November 13, 2017 — São Paulo, Brazil
ACCESS, AJC’s highly-acclaimed young leadership program, launched its newest global affiliate in São Paulo, home to a Jewish community numbering approximately 60,000. Brazil is the biggest country in Latin America and one of the ten largest economies in the world.
The opening event took place last night and was attended by dozens of founding members of the group, joined by the leadership of CONIB, the umbrella body of Brazilian Jewry, and the Jewish Federation of São Paulo, as well as AJC lay leaders and staff members who were present to show their support.
AJC CEO David Harris, who was also in Brazil to attend the CONIB annual conference, was among the participants. Moreover, ACCESS representatives from the United States and Israel came especially for the event and to consult with their Brazilian counterparts.
“For us, this is hugely exciting,” said Harris. “It takes us a big step closer to our longstanding dream of creating a global network of young Jewish advocates and ambassadors with well-honed skill sets. We first met a large number of young Brazilian Jews at a luncheon in São Paulo six years ago, after which many started coming to the annual AJC Global Forum in Washington. What an impressive, impassioned, and inspiring group of people they are!”
“I would like to express my thanks for this important development,” Harris added, “to AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs, and in particular its director, Dina Siegel Vann, and representative in São Paulo, Muriel Asseraf, for building such strong ties with Brazil; to the staff of ACCESS based in New York, and led by Access Global Director Alexis Frankel, that worked so devotedly to welcome the São Paulo group into the AJC family; to the leadership of Brazilian Jewry that has been consistently supportive of the partnership with AJC; and to those Brazilian young leaders who were determined to make this happen."
“Brazil is an enormously diverse country,” said Dr. Debora Douek, one of the young leaders who first came to know AJC while pursuing her graduate studies in Boston. “Joining with AJC is an important opportunity to build, in a strategic way, bridges between the Jewish community and important potential partners in the larger Brazilian society. We are very keen to acquire relationship-building and advocacy skills from AJC ACCESS – and to amplify our reach and impact through AJC’s global architecture.”