Friday, January 26, 2007


Chesed '07: Community Service, Culture, Ecology and Fun in Jewish Argentina.
July 18 - August 19, 2007

Our Summer Program enjoys three main unique characteristics:

1. CHESED: It is a program centered on community service. Young people from the US working together with other local highschoolers from the host communities to help needy Jews in Argentina.

2. CULTURE: It offer a rare opportunity to visit in an organized and methodic way with age-old local Argentinean communities.

3. ECOLOGY: It will take the campers into some of the most magnificent and wonderful natural wonders of Southern America.

And let's not forget FUN. Plenty of activities that are fun, entertainment, sports, music, theatre, dance and friendship..

In addition to that, we know from past experience and the letters of recommendation we write, that our community service program can help enhance the eligibility profile of students applying to top and elite universities.

The Interfaith Chesed '07 Program’s Mission:

The principal idea behind our travel program is to offer kids the opportunity to spend a meaningful and important Summer experience. Our program is a time for "applied" chesed work. Community service is combined with fun, ecology, learning, education, and with a variety of other activities related to culture, ecology and socializing. There is also a great deal of “fun” built in.

The ecology of the regions we will be traveling to are beyond compare, and the cultural richness of our local Gaucho, Indigenous, peasant and others communities is magnificent and inspiring.

We will have workshops run by local people in arts and crafts, Indigenous jewelry and archeology. We will study the history of Jewish migration to the Spanish speaking world. We will learn Argentine music, observe their dances and participate in many other enjoyable activities. We will have Spanish classes and Tango lessons. We will also visit 100 year old rural Jewish communities in the province of Entre Rios.

Our program takes the kids into the hearth of the community to aid the needy and accompany the elderly. We will also visit impoverished neighbors in villages and cities, as well as engage in other forms of aid to those who are being assisted by local Jewish communities, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Part of this program is to expose the students to the marvels and intricacies of organizing solidarity aid on a transnational basis.

Supervision: A Note to Parents and Students:

Our Summer program is a cultural trip in nature and in character. What this means is that participants are required to sign a code of ethics and behavior. We expect and will enforce a proper behavior and a right attitude throughout the entire trip. We will have with us counselors who will accompany the group throughout the entire trip and who will be responsible for assisting with all aspects related to the content of the program. Participants should anticipate that supervision will be taken very seriously. The safety, health, welfare and well being of our students is our paramount responsibility.

With regards to the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs or other inappropriate behavior, our program will implement a zero tolerance policy. No behavior unbecoming a member of our group will be tolerated. This applies to relations between the students and the staff, the students amongst themselves, and the students and the people we will encounter and interact with in Argentina. Campers agree that in the event of a violation to the code of ethics and behavior, they will face possible expulsion from the program at their parents sole expense and responsibility.

Where and When, Our Itinerary:

The program will commence on July 18 and end on August 19, 2007. (arriving in NY on August 20)

During the first leg of the trip we will travel to exciting and sophisticated Buenos Aires. From there we will travel to other magnificent parts of Argentina. We will visit with our fellow Jewish friends and participate in their communal activities.

The city of Buenos Aires, during the middle of the 2Oth Century, was home to more than 500,000 Jews. Argentina is still home to a vibrant, committed and proud Jewish community of close to 150,000 souls. The city itself is one of the most exciting cultural and architectural urban centers in the world and the cultural capital of Latin America.

During our stay in Buenos Aires we will work and visit with a number of JCCs, synagogues and Jewish schools. We will join with them in community service work and community service activities. We will work with the JCCs in a variety of chesed tasks: we will pack and deliver meals to impoverished and isolated elderly, we will help sort and distribute clothing and medical supplies, we will gather and distribute toys for kids, we will visit and help repair the campus of the Jewish old-folks home of Bursaco in the outskirts of the city. Bursaco is the first and most important home for the poor Jewish elderly in Jewish Latin America. We will also visit and meet local high school kids and spend time with them in a variety of cultural and sporting activities.

We begin our program in the capital city, Buenos Aires, and from there we will travel to owe-inspiring mountains and glaciers. We will ski, sail and hike the magnificent surroundings. We will get to know the peoples who live in those mountain highs. We will enjoy daily eco-adventures in breathtaking snow and ice mountains, and we will also enjoy a choice of various other winter sports. From the mountains, we will travel East across the country to visit pre-century rural Jewish communities (Jewish Gauchos) founded by the Baron de Hirsch in the Province of Entre Rios, North of Buenos Aires.

Our local counterparts are very experienced and very engaged in the work of providing extensive service and solidarity engagement with neighborhood dwellers and poor peasants. The Jewish communities in Argentina are active in extensive chesed work, much within itself, but also on behalf of others as well. Argentina was a pioneer in the creation and maintenance of active networks of internal mutual-aid. Our program will bring our kids together with their counterpart peers in Argentina, and as a group, engage in joint work activities, tours, socializing and learning.

One of exciting parts of this trip is our ability to interact in an organized manner with a variety of very diverse and beautiful local cultures. Educationally, this will be an experience our kids would not normally be able to pursue on their own. The local Jewish communities are deeply involved in issues such as housing, nutrition, environment and other subjects (even English teaching), and we will be able to integrate ourselves into these activities. At the same time the ecology of the surroundings and the culture of the local peoples are extraordinary. We will visit the snowy Andes mountains, many different species of fauna and flora, volcanoes (from the outside..), lakes, glaciers, animals in their natural habitat, and from atop the Andes glance into neighboring Chile.

Our friends in Argentina are very eager and happy to have us over. We will be staying at safe, sanitary, pleasant, comfortable and licensed lodging facilities. The lodging will be at properties registered and supervised by the local Tourism Ministries and regularly inspected by tourism and health officials.

(Important Note: the actual itinerary is subject to change in consideration of climatic conditions and other considerations beyond the control of the program director and the Interfaith chesed '07 staff).

A few words about safety:

As a general statement, every one of our tours contains a strong component of security and safety. This is obviously very important to us and also, on a personal note, I often bring my own kids to the trips. Foreign travel is not without risk, bit this trip is not a risky one. For the purposes of this program to Argentina, we will have two separate sets of security arrangements. As we travel and transfer, we will have a team of security guards traveling with us from place to place. On the ground, in addition to our permanent security guards, each Jewish community has in place its own very elaborate system of internal security, including security guards posted at the entrances and coordination with the central conference of Jewish communities of Argentina. As we work and do activities with the communities, we will fall under their existing security umbrella. In addition to that, it is my practice to send notifications to the police precincts along our routes and to send daily email updates to the American consulates. We exercise caution and common sense and we trust our local hosts, security guards, community centers and other experts to guide us in a safe and reliable manner.


The tuition for the entire trip, including international round trip air fare NY-Buenos Aires-NY, lodging, 3 meals a day, all ground transfers and transportation, all chesed activities on the ground, all the tours and trips, and all the cultural and ecological programs, is only $4,757.00. Deadline for applications is March 18, 2007.


Please carefully review the registration forms, the financial information, the code of ethics and behavior and the release forms. Please include a short essay telling us about yourself and explaining why you have chosen to join a Summer chesed program. Please review, complete and return all the forms to us together with a non-refundable application fee check of $400.00 payable to: Community Development Partners for the Americas, LLC, 203 Rockingstone Ave. Larchmont, NY 10538.

Please do not hesitate to call or write should you require any additional information. We can be reached by phone at 914-833-7787 or by email at