Southland USYers who traveled to Uganda to help run the event.

But there were a few major differences. Instead of staying in a cushy hotel, the nearly 200 African Jewish teens who attended slept on mats in the local school building. Rather than in a synagogue social hall, study groups took place in outdoor tents. Most importantly, while members of USY (the Conservative movement’s North American teenage youth group) enjoy an established and far-flung social network, many of the Ugandan kids who ventured to this inaugural gathering were meeting one another for the first time.