Jewish leaders travel to Rwanda to engage in international development

“Our hope is that these change-makers will be inspired to launch conversations about global responsibility," said OLAM executive director Dyonna Ginsburg.

A group of leading Israeli, British and U.S. Jews, including the CEO of the Atlanta Federation, CEO of Shalom Corps and other organizations, traveled to Rwanda to learn about international development and Jewish responsibility to other communities in need. (photo credit: DUNYA RODRIGUES)
A group of leading Israeli, British and U.S. Jews, including the CEO of the Atlanta Federation, CEO of Shalom Corps and other organizations, traveled to Rwanda to learn about international development and Jewish responsibility to other communities in need.
(photo credit: DUNYA RODRIGUES)
In February, a group of 16 Jewish leaders from Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom traveled to Rwanda as part of the InterACT Global study trip. Participants were heads of organizations such as Shalom Corps, UJIA, the Schusterman Foundation Israel, Repair the World and more. 
InterACT Global was initiated by the Office of the President of Israel and is led by OLAM, a platform of Jewish and Israeli international development organizations, in partnership with SID Israel, Gesher Leadership Institute, and Shalom Corps.
The trip aimed at exposing the participants to innovative Jewish and Israeli organizations as well as individuals engaged in international development in Rwanda and other countries, who are working to overcome the world's greatest challenges such as hunger, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare and education.
As part of the trip, participants met with Israel's first ambassador to Rwanda, Ron Adam, and influential Rwandans who shared their perspectives on local challenges for the Rwandan population and innovative solutions to address their needs.
They also visited both non-profit and for-profit organizations working on the ground including the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, which empowers orphaned and vulnerable Rwandan youth, and Energiya Global, which uses Israeli innovation to provide access to solar energy in Rwanda.
Participants also visited MASHAV Horticulture Center of Excellence, a bilateral initiative between the Government of Rwanda and the State of Israel, which focuses on agriculture for poverty alleviation. 

“InterACT Global was an opportunity for Jewish leaders to study the impact of a foundational Jewish value in action: caring about the world and working to make it better,” said OLAM Executive Director Dyonna Ginsburg. 
“Our hope is that these change-makers will be inspired to launch conversations about global responsibility when they get home and galvanize broader segments of the global Jewish community to support vulnerable populations,” she added. 
In fact, as part of the trip, participants most particularly explored the idea of Jewish responsibility to vulnerable communities around the world.
“International development and global service are expressions of Jewish values,” said Ruth Green, trustee of the UJIA. 
“Our people have known hardship and vulnerability, and we are guided to help others in need even in the face of problems that appear insurmountable or situations that make us uncomfortable, she added”