Tamar AmLat – The Beginning

Tamar is the front of the post-tnuah youth of the Reform Movement. In Hebrew, Tamar is the “palm tree”  that generates the fruit known as the date. Among some of their meanings and symbolism, the date palm species needs 70 years to bear fruit, yielding the honey mentioned in the Torah. 

Just like a Tamar tree needs time to mature and bear fruit, so does the Tamar movement. For this reason, this group starts in the young adult phase, in which the participants already bring experiences and knowledge with the energy to go deeper and improve as leaders of our communities.

In this complicated year, in which our world has been experiencing a pandemic, we seek to see “the glass half full” and what part would that be? The possibility of connecting young adults from our Latin American communities, since the difficulties that could exist across physical boundaries become a facility for virtual connection!

Based on the demand brought by young people to dive into reform Jewish content in order to empower themselves with Judaism and have more tools as community leaders, we started a short course as a pilot project. This week we had our first meeting given by the President and Rabbi of the Reform Movement, Sergio Bergman, on the topic of community and 15 young people attended us from different regions of Latin America: Guatemala, Argentina and Brazil.

The main point discussed at the meeting was the need for a community to be dynamic and practical, seeking to renew itself constantly through in-depth studies, with coherence and youth participation! In the coming weeks we will continue the course, focusing on the following themes: Israel – religious democracy and the walls that separate Jewish libraries, community activism and tikun olam.

Juliana Somekh Sternschein is 30 years old. Born in Brazil, she studied Law and Psychology of Education, now lives in Jerusalem and seeks to transform the world every day as an educator who believes in change and building through dialogue, which implies always seeing herself as an equal with the other, including differences.