Inside India Service Trip 2015


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Mission: To improve the lives of people in the Mumbi Slums through service initiatives, and forge lasting links that will incite change


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Yonatan Benyamini

Inside India 2015

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Amalya Megerman

Amalya Megerman

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We are a group of university students, interested in service and Jewish Peoplehood, who will be participating in the Center for Jewish Life’s upcoming Alternative Winter Break Trip.

This December, in coordination with the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), we will be travelling to Mumbai, India to do service work with JDC’s local NGO partner, Gabriel Project Mumbai, while learning and experiencing the history and traditions of the Mumbai Jewish community and its long relationship with philanthropic work.

As a result of India’s billion-plus population and sizable infrastructure gap, the government is often unable to address pressing social issues such as endemic poverty and the poor public health. The Gabriel Project is an NGO operating in Mumbai to help break the cycle of poverty and hunger in India’s slums. GPM provides a number of critical services for over 1,000 children living in Mumbai’s Kalwa slum including nutritional meals and medical assistance.

Our first goal is to immerse the participating students in rich traditions of the Mumbai Jewish community and take part in conversations about Indian education and youth. To contribute to GPM’s mission of helping to break the cycle of poverty and hunger in Mumbai’s slums, our service work will focus on hunger relief, literacy support, hygiene education and other programs that promote public and children’s health. In performing this service, lessons will be drawn from the historic role set by famous Mumbai- Jewish philanthropists who undertook civic projects that have benefited the city as a whole.

We have been working for over a year now with the JDC Entwine to make this trip a reality; planning a civic engagement trip to such a complex and formidable destination as India has certainty been an experience in itself. This set of challenges has become even more pronounced as we have striven to incorporate a cultural component to the trip in which participating students will be immersed in the rich traditions and history of Mumbai's Jewish community.

Our overarching goal is to explore the meaningful linkages that cross ethnic and national boundaries through humanitarian work in the Kalwa slum and intercultural exchange with the local Jewish community.

We would greatly appreciate if you would join us in our work and learning experience with the Bnei Israel community in Mumbai by making a donation to our trip. While we have received generous financial support by JDC Entwine, private donors to the Center for Jewish Life and the Hindu Jewish Coalition of New Jersey, many of us are having financial difficulties covering the $2,500 participation fee. Your contribution will help provide this once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for 14 students.

As a group we have been contacting family and friends that can help us fundraise for our trip to Mumbai. We would like to thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to following up with you after the trip!

Team Captain

Yonatan Benyamini Yonatan Benyamini