As some of you might know part of the Junction team is based out of Milan, so every time we gather there we love seeing who is around to meet and learn from. It started with apperitivo for us and Carlotta, and it quickly flourished into a friendship, seeing each other at partner programming and trying to grab coffee whenever we’re in Milan. We were excited to feel Carlotta’s excitement about the young, Italian, Jewish community and eager to help.
Spring Baomer was an event run by UGEI but participants came from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria as well for a magical weekend under the Tuscan sun. Carlotta was our main point of contact throughout the event as UGEI’s president and we were able to come run a session about Pluralism for the participants as well. Carlotta describes herself as a sum of breaks between one coffee and another. After graduating from her Double Degree Master in Business Administration and Health Communication in the USA and in Switzerland, she worked in Germany, but afterwards, she came back to her beloved Italy and started an incredible journey as President of the Italian Union of Jewish Youth. In Milan,she is an epidemiology researcher and science journalist. She appreciates the beauty of being able to actually do everything she likes, even though those interests are so diverse. I
1. What was your key takeaway from Lag Baomer?
That Italians are still ravenous for Jewish social events: I think that this UGEI Board has the incredible characteristic of being a sum of friends, before a proper management group, and Lag Baomer left this mark on all the participants as well I think.
2. What lead you to reach out to Junction?
I felt the need of having not only an international vibe but also the expertise of Junction and the possible connection we were able to create as an active part of the project: it was also a matter of networking. I thought that UGEI members must meet Junction, also just getting to know the Junction brand and speakers, in order to let them know they are a part of something bigger.
3. What surprised you about the planning process?
How easy it was… to find solutions! The process itself was full of unexpected events, but we were able to manage them, all together
4. What was your Jewish involvement in the past?
Beside my studies at the Jewish school, I was a madrichà at Hashomer Hatzair for several years, and I actually never left my keilà in Milan, getting involved in the local Jewish newspaper. Nevertheless, when I moved abroad for my University I realized how much I was missing that involvement, and maybe that was what drove me in participating more actively in UGEI when I came back
5. What is your Jewish involvement now?
UGEI, UGEI and UGEI! I would actually recommend this volunteering experience to everybody! It is letting me grow a lot, both professionally and personally, and I think faster than any other possible work experience out there.
6. What excites you about the Jewish future?
The possibility of not feeling alone, and rather part of a bigger family: in the liquid society we are all living in, the certainty of Jewish roots I think (and hope) could guide us to succeeding in developing the best in us and reaching our goals.
7. What should people know about the Italian Jewish Community?
That is alive, it’s young, even if sometimes young people are afraid to speak up: and that we need other Jewish Communities a lot. To see what it is like out there, how others feel about common issues and problems, and how we can help each other day to day.
8. What’s next for you?
Personally? I like to change. Actually that sometimes could be seen as uncertainty, but I would rather describe it as curiosity: I was curious about UGEI and I became the President of it. So who knows what could happen next year…
Junction micro grants are awarded to innovative, engaging young adult community projects and can range from $1000 to $5000.
If you have a new program idea such as a celebration of a Jewish holiday or a Jewish social event and want to make it happen, find out more here!