NCSY Chile has been growing drastically in the past two years, according to Director Rabbi Michael Bengio. With more than 100 Jewish teens participating in weekly programs, NCSY Chile has built a new Spanish-language website, ncsychile.com, to meet and expand the growing interests of Jewish teens.
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Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, noted, “It’s the logical next step. The Torah tells us lo baShamayim hi -- it’s not in Heaven. Judaism is meant to be accessible to all, so how could NCSY not speak to teens in their own language?”
The idea was for a new website geared for teens who do not attend Jewish schools. Rabbi Bengio noted, “Many of these teens are disconnected from the Jewish community and do not attend any Jewish programs. It was very difficult for teens who are completely disconnected from the community to be able to understand just by words what NCSY does and why they would want to attend.”
According to Rabbi Bengio, the idea for a new website took shape when Arie Abaud, an important member of the Orthodox Jewish community in Chile, offered to give all the guidance and support necessary to build the website. Rabbi Bengio expressed, “Thanks to Arie, he and I were able to build NCSY Chile, and create this powerful tool that today not only will we use to show students in different schools what we do, but to keep our NCSYers posted on the latest news in NCSY Chile; to keep our community aware of our weekly programs, events and Shabbatons; and to give the opportunity for any Jewish teen in Chile to access what we do and to contact us.”
The website, full of photos and albums, features new information about classes offered, from “Torah and Science” to “The World to Come;” events, such as hiking, paintball, BBQs and weekends outside of Santiago; trips ranging from Bariloche in Southern Chile to Buenos Aires, New York, Boston; and NCSY Summer Programs in Israel; and opportunities to bring together Jewish teens from different schools, different movements and different social circles.
“Even though our NCSY Chile website has been up-and-running for only a few weeks, we have already gotten many positive comments on it, and it has been a very strong tool for attracting new students to attend our programs,” stated Rabbi Bengio.
“We are very thankful to Arie Abaud for his help and support, and to everyone who constantly supports NCSY Chile, helping us to inspire Jewish teens around the country.”
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