What is the KEN?

The KEN Jewish Community is the place where Latin Jewish families find friends for life who share their beliefs, values and traditions. Through a wide range of educational, leadership, social, performing arts, and sports programs and activities, its members strengthen their Jewish identity, build a connection with Israel, and maintain their Latin culture.

In more than thirty years since its founding, the KEN Jewish Community has established itself firmly within the landscape of Jewish communal institutions in San Diego, occupying a distinctive space as the sole organization serving the Latin Jewish community in the area.

History of the KEN

During the early 1980s, a substantial number of Jewish families immigrated to the United States from Mexico City and Tijuana to address economic and security concerns. When their social grouping outgrew the backyards of their homes in Chula Vista and other East County neighborhoods where they had settled, the families determined to find a more permanent place for their community to congregate. Having secured this first home in Chula Vista, the community took steps to formalize its identity and operations creating a governing board, recruiting members, and hiring a Sheliaj to oversee the youth programs which have been the central offering of the KEN since its inception.

During the intervening years, membership has grown and the KEN has called several locations home. In 2008, as a result of a capital campaign conducted in collaboration with the San Diego Jewish Academy, the KEN secured space on the SDJA campus, enabling the organization to unify at one location its youth program activities, other indoor and outdoor activities, and administrative offices.

Although the youth movement has long been and will continue to be the central effort of the KEN Jewish Community, with a new facility and a revised governance structure approved at the General Assembly of 2008 the KEN continues to expand its program of offerings for various age segments of its constituency.

Mission Statement

The KEN Jewish Community is a non-profit organization where Latin Jewish Families find friends for life who share their beliefs, values and traditions.

Throughout a wide range of educational, leadership, social, beneficence, performing arts, and sports program and activities, its members strengthen their Jewish identity, build a connection with Israel, and maintain their culture.

Spanish:
El KEN Jewish Community es una organización sin fines de lucro donde Judíos Latinos adquieren amistades para toda la vida con quien compartir sus creencias, valores y tradiciones.
A través de una gran variedad de programas y actividades educativas, sociales, de liderazgo, beneficencia, arte y deporte nuestros socios fortalecen sus valores humanos, identidad judía, construyen una conexión con Israel y mantienen su cultura.

Goals

  • Teaching our youth to become responsible members of their communities. Reminding them of their unique responsibility as Jewish Latin American members of society.
  • Instilling the values of Tzedaka (charity), and Tikun Olam (fixing the world through action).
  • Instill a peer-to-peer relationship between children and their teenage leaders that will enable both parts to learn and grow.
  • Create a support group for children and parents.
  • Help children in all age groups acquire skills for intelligent decision making.
  • Foster pride in our identity as Jewish Latin Americans.
  • Participate in tangible projects that will enhance the life of underprivileged groups.
  • Organizing activities and events for our special needs members to integrate with the community.