Jewish Agency to embark on first-ever mission to Mexico

Mexico's Jewish community numbers at around 41,000.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at an event for the Jewish community in Mexico City, September 14, 2017. (photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at an event for the Jewish community in Mexico City, September 14, 2017.
(photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)
The Jewish Agency for Israel will embark on its first-ever mission to Mexico in May, it announced on Tuesday.
The organization said that it will spend time with the Jewish community in Mexico "to better understand the country’s Jewish life and to gain a more thorough perspective about Jewish life in the United State’s neighboring country.
"As the American Jewish community continues to grapple with several challenges related to Jewish identity," the Jewish Agency continued, "the inaugural mission to Mexico will provide a unique view into a community that puts a strong and successful focus on Jewish education, Jewish identity, and Israel engagement."
Charles Pulman, a lay leader of The Jewish Agency from Dallas, who together with his wife Janine and Stuart Mordfin of New York, is serving as the co-chair of the mission explained that “at The Jewish Agency we want to help people find their way into Jewish life and have a meaningful connection with Israel, and Mexico is actually a great example of how that can happen."
Pulman said that on the one hand, the community "is a small Jewish community, living in Mexico City, a capital with high crime rates and threats to personal safety."
However, he added, "on the other hand a thriving community where 95% of Jewish children attend Jewish day schools and members embody Jewish life in a pluralistic and empowering way.”
The Jewish Agency said that the mission would spend most of its time in Mexico City exploring the city’s Jewish institutions and synagogues, "while also engaging closely with the community’s leadership."
Mexico's Jewish community numbers at around 41,000 with almost half of the country's Jewish children are involved in a youth movement. Nearly all of them have spent or will spend a summer in Israel at age 16, either through school or their youth movement.
All Jewish youth programs in Mexico are supported and managed by Bitui, The Jewish Agency’s educational resource center in Mexico, which in partnership with the community established a local organization with its own board, that holds the provision of informal Jewish education.
The Jewish Agency added that the participants would also meet with local Jewish Agency emissaries and young adults who have returned from Jewish Agency partner programs including Taglit-Birthright and MASA – "all of whom are now shaping Jewish future in Mexico."
The trip will also include a one-day excursion to the remote region of Oaxaca, where the delegation will experience first-hand the humanitarian work of Project TEN, a Jewish Agency program that brings young Jewish adults from around the world to volunteer in Israel or developing regions.