Entwine linking to UK for overseas aid

Foreign currency: Entwine activists are taking their mission to communities worldwide

Foreign currency: Entwine activists are taking their mission to communities worldwide

A scheme to encourage more young UK Jews to engage in overseas aid has been launched in London.

Entwine, the young professional arm of America’s Joint Distribution Committee, hosted its first British event for around 75 keen social activists. Run by former participants of JDC programmes, Entwine will be organising a series of promotional activities for short-term overseas service trips and will be educating young people about communities facing poverty.

Entwine UK’s Nikki Levitan said it was a “one-of-a-kind movement” which would “create global leaders”. Over here it will work in partnership with JHub, the Pears Foundation and World Jewish Relief.

American guest speaker Shaun Goldstone, 25, spoke about his experiences on a 13-month Entwine programme in Ethiopia. He explained the problems facing the Ethiopian Jewish community, including inadequate water, medical and educational facilities.

His ambition is to become involved in the building of an Ethiopian hospital. “JDC will be there for many more years to come and it is up to our generation to put the word out.” Other Entwine programme participants recounted experiences in Shanghai, Moscow and Haiti.

One Londoner who has been on an Entwine scheme is Talia Blank, 24, who said that in Turkey she had found an “inspiring community facing adverse conditions”. She had been astonished by the fear of being identifiably Jewish in public — “no one would wear a magen David”.

Last updated: 10:45am, May 13 2013