OU NextGen is Taking Jewish Social Justice to Thailand, 6/18-27

18 Apr 2013


With a focus on the Jewish value of social justice, the Orthodox Union—in a first for the organization—will present a ten-day mission to Thailand focusing on educating participants on breaking the country’s cycle of poverty and human trafficking.

The program, for Jewish North American college students and young professionals, will take place from Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 27. Registration closes on Monday, April 29.

To apply, visit www.Justifi.org/NextGen.

The program is sponsored by the OU NextGen Division—which includes alumni of NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Heart to Heart and the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) program.

The trip will be facilitated through Justifi, an organization providing ongoing opportunities for other communal organizations to best utilize their volunteer time to focus on human trafficking prevention and childhood education in Thailand. Justifi will arrange for a safe, secure environment run by experienced Thai tour guides and Jewish educators.

“One of the projects we have wanted to do for a long time is providing trips to focus on social justice,” noted Rabbi Dave Felsenthal, director of the OU NextGen Division. “At NextGen, we want to provide opportunities for youth to engage in today’s world through the lens of Jewish values in order to ensure that the future will be filled with individuals striving to act as agents of positive change. It is wonderful that the OU can be that resource—to be part of that change and development of leadership to think outside the box, and to empower our youth with the skills and awareness to change the future.”

OU mission coordinator Zehava Birman emphasized, “The OU is working with Justifi to give participants a meaningful Jewish experience in Thailand. That means a beautiful, inspiring Shabbat; the availability of delicious, kosher food; and interacting with observant Jews and other like-minded people who want to use Jewish values as a springboard for actions of positive change for everyone.”

She continued, “The structure of the entire program—from meeting, educating and inspiring Thai youth, to volunteering with on-the-ground organizations working on grassroots social justice projects—is specifically designed to cultivate leadership skills within the framework of Jewish values and to experience Jewish growth. Upon their return, participants will be encouraged to begin their own social justice projects on campus or community.”

Additional highlights will include waterfall hikes; elephant rides; tiger kingdom; and zip-lining.

There is a $25 application fee. For general information and help with flight arrangements, contact {encode=”mailto:birmanz@ou.org” title=”birmanz@ou.org”}.

OU | Enhancing Jewish Life