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Multi-Week Global Jewish Service Corps | INDIA

Create and facilitate vital educational programs for children living in the slums of Mumbai with Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM), a JDC partner.

About India

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. To learn more, visit JDC’s India website.

Volunteer Placement

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 volunteer in the slums, helping GPM to run its education initiative in the slums Learn more about Gabriel Project Mumbai

What will Fellows do at GPM?

Fellows create innovative education programs and volunteer daily in the slums to facilitate lessons and interact with the children. Both formally and informally, Fellows teach a range of subjects such as English, math, hygiene, art and more! Overall, Entwine Fellows help instill an important love to learn for the local Indian children. This is apparent as our Fellows often walk into the GPM classroom the students exclaim with a smile “Hello Teachers!”

Fellows also get a chance to learn about GPM’s other initiatives such as visiting the newly-opened medical clinic and visiting the women’s empowerment kitchen where free meals are made daily for the students.

Fellows are simultaneously immersed in Mumbai’s vibrant Jewish community, working alongside Indian Jewish peers at the JCC and other local Jewish institutions.

On a typical weekday, Fellows take the train just outside of Mumbai to the Kawla Slums where GPM operates its programs. After teaching a few classes and learning about GPM’s grassroots work, Fellows return back to Mumbai to have a group activity which could be a site visit to a local JDC program, local community leader or Hindi language class.

Program Dates:

October 17 - December 12, 2017

Application Deadline:
August 31, 2017

Program Breakdown
Week 1: Orientation
Week 1-3: Daily Volunteer work in slums, with excursions, site visits and classes

Desired Qualifications:
• Background or interest in working on educational programs with children
• Flexibility and comfort working in the setting of India's slums
• Ability to adapt, comfortable in new cultural contexts
• Passion for volunteerism and instilling the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam

Participation Fee: $500 per 4-week session
This includes:

• Comprehensive health and emergency medical evacuation insurance
• Housing
• Transportation to and from service work
• Airport pick up

This does not include:
• Airfare to and from India
• Visa
• Meals
• Any personal expenses

Visas All accepted participants will be responsible for obtaining a visa to India. Upon acceptance, JDC will provide detailed logistics and instructions for applying for a visa.

Apply Now

The applications for the Multi-Week Jewish Service Corps - Fall/Winter 2016 session is now open!
Fill out this form if you're interested in applying and we will send you an email with the application link!

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What are participants saying

  • "India was fantastic! It really was a life changing experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone I speak to! The kids were so cute as well, I wanted to pack them in my bag and take them home! My co-volunteers were great as well, really friendly and everyone helped each other out whether it was with the teaching or with other challenges we were facing."

    2015 Fellow
  • "My experience volunteering in India with the JDC and Gabriel Project Mumbai was hands-down the most transformative cultural experience of my life. My everyday interactions with the exuberant children in the Kalwa slums was enriching, and the warmness with which I was received by the Jewish community in Mumbai was heart-warming and indicative of the kindness of Indian society in general. I could not have imagined a better way to spend my summer. I am planning to return to Mumbai to resume my volunteering in Kalwa as soon as I am able."

    2015 Fellow
  • "Volunteering with GPM was an incredible experience. Not only was I able to do meaningful service work in the slums of Mumbai, but the staff was also extremely open and informative making the trip exciting and educational. The trip far exceeded my expectations and has taught me so much about Indian culture and Jewish values. I look forward to having the opportunity to continue my connection with the organization in the future."

    2016 Fellow
  • "My experience volunteering with JDC as a Multi-Week Fellow was amazing. GPM is incredible. They're really empowering children in the slums and it was a privilege to work with them! I am forever a better person for from this fellowship!"

    2015 Fellow
  • "Living in Mumbai and teaching in the slums was a deeply humbling and spiritual journey. Empowering these children in the classroom will lead to a healthier life for their families and them. Spending time with the Jewish community in Mumbai was magical, they're warm and interesting and made my time in India and life changing experience! Thanks JDC!"

    2015 Fellow
  • "Volunteering with GPM in Kalwa has truly been the intensely immersive, service-oriented experience I was seeking from the outset. Daily challenges include interfacing with extreme poverty and finding ways to be the most effective teacher you can be amongst varying levels of literacy. However, these challenges seem to almost immediately fall by the wayside as we arrive to a loud, boisterous greeting of “Good Morning Teachers!” from the smiling children"

    2015 Fellow
  • "Going to India was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went in to the country with a lot of questions, curiosity, and hope. While some questions were answered and while it was tough to see many of the struggles India faces, I left with even more questions and hope, and with a deep interest in and appreciation for India. Experiencing the Jewish community only made my appreciation for my Judaism stronger, and Mumbai was one of the most incredible cities I have ever been to. It was beautiful, it was rich, it was poor, it was tame, it was wild, and it was everything in between!"

    2016 Fellow
  • "Throughout this trip I was able to re-think about what it means to be Jewish and the value that being part of such community has. I feel that throughout my time in college I have grown distant from the Jewish community, and this trip re-sparked my interest in being part of such community."

    2016 Fellow
  • "This experience changed the way I think about both volunteering and what it means to be Jewish. The opportunity to volunteer with GPM allowed me to learn about India while simultaneously serving a community in need. I hope to continue giving back nt only to India, but also to my community back in the U. S."

    2016 Fellow

Entwine is a one-of-a-kind movement for young Jewish leaders, influencers, and advocates who seek to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues. We do this by offering service experiences in Jewish communities around the world, educational events and programs, and leadership development opportunities. Entwine is an initiative of JDC, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in the world. JDC works in 70 countries, specializing in humanitarian aid, Jewish community renewal and disaster relief. Learn more:

About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC): For over 95 years, JDC has provided rescue, relief, and renewal for Jewish communities outside of North America, helped Israel meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens, and offered a Jewish response to natural and man-made disasters and non-sectarian development needs around the world. JDC's work in over 70 countries is inspired by Jewish values of mutual responsibility, that kol yisrael areivim zeh l'zeh (all of Israel is responsible for one another), and tikkun olam, that Jews have an obligation to repair the world. Learn more: