Young Jewish Adults in India Have a New JDC Champion
Recently appointed to JDC’s Mumbai, India staff as Program Coordinator for Young Adults, Service, and Leadership Training, Salome Abraham brings to the task a taste for the exotic, as well as a familiarity with JDC programs that belies her youth.
A Mumbai University graduate with a degree in management studies, Salome was a long-time participant in JYP, the JDC-supported Jewish Youth Pioneers, and an active member of its Executive Committee. She has represented India at JDC’s international Jewish summer camp in Szarvas, Hungary, and has also been to Israel on the Taglit Birthright program.
One of Salome’s first successes was JYP’s recent “Monsoon Picnic” and outing. In addition to celebrating the rains, the event—held at a riverside park an hour-and-a-half outside Mumbai—offered a full-day program, including a discussion session led by JSC Fellow Hannah Grossman, a trek up to a waterfall, a water buffalo ride, a snake show, and time for boating and fishing. With the country’s recent economic growth leading more young Jews to see India as a place to build their future, JDC’s expanded emphasis on developing informal Jewish programming and activities for youth and young adults is opportune.
And these efforts to buttress the community’s future build on the striking sense of Jewish identity evident among India’s 4,300+ Jews, despite their being a tiny minority in a country of 1.2 billion people.
“The community as a whole cherishes their Jewish identity, strives hard to be united, and has been successful to make a small Jewish world of their own,” says Salome.
Asked how she views the future of her geographically isolated community, Salome acknowledges that “sustainability has been an issue … in an extravagant cultural Diaspora like India where people have less knowledge of our existence,” but she is proud that the community “has come a very long way.”
“JDC’s contribution to keep this community flourishing is much appreciated,” she says. “The future predominantly depends on a continued effort from the community—and from the youth in particular.”
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