Tevel b’Tzedek is now accepting applications to the second cohort of its year-long volunteer program, the Tevel Fellowship. The program, funded by Pears Foundation and Schusterman Foundation-Israel, is an exciting pilot striving to establish the best practices and standards for top quality Jewish service in the developing world.
The program’s first cohort is currently in the field in Nepal. The group includes 10 Jewish volunteers from Israel, the US and Europe, and 9 Nepali volunteers. The local and international Jewish volunteers are working together on a variety of projects in a rural district in central Nepal in areas such as agriculture, health, women’s empowerment, education and media. “We believe that by creating a mixed group of international and national volunteers, we are creating a platform that will bring out the best from both groups” says Micha Odenheimer, the founding director of Tevel b’Tzedek. “Each group brings unique perspective and added value to the work. When they work together they are able to create real change in the communities that neither group could achieve without the other.”
“This is the only full immersion program taking young people in groups and embedding them in villages, that is changing not only the leadership and values of the volunteers but also the quality of living and future potential of those villages.” said Roberta Fahn Schoffman, Tevel board member after visiting the group in Nepal. “Tevel isn’t just about the volunteers. They have a model that includes small steps, modest approach, real results. The fact that they are doing real and meaningful work on the ground is what inspires and motivates the volunteers”
Matthew Kessler, Tevel volunteer “Coming in here a lot of us have the notion that we’ll make a change in a short period of time. And its kind of an ego thing that you want to make this change, but its very humbling to learn of all the hardships here and to react and approach them in a more sustainable way. We learned not to do something just to satisfy ourselves, but to plant a seed that will grow and develop over time.”
For more information and to apply for Tevel’s volunteer programs see www.tevelbtzedek.org.