Practically every Israeli after a two or three year stint in the army escapes the pressures of living in a small country surrounded by less than benevolent neighbours – to go backpacking somewhere else, anywhere else. You can find hordes of them letting loose in Goa, India; in the middle of a jungle in Costa Rica or swinging from trees in Africa. Hoping to make the most out of Israelis’ wanderlust is the Jerusalem-based NGO called Tevel b'Tzedek, which plans to train Israeli backpackers on how to conduct humanitarian and environmental work in Nepal. The project is expected to start this April in Kathmandu. We were given the tip by David Pearlman Paran, at Israel’s Heschel Center featured here on TreeHugger and here at Grist. Heschel will be responsible for giving some of the environmental training in Nepal. According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the 3-month program will integrate study and service internships for 20 Israeli young adults and will involve them in social and environmental justice programs in the developing world. The group will live together in a vegetarian-kosher and eco-kosher house, which will be non-coercively Sabbath friendly and user-friendly for religious and non-religious Jewish people of all streams.Tevel b'Tzedek (which means The Earth In Justice) will coordinate service internships for the volunteers in strategic short-term volunteer positions through its local Nepalese partners, working on such issues as slum rehabilitation, environmental degradation, and health.
Among its activities, the backpackers will learn and teach principles on globalization, third world development, and the Jewish tradition of social and environmental justice from the Prophets to contemporary thinkers. Also, Tevel b'Tzedek plans to catch some of the thousands of young Israelis traveling through India and Nepal during their "post-army" trek to entice them with lectures, films, and short-term volunteering opportunities for making the most out of ones’ backpacking experience. For more information on volunteering at Tevel b'Tzedek contact Micha Odenheime ::release is here