In December 2018, fourteen young Jewish adults from the Boston area got to experience the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds of Mumbai on our Project Inspire trip. We visited centuries-old synagogues, sang Hebrew songs (translated into the local language) with school children, witnessed the impact of NGOs supported by the Jewish community, and even attended a Indian Jewish wedding, where we danced the Bollywood routine our Mumbai peers had taught us. When I tell people back home about the wedding, most ask “Who was Jewish and who was Indian?” But our new friends in Mumbai showed us what it means to be both: living out Indian and Jewish values, adapting traditions, practicing tikkum olam, and wrestling with their connection to the land of Israel. These are, after all, universal Jewish experiences.
I brought back the sounds and stories of Mumbai, so you can hear it for yourself.
This above audio piece contains the voices of Elijah Jacob, executive director of the Evelyn Peters Jewish Community Centre in Mumbai; Joshua and Maayan Shapurkar (our lovely tour guides, who are uncle-and-niece); and Daniel Rahamim Shapurkar, member of the community. It also includes the voices of Project Inspire participants Chad Brodsky, Emily Kates, Clara Scheinmann, Jamie Fleishman, Alaina Pleatman, Lauren Pyes, Yuval Derry, and Allie Levy.