Gabriel Project Mumbai Experience – Fall 2018
About the Gabriel Project Mumbai Experience (GPM Experience): Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM) is a local Indian NGO caring for thousands of vulnerable children, in the slums and poor rural villages, through education, hygiene, nutrition and medical programs. GPM works in collaboration with local grass-roots organizations, women’s empowerment groups, the business community and the Indian Jewish community.
The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) partners with the GPM locally to connect the Indian Jewish community to the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam and empower them to take responsibility for the world around them. Additionally, JDC Entwine partners with GPM each year to send young Jews from around the world to learn about its initiative in the slums of Mumbai.
Learn more about Gabriel Project Mumbai.
What will Fellows do
during the GPM Experience?
During the first two weeks, GPM Experience participants will be in Mumbai as they learn about the innovative educational programs implemented in the Kalwa slums and interact with the local children. Participants will explore a range of subjects with the children such as English, math, hygiene, art and more! Participants will also experience India’s diverse culture and Hindu, Muslim and Jewish traditions though cuisine, historical sites, and shopping for colorful textiles. They will soak up the energy of Mumbai, India’s most cosmopolitan city, including Banganga Tank, and The Hanging Gardens.
The third week will be spent in Ashte, a rural village north of Mumbai, where GPM also runs educational, nutritional and health initiatives. Participants will learn about sustainable agriculture and meet with the local youth of Ashte. This is a unique experience where participants will be living in a rural tribal community and will experience the challenges and joys of village life in a meaningful way.
- Background with or interest in educational programs for children
- Flexibility and comfort visiting India’s slums
- Ability to adapt, comfortable in new cultural contexts
- Passion for instilling the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam
“My experience volunteering in India was hands-down the most transformative cultural experience of my life.”
– 2015 Participant
Airport pick up/drop off in overseas location & transportation to/from service work site
Group activities & excursions
Comprehensive health and emergency evacuation insurance & on-the-ground staff support
November 18, 2018 – December 10, 2018
(subject to change)
September 3rd, 2018
*Please note that your participation fee does not cover:
- International airfare
- Most meals
- Visa (required for US passport holders; JDC will provide visa application instructions and support)
- Leisure activities
- Personal expenses
The participation fee is highly subsidized for North American and UK Fellows. The full, unsubsidized cost of participation is $3,050. Additionally, the Marion Lemesh Fellowship enables applicants from outside of North America and the UK to participate in this experience through a generous donation. Please find more information about the Marion Lemesh Fellowship and requirements below. Grantees will be awarded an additional subsidy of $250.
All participants are required to obtain a Tourist Visa for India. Fellows are responsible for obtaining their own tourist visa for travel to India. Participants must apply for a tourist visa no earlier than 120 days prior to your trip, and no later than 1 week prior to departure. It can be applied for through the online Indian E-Visa system. Detailed application instructions and information about visa fees can be found on this website.
Participants are responsible for the cost of their Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). Approvals are at the full discretion of the Embassy of India. Fellows will be required to submit a copy of their valid visa to Operations Coordinator, Sofia Parody at email@example.com prior to travel to India.
The Marion Lemesh Fellowship (for GPM Experience applicants outside of North America & the UK)
The Marion Lemesh Fellowship is a unique, first-of-its-kind Fellowship designed to encourage and develop an interest in global affairs, local Jewish communities, and a passion for helping others. The fellowship prioritizes enhancing connections and links between Jewish communities around the world and focusing on supporting young, Jewish adults from countries outside of North America and the UK.
- Express a strong desire to help others
- Be a dedicated member of their local Jewish community
- Be proficient in English
- Be an international applicant (from outside of North America and the UK)
- Return home with the responsibility to educate their local community
This fellowship provides generous subsidies for highly qualified, passionate, motivated applicants. If you are interested in applying for the Marion Lemesh Fellowship please make sure to indicate on your JSC Summer Fellowship application.
About Marion Lemesh:
Marion Lemesh’s family has a deep connection and appreciation for JDC and its work. Marion’s father and mother, having survived the Shoah as a soldier in the Red Army and as a Partizan respectively, met in a JDC supported Displaced Person’s Camp in Austria in the aftermath of World War II. Her father had the good fortune to work for the JDC in a variety of roles including as driver and mechanic. These life-changing job opportunities helped her parents get back on their feet, and provided the necessary support to start a family. Shortly after Marion was born, the family moved to the United Kingdom to rebuild their lives.
Fiercely independent and devoted to the care of those she loved, she lived a life of the values which she most represented: a commitment to education, both religious and secular, personal responsibility and freedom, travel, and tzedakah.
The Fellowship endowed in memory of Marion Lemesh z”l is designed to strengthen links between communities around the world by providing young adults the experience to travel, learn and explore the world in an impactful and meaningful way.
Holding the second largest population in the world, India has a staggering 1.2 billion people. Mumbai alone is home to 22 million people and over 70% live in slums. People living in the slums have limited access to electricity, clean water, food, and educational opportunities. Gabriel Project Mumbai primarily works in the Kawla Slum just outside of Mumbai which comprises 200,000 people.
The Jewish population in India is about 4,350 with 85% of the Jews living in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. This small yet vibrant Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world, tracing their roots as far back as 2,000 years. Because of India’s huge population and significant poverty, the country’s limited government-run social services are massively overloaded. The Jewish or Bene Israel community lack the welfare infrastructure to meet all of the needs of poor, elderly, and vulnerable Jews among them. JDC, operational in India for over four decades, partners with various local organizations to provide welfare services for the neediest Jews in the community and helps to develop vibrant Jewish life in Mumbai through programs at the local Jewish Community Center.
Applications for the Fall 2018 GPM Experience are now open. Please fill out the below form to receive a link to the application.