Promoting Tolerance 2013: USA Trip
Our study trip to the USA as part of the program “Promoting Tolerance 2013”, jointly conducted and financed by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), started on November 10th in Washington D.C. In the following 10 days the group of young people from Romania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia visited numerous cities in the U.S. such as New York City, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
The program was very impressive as we learned a lot not only about Jewish community life and advocacy in the US, but also about the ways of advancing democracy and building civic society. The obtained knowledge and the exchange of experiences had an essential role for us, as three of our countries are currently in a transitional period.
Our two main expectations – to learn new things and to build a network – were absolutely fulfilled. On the one hand we got a lot of information about the history of Holocaust, about relations between the ethnics living in the States, private initiatives to strengthen these relations, fundraising tools, methodology of work, particularly to implement the join activities, etc. On the other hand we got to know many people who are interested in cooperating with our organization in the nearest future.
The daily schedule of the program included not only work and formal meetings, but also enough time for participation in social life and spare time activities so that fun was guaranteed.
The highlights of the 10-day trip include, among others: the discussion with Richard Foltin (Director National and Legislative Affairs at AJC's Office of Government and International Affairs in Washington, D.C.), S. Floyd Mori (National Executive Director/CEO of the Japanese American Citizens League), and Larry Gonzalez (Raben Group) in Washington D.C.; the discussion with Rabbi Noam Marans on Interreligious Relations in the Building of the Pluralistic Society in New York City; the Shabbat Services in Dallas and St. Louis; the Debate Competition at the Clayton High School in St. Louis; the visit of Homeboy Industries; the tour and discussion with L.A. city officials; and the discussion at the LGBT Center in Los Angeles.
Find more in the picture story.