Israelis have a thing for Nepal. Each year, thousands of young Israelis strap on their backpacks and travel the world, with many ending up in Kathmandu. It’s no surprise then, that the state’s capital city regularly hosts one of the world’s largest annual seders, often feeding more than 1,500 travelers. (That is a LOT a lot of matzah!)
Now, Repair the World grantee-partner Tevel b’Tzedek (The Earth- In Justice) offers another way to have a meaningful Jewish experience in Nepal. This February, Israelis and Jews from around the world can join Tevel b’Tzedek on a 4-month adventure promoting environmental justice and human rights and working to ease poverty in Nepal.
The Israel-based nonprofit launched in 2007 with the mission to “create a community of Israeli and Diaspora Jews engaging in the urgent issues of global poverty, marginalization and environmental devastation from a place of deep commitment to the Jewish people and its ethical and spiritual traditions.” Since then, more than 250 people have participated in the volunteer fellowship in Nepal and Haiti (where they also run service programs.)
The Nepal program combines both Jewish study and volunteering including:
- Working with local communities on youth education, agriculture, women’s empowerment, and health
- Learning about social and environmental justice, Judaism, economics, globalization and the history and culture of Nepal.
- Studying Nepali language.
- Volunteering both in Kathmandu and outside in more rural areas.