Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Chabad Mumbai Brings Volunteers and Joyous Murals to GPM's Nursery School

It is with a great deal of gratitude that GPM acknowledges the fantastic work of Chabad Mumbai and their teen volunteers who joined GPM for a day of volunteering in the Kalwa slums. Chabad volunteers joined us to bring light, joy, and color to our nursery school classroom.  Chabad's CTeen group under the guidance of Mushky and R. Uri Blau created a beautiful mural which will surround the pre-school children in the Joshua Jacob Greenberger Learning Center(JLC) every day.

Each week, the JLC is home to 9 classes from nursery (pre-school) to 8th grade. Not only do the children attending the JLC receive the education that they need to end the cycle of poverty, but they also receive warm, nutritious meals that keep their minds and bodies healthy and strong. The GPM solution of providing meals for children in school addresses both short-term and long-term needs of the children. The immediate need of hunger relief is achieved, malnutrition is abated, and a sound education is established to help promote a better life for children of the slums. 

We extend much thanks to Mushky and R. Uri Blau as well as the directors of Chabad Mumbai, Chaya and R. Israel Kozlovsky.

GPM prioritizes creating a warm environment that is fun and educational, and volunteers such as Chabad Mumbai help us to keep the center vibrant for the children! 

Explore GPM's Work Through Our New Website!

We are proud to announce the launch of our brand new website! Thanks to dedicated volunteers and professionals GPM has officially launched a new site, with special thanks to Jackie Lebwohl, our web designer.  Our new site has features which allow you to seamlessly explore our programming by topic, such as Nutrition, Education, Health, Community Development, and Women's Empowerment.

As GPM has expanded in the last several years so too have our projects. By organizing them by theme you are able to focus in on the areas of our work which interest you most. Additionally, our new site features a section for getting involved, ways to become a GPM ambassador, organize site visits, and of course ways to support our work!

Our site also has a special page dedicated to our Friends and Partners. It is thanks to our supporters that we are able to feed over 1,000 children each year and provide them with quality education, healthcare, and nutrition support as well as clean drinking water, soap, and hygiene supplies & education. We are enabled by your support to continue to expand our holistic development approach, promoting thriving communities and ending the cycle of poverty.

It is our hope to expand the new site to include an online store for purchasing products from our women's empowerment projects, such as hand-made soap, Masala Mama's cookbooks, recycled paper, hand-made sewn garments, and Warli art. While we are still building the infrastructure for this, if you are interested in purchasing any of these items please get in touch with us, the proceeds from the sale of these products support our women's empowerment projects!

We hope you will take a look at our new site and explore the ways in which GPM has grown and expanded, and ways in which you too can get involved with GPM's work!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

India Trip Participants and Volunteers Raise $15,000 for GPM's Educational Programs

In May, Maura Koenig and Miranda Lapides, recent participants on JDC Entwine’s latest “Inside India” trip, organized a fundraiser for GPM. They hosted two Shabbat dinners, one in New York City and one in Washington, DC with a goal of raising $10,000 for GPM’s educational programs at the Joshua Jacob Greenberger Learning Center (JLC) in the slums of Kalwa, and the village of Ashte.

Between the Shabbat dinners, the sale of Masala Mama cookbooks and paintings by local artists from Ashte, and sharing the campaign link across social media, $15,000 was raised! These funds will support our local teachers for the year, monthly teacher trainings, teaching aid kits for classes and desks for children.

The May 3rd NYC Shabbat dinner hosted 70 people, and in DC 30 people attended. Both events provided a delicious Indian meal, a presentation on GPM’s initiatives and the work we do, and caring communities that came together to contribute to a cause that spoke to them. Attendees, whether they were from the Jewish community, the Indian community, friends of GPM, or participants of a JDC Entwine trip, all had one thing in common: they were passionate about the cause.

(Photo Credit: Becca Siegel)

Maura, a Jewish educator in New York, relates her trip experience to the Hebrew word “hineni,” meaning “here I am.” “Hineni means ‘I felt this, I saw this, I was there’,” Maura explained. “Our visit to the slums in and around Mumbai meant so much, with so much to be done, and I wanted to do something about it…and we did. It’s incredible how many people can care about something when you share your story.”

(Photo Credit: Elizabeth Leff)
Miranda, a communications professional in Washington, DC, knew from her first day in the slums that she wanted to help raise money for GPM. “I was inspired by GPM’s work the moment we set foot in the slums, seeing the smiles on the children’s faces in the JLC classrooms, the mothers receiving medical care at the Shravan Health Center, the daily nutritious meals being served and women’s collectives providing financial empowerment to women in the slums,” Miranda said. “I had to bring this experience back home with me and get others excited about it as well.”Maura and Miranda decided that hosting Shabbat dinners would be the most effective way to engage the community and to raise funds. “There’s a very low barrier to entry: come and eat good food and drink good wine (and whiskey!) with good people, and hear a message that is important to the world and the Jewish people,” Maura said.

Thank you so much to Maura and Miranda who conceived these events, and all the Entwine volunteers who helped turn them into a reality. Additionally, a special thank you to Michael Braun, for his generous matching grant. Lastly, many thanks to Greenberger and Cortese families.

A special thank you to all those who contributed as sponsors for the dinners:

Ayurveda Cafe
Breads Bakery
Bread Furst
Coffy Cafe
Indian Delight
JDC Entwine
Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
Moishe House Without Walls
Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C.
Rasika West End
Trader Joe’s