Thursday, April 25, 2013

From the slums to Mumbai's Nehru Centre of Art and Culture

On Sunday April 21, JDC-GPM Interns, JDC & GPM staff and REAP teachers, traveled with children aged 7-12 from the slums of Kalwa to the Nehru Center in Worli, Mumbai. For all 40 children, this was their first time visiting metropolitan Mumbai. For most, it was their first time out of the Kalwa slums. So of course, this was the first time they were at a museum and it would be a day they will always cherish.

The JDC-GPM Internship Program, an innovative four-month long volunteer opportunity for young Jewish Indian professionals and students, work with the children of the Mumbai slums to make a meaningful difference and a positive impact on their lives. Through an organized program of social and learning experiences the participants of the JDC-GPM Internship Program provide an informal, motivational setting to encourage social and personal growth for children with limited opportunities. Find out more about The JDC-GPM Internship Program here

The bus ventured out of the slums towards Mumbai. Ten minutes after leaving the slums, the children were overhead speaking to each other in amazement as they saw some of the tall modern buildings that dot the more influential parts of Mumbai. They understood that the people living in theses apartment buildings had water, electricity and food in their homes while the children’s family’s homes had none of these ‘comforts’…

The Nehru Centre houses 14 galleries that make up the Discovery of India Exposition, covering every aspect of artistic, intellectual and philosophical attainment of India through the ages. Its 50,000 exhibits and interactive audio visual displays, determine, true identity of the country. The Centre was chosen specifically to introduce the children to their India. The interactive exhibits brought to life prestigious Indian personalities like Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore and Akbar. The most impressive part of the museum was the professionally made movie, ‘Who Are We?’ that traced the incredible history and development of the Indian people throughout the ages. We wanted the children to be exposed to the many cultures, religions, traditions and people that are part of their identities as citizens of India. We wanted the children to appreciate that they were significant members of the multicultural and ethnic makeup of their wonderful country. We wanted to instill in them the idea that they are important and that they can contribute and thrive in their society.

The museum and the beautiful gardens surrounding the centre were idyllic locations for the fun activities prepared by the Indian Jewish counselors.  The well developed program, masterfully led by JDC-GPM Intern, Jennifer Jacob, was well-structured and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The children enjoyed the games and learning activities facilitated by Tahl Mayer, Salome Abraham and Sigalith Isaac of the JDC and GPM. Everyone appreciated Elijah Jacob, Director of JDC India taking time out of his busy schedule to interact with the children, especially as he brought chocolates for all! Once again, the JDC sponsored a wonderful nutritious breakfast and a nourishing lunch; something that the children did not take for granted! 

The JDC-GPM youth are important actors of social change. They are special people giving the equally special children living in the slums the message that they are loved, that they can follow their dreams and thrive.
Jennifer leading an activity

Salome showing a boy how proud she is of his work

Salome and Tahl with the children hard at work

Tahl and the kids at the Nehru Centre

Mr Elijah Jacob and friends

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Good People Fund supports Gabriel Project Mumbai in alleviating the suffering of children in the slums

The Good People Fund, a wonderful  tzedakah  fund (charity) whose motto “Small actions, huge impacts” refers to their dedication to ‘low overhead organizations, run by “good people” who use creative ways on making strong inroads in easing poverty, hunger, disability, social isolation and more’, has granted Gabriel Project Mumbai a generous donation to support our work.

When we approached the Good People Fund, they were touched and moved by our commitment to providing hunger relief and literacy for children living in India’s slums. They heard about the hardships and suffering (malnutrition, child labor, illiteracy and hunger) of the children and families living in the slums and then they took action. The Good People Fund decided to generously support the nutrition and literacy of more than 50 children living in the slums over the course of one school year.

Gabriel Project Mumbai appreciates the goodwill of the Good People Fund and thanks them for their support and their dedication to giving many children living in the slums a life of hope and the opportunity to thrive.

To learn more about the good work done by the Good People Fund, click here. To learn more about how you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of vulnerable Indian children, click here

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Join us at a GPM event at Boston's historic Vilna Shul!

Join us at the historic Vilna Shul, in Boston on Sunday 12th May (4pm) to hear about Gabriel Project Mumbai's work with vulnerable children in the slums of Mumbai and celebrate the rich history, vibrancy and traditions of the Indian Jewish community:

Giving of Ourselves
Exploring Jewish India with Gabriel Project, Mumbai founder Jacob Sztokman

 NEW DATE: May 12th at 4:00pm
18 Phillips Street, Boston, MA
Take the Red Line to Charles/MGH

Join us at the Historic Vilna Shul for a special event as we celebrate the richness of global Jewish life and the groundbreaking work of the Gabriel Project, Mumbai.
Founded in 2011, the Gabriel Project works to inspire the worldwide Jewish community to take action in the slums of India. At the core of the organization are young Jews from around the world who dedicate their time to teaching literacy and providing nutrition for children living in Mumbai’s slum. Volunteers are placed in the program through the JDC's Global Jewish Service Corps.
Jacob’s organization is a stunning example of someone who combines a Jewish ethos with the Jewish historical experience and uses it to motivate others to lift people out of the bondage that is poverty.
If you are interested in serving abroad, learning about Jewish cultures, or are simply curious about what it is like to live in India, join us on April 21st.  
We will hear Jacob’s inspirational story of his work founding the Gabriel Project and afterward enjoy entertainment and refreshments, including European Ashkenazi foods alongside sweet flavors unique to Jewish India.  This event is free and open to the public, so bring your friends!

What is the Vilna Shul?
Boston’s last remaining immigrant-era synagogue, the Vilna Shul is now a place of learning where Jewish history, culture and spirituality are open and accessible to everyone. It is a must-see historic site for visitors to Boston and a unique community venue for concerts, speakers, films and Jewish life cycle events.

For information and registration visit or contact 
Jessica at (617) 523-2324.