Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth Ephraim Mirvis hopes his historic visit to India will act as a catalyst for Jews to support aid, literacy and development programs in Mumbai and Kolkata.
During the first ever visit to India by a Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Rabbi Mirvis spent 10 days visiting 19 synagogues and met leaders of India's Jewish community.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis, accompanied by his wife Valerie and two of their sons, visited projects which are part of OLAM, a network dedicated to promote, enhance and showcase the impact of Jewish organizations and individuals in the field of global volunteering, aid and development.
Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM) and Sundara, two Jewish organizations that work with underprivileged populations in Mumbai met with Chief Rabbi Mirvis. GPM cares for poor children living in Indian slums by attending to the Triad of Children's Well-being, which includes education, health, and nutrition. Sundara’s mission is to reduce unnecessary hygiene-related deaths by creating sustainable soap recycling programs for under-served populations around the globe.
“My time in India has been extraordinary on a number of levels. Jewish communities around the world are already doing a great deal of work in this area,” Chief Rabbi Mirvis said. “As Jews, we have a responsibility to ensure that, where possible, our charity extends beyond our own community to people who we may never meet but who are so deserving of our help.”
OLAM Executive Director Dyonna Ginsburg expressed the importance of the Chief Rabbi’s visit and the impact of Jewish aid in India and around the world.
“We are delighted that someone of the stature of Chief Rabbi Mirvis has placed the issue of social responsibility on the highest agenda, especially in the Jewish world,” said Ginsburg. “The Chief Rabbi's visit has been deeply affirming, demonstrating that their work is valued as a Jewish act. Today, as the world faces extraordinary and complex challenges, it is more important than ever to strengthen Jewish efforts to repair the world.”
OLAM is an initiative of the Alliance for Global Good, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Pears Foundation.