Day 6 - Saturday, August 3, 2019
Shabbat in Buenos Aires!
SHABBAT IN BUENOS AIRES
Saturday was a day of workshops, prayer services, reflection, rest and optional touring of Buenos Aires. It was a beautiful day and it was a wonderful opportunity to tour the beautiful city of Buenos Aires and see some of the magnificent sites of the city.
In the afternoon, we all gathered with several local experts to learn about the upcoming elections in Argentina and possible ramifications depending on the outcome. Although what we have seen on the Mission gives us the sense that Argentina is a thriving city, we learned that their inflation rate over the past several years has climbed astronomically, and that personal incomes have not been able keep up at the same rate. There is high unemployment and many people who are currently in the middle class are extremely vulnerable, especially as the upcoming elections draw near. There is a great fear among the local citizens of extreme hyperinflation and that there could be a major uprising and possibly violence or riots in the streets after the election. We all agreed to pay close attention in the coming months and our partners the JDC and Jewish Agency are on high alert knowing that many Jews in Argentina may need additional support or services.
HAVDALAH AND EVENING IN TOWN
We all joined together at the hotel with our Scholar in residence, Rabbi Alex Felch. Rabbi Felch is originally from Argentina and now leads a congregation in Chicago. There was a great feeling togetherness at the service as we said goodbye to Shabbat.
Following Havdalah, we boarded our buses to go to an event space on the river called Madero Walk. It was a beautiful location, and we had dinner with local Jewish students and also were treated to a performancce of professional Tango Dancers - quite a treat! Speaking with the Jewish students and young adults was once again quite inspiring - Richard and I have been so impressed with all of the young adults we have met. Their maturity, values, command of several languages, and desire to give back to their community is simply unbelievable and we are so grateful to have met them.
After dinner, we headed back to hotel to prepare for a very early and full day on Sunday.