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Tsofim Yehudim, a Pan-European Project

“How God must laugh at the little differences that we set up amongst ourselves under the camouflage of religion, politics, patriotism or class, to the neglect of a far greater tie – that of the Brotherhood in the Human Family.” (Baden-Powell)

“May the youthful creativity of the Eternal pervade your every moment, … Never in your religious practice, nor in relations with your family or friends, nor in the accomplishment of your duties as citizens or (wo)men, nor in your most humble work, nor in your most humble pleasure, may the cold mechanisms of habit extinguish in you the creative spark which was lit by the reflection of the divine.” (Edmond Fleg)

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We shall respond as a priority to the expectations of the young “post-bar Mitzva” (coming of age ceremony) group and adolescents of between 12 and 17 years of age.

These are five essential years, when an adolescent is trying to find his way towards adulthood.

How to foster awareness of their Jewish identity along with cultural and religious tolerance?

Except France, United Kingdom and Czechia, there are no Jewish scouts groups in other European countries.

73 years after the Shoah and 29 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, not a single group of Jewish Scouts was created in Europe (except Czechia)!

At the same time, there are many Jewish Communities in Europe interested in offering Scouting to their youth, with a dedicated Jewish Scout offer fostering exchanges and programmes among European Jewish Youth.

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Diversity and Inclusion are now top priorities of the World Scout Movement.

The Pan-European Tsofim Yehudim programme is the answer. It will be a chance for Jewish Youth to discover their common European heritage and diverse identity within the world fraternity of Scouting, from Manchester, London, Paris, Strasbourg, Athens, Prague, New York, Houston, São Polo, Sydney, to Vilnius!

This educational offer will be made available for all Jewish communities in Europe in partnership with National Scout Organisations or National Scout Associations (NSOs or NSAs).

The Torah holds up the model of Abraham and Sarah, the father and mother of the Jewish people, who enthusiastically welcome three strangers into their home (Genesis 18). They hurry to meet their needs and make them comfortable. Only later do Abraham and Sarah realize that these three strangers are actually angels. The legacy of Abraham and Sarah is to be welcoming and embracing to any and all people who approach our tent.

And our tradition affirms that Torah and community is God’s loving gift for all who want it. As the Midrash teaches, “When a person wants to become part of the Jewish community, we must receive him or her with open hands so as to bring that person under the wings of the Divine Presence” (Leviticus Rabbah 2:9). 

Similarly, the prophet Isaiah envisions God saying, “My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:7). Our synagogues, Isaiah taught, must be open to and inclusive of all who seek entry, regardless of background. (Rabbi Michael Knopf)

Tsofim Yehudim, LeDor VaDor
Jewish Scouts, from generation to generation

 

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