Program Summary

How much do you know about the Jews of Latin America? While the KIVUNIM gap-year program has brought students to Israel, Morocco, India, and other Jewish communities across Europe, Africa, and Asia, many of us in the United States are unfamiliar with our closest neighbors. Enter: KIVUNIM Americas. Beginning in Summer 2020, a group of young travelers will embark on unforgettable journey to learn, explore, and develop connections in Mexico and Brazil. These intrepid students will not take classes from afar; they will have the chance to bond with their Latin American counterparts, reexamine their Jewish identities through a global lens, expand their intellectual horizons, and have a great time in the process. The participants of KIVUNIM Americas are building a bridge, connecting with communities across the Western Hemisphere.

READ MORE ABOUT: What Makes KIVUNIM Americas So Unique

Fast Facts

Duration: 5 weeks (35 days)
Start Date: TBD, 2020
End Date: TBD, 2020

Location: Mexico (Mexico City, Oaxaca) and Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife)
Partners: Trueke in Mexico and the Eliezer Max School in Brazil
Goal: To travel, learn, and enjoy new cultural experiences alongside Jewish communities of Latin America

Participant Profile

  • 15-18 years old (high school student age)

  • Resident of the United States or Canada

  • Interested in a better understanding and a deeper connection with the Jewish community

  • Excited about an intense, impactful summer of travel

  • Ready to learn something new outside the comfort of a classroom

Trip Highlights

Starting in Summer of 2020, KIVUNIM Americas will take travelers on a journey for approximately 17 days in Mexico and then 17 more days in Brazil. Both countries feature a diverse itinerary: tours of historical villages and moments to bask on gorgeous beaches; visits to iconic synagogues, as well as to a futebol stadium to witness the religion of soccer; lessons about local artisans’ crafts, alongside real-life encounters in Spanish and Portuguese. For many of these activities, participants will be joined by other youth from Jewish communities — both in Mexico and in Brazil.

A Few Selections from the Trip Itinerary:


  • The magnificent Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, outside of Mexico City

  • The evocative Memory and Tolerance Museum—El Museo Memoria y Tolerancia—inside the Federal District

  • The majestic Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, an outdoor adventure in the State of Oaxaca


  • The Mercadão, the delectable municipal market in São Paulo

  • The famous Maracanã soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro

  • The oldest synagogue in all of the Americas, the Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel, in Recife

Important Notes about the Trip:

  • The group will be comprised of between 15-25 participants and 2 full-time staff members, in addition to participants and staff members from our partners abroad.

  • All group meals will be kosher or vegetarian.

  • KIVUNIM Americas, as a pluralistic Jewish organization, observes Shabbat. That means the group will not travel from sunset on Friday night until sunset on Saturday.