11 Things We Did in Israel


Ariel Bohorodzaner and Nicky Arenberg are founding members and current President and Vice-president, respectively, of the Jewish Student Federation of Chile.

In December 2013, we used our Micro Grant to catch a 30+ hour flight to Israel to attend WUJS Congress 2013. Here are the highlights of our stay in the land of Honey and Milk.

1)    We were able to lead the only Latin-American delegation for WUJS Congress.
As the only active Member Union of WUJS in our continent, we had the responsibility of representing not only our country’s Jewish students, but also our entire continent’s. We led our humble four-person delegation to Israel and set ourselves to conquer WUJS’s hearts and minds!

2)    We got to learn more about the issues that Jewish students around the world face.
Part of WUJS congress was dedicated to analyzing, comparing and trying to solve some of the common challenges and issues that Jewish student unions face. In this context, we connected with our peers and set out to create worldwide coordinated efforts to combat BDS, anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel.

3)    We had the chance to share our experiences and projects with the Jewish students of the world.
One of our big goals for this trip was to take our vision of young Jewish activism and to present the ways in which our work impacts the global and local community. We think activism should consist of working from our Jewish identity to change society, and we tried to instill this philosophy in the rest of the Unions at WUJS Congress.

4)    We got elected as part of the WUJS Executive.
Several things are voted on by the Unions during the General Assembly. Amongst those, we were chosen for the two non-permanent members of the Executive Board. We were voted in unanimously by our peers, which is a huge success and challenge for the months to come.

5)    We went to the ROI offices and had lunch with all the gang!

6)    We got to participate directly in the Zionist dream by planting trees in Eretz Israel with the KKL.
The last day of WUJS Congress was dedicated to the work of the JNF. We saw the different ways in which the JNF continually helps - as it always has - to build the State of Israel. The most significant part of this experience was the planting of trees, which helps the efforts to keep Israel green for the generations to come.

7)    We met with the Dean of Law at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, strengthening the academic ties between Israel and Chile.
A few months ago, we had the chance to personally show the Dean our Law School at Universidad de Chile when he visited our country. Now he received us atop Mount Scopus for a personal tour of HUJ’s Law School. This is part of our continued efforts to build and nurture the academic relations between Israel and Chile.

8)    We ate Shawarma. A Lot of Shawarma.

9)    We travelled to the Palestinian Territories to see what’s what for ourselves.
We took our delegation to Bethlehem and Beit Jala with the aid of a local guide. We got to see firsthand the way people live in the Territories, the difficulties they face day to day and how this relates to Chile and our relationship with the Palestinian community back home.

10)    We connected with a bunch of awesome people from different countries.

11)    We got to fulfill a dream we had since we started working together.
When we founded the Jewish Student Federation of Chile three years ago, we set ourselves to change the way our society and the Jewish world view Chilean Jewish students. By taking a delegation to Israel and WUJS Congress we decided to take the opportunity and try to have a positive impact in the decisions that affect Jewish students throughout the world. We’ve put Chile and our organization on the world map of Jewish activism, and this is - in large part - thanks to the ROI Community!