Here’s the official scoop on a new program called Tevel b’Tzedek that, it seems, is capitalizing on the Israeli fascination with the East to get people involved in social service. They’re currently taking applications for its next couple of cohorts, so check the information below if you’re interested.

Tevel b’Tzedek’s project is a 14 week residential program in Katmandu, Nepal combining learning and service to introduce Israeli and Diaspora young adults to the challenges and dilemmas of the developing world.
Tevel b’Tzedek believes there is great importance in creating opportunities for young Israelis and Diaspora Jews to experience their Jewish and Israeli identity (or identification with Israel) as a profound path into deeper connectedness with humanity and a platform for effective action in healing the world.
The first program will end on July 22nd, and the second one will begin on October 15th.
Program
The program will begin with a 2 week orientation and will be followed by a 9 week internship in which participants work on a project together with local NGO’s. A two week trip to the more rural areas of Nepal will be held in the middle of the internship period.

First part – Educational (Two full weeks + a few sorter seminars) – This part will focus on the following issues:
• Cultures and languages of the local population – including a sort Nepali course aimed at allowing the participants to speak and understand very basic Nepali.
• Third World issues, including the effects of globalization, environmental, health, and human rights issues
• Exploration of Jewish social justice tradition from the prophets through contemporary thinkers and its context within Jewish history.
The program will also emphasize individual and group processing of experience through discussion, writing, and peer-learning.
Second part – Internships: Each participant will be matched to a local NGO for 9 weeks, divided in to two parts by the rural trip. Tevel b’Tzedek will help each participant in finding an internship that suites his skills and interests.
Third part – Rural Trip – In the middle of the internship period, participants will travel for 2 weeks to rural areas to learn about the struggles of remote villages, as well as mountain ecology and rural sustainability. During the trip the participants will take part in a joined project suited to the needs of the area.
Closing week – This week will focus on the situation in Israel, How we see our place in the world as Israelis and Jews, and ways to stay involved.
Diaspora – For the first two cohorts, only Hebrew speaking Diaspora participants will be recruited. By the third cohort, accommodations will be made for non-Hebrew speakers, with the long term aim of creating a program up to 1/2 Diaspora.
The House – Participants will live together in a large house with a garden and a beit-midrash-library. The house and garden will run on principles of sustainability, and will be vegetarian and non-coercively Sabbath- friendly.
Exploratory Program
We would like to emphasize that this is a pilot program. Tevel b’Tzedek is in a constant process of thinking and change. All the above will be built with the participants themselves and therefore might develop in to new and different directions. It is important to us to build the program in collaboration with you, On the one hand this will give you a lot of flexibility and opportunities to take the program in directions that are relevant for you. On the other hand it is more demanding and requires more responsibility and hard work.
Joining the program
The second group will start on October 15th, 2007.
Candidates, who would like to join the program, should send an email to Tevelbtzedek AT gmail.com. We will send you back the application form. Fitting candidates will be invited to a group interview and a personal interview around August. Candidates who aren’t in Israel will be invited to a telephone interview. We will give final answers before the end of august.
Costs
Tevel b’Tzedek will cover the costs of the program, including living expenses and volunteering needs. Each participant must arrive on his own to Katmandu, Pay for his own health insurance and visa.
Commitment to the program and cancellation fee – Tevel b’Tzedek will invest much time and funds in each participant; Moreover Tevel b’Tzedek is interested in establishing a record of commitment with the local NGO’s. Therefore it is of high importance the participants commit to the full program. Participants will be asked to deposit 200$ witch they will receive at the end of the program, or if the decision to leave early is made with the consent of Tevel b’Tzedek.
For further questions you are welcome to write to Aya Navon at – tevelbetzedek AT gmail.com