Tevel b’Tzedek, an Israeli-based non-governmental organization, defines itself as being “dedicated to creating a new generation of Israeli and international Jews engaged in social and environmental justice by offering them a direct experience of the developing world through study and service internships.”
One of their most recent service internships, in the Dunwa Rai fishermen’s community in Nepal, brought 6 young Israeli and American Jews to help 30 local men and women rectify a polluted river situation. The ecology of the river that the community had fished in for generations was disrupted, and so together all the volunteers dug a pool.
The Tevel b’Tzedek volunteers included a former officer in the Israeli army, an artist from Tel Aviv, and a recent graduate of UC Berkeley in Anthropology.
The project also developed an agricultural education center, and is bringing irrigation, fish farming (aquaculture), a vegetable nursery, greenhouses, bio-gas toilets and more to “a population whose struggle to improve their agricultural yield will mean the difference between whether they will be able to stay on their ancient lands or be forced to migrate to inner city slums.” The project, then, achieves social improvement through environmental sustainability.
Tevel b’Tzedek operates a full volunteer program in Nepal, which takes place twice a year and is four and a half months long. The program includes living in a house in Kathmandu for the first month, and being immersed in Nepali language and culture courses, as well as study of globalization, development, environmental issues, and Judaism’s social and environmental justice tradition. Time is also devoted for the volunteers to examine their role in the world today as Jews – both collectively and individually.
The second part of the program includes volunteer work, with opportunities to volunteer in the fields of: environmental and agricultural development, formal and informal education, women’s empowerment, public health, and community empowerment.
Read more about other volunteer programs::