Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010...12:14 pm

Tufts Hillel: Reflecting on Day 1 in Mumbai (with pictures!)

There are currently 20 students from Tufts University Hillel serving in Mumbai, India with JDC Short-Term Service!

At 11:30 this morning, the adventure started. As soon as the plane doors opened, the heat and smells rushed in. After making our way through customs and meeting up with Gila, our trip leader from JDC New York, and Elijah, a representative from JDC-India, we got on a bus and started off toward our hotel. The entire ride, we all sat staring out the windows, wide-eyed and sweating, trying to soak in everything: the liberal honking habits of the rickshaws, the Hindi billboard, the saris, and the slums interspersed with fancy malls. It was a lot to take in, but the excitement of actually being here kept us trying our best.

Our afternoon on the first day was spent exploring a few Jewish sites around the city. First stop was a tour of the Magen David synagogue, which was a brilliant blue, followed by a stop at the Tifereth Israel synagogue. In both places, we saw gorgeous Torah scrolls, listened to stories from members of the Jewish Youth Pioneers, and heard about some Indians Jews moving to Israel.

Our final stop of the day was the Evelyn Peters Jewish Community Center, where we met up with more members of the JYP. It was so exciting to have time to just talk and eat with Indian Jews. After dinner, we enjoyed a mini dance party, which started with Bollywood dancing and evolved into a free for all. We had no idea what the songs were, but everyone had fun groovin’ to the beat, and I think we all have opinions on who had the best moves.

Between the heat, jetlag, and a busy day, we were all exhausted. At the final group circle of the day, we all agreed that the humidity was going to be a challenge, but simply being here is so invigorating, we can’t wait to keep exploring!

Previous posts from Tufts: Greetings from Mumbai! | Nine Days til India! | An Open Letter to The Jewish Community of India | Supporting the Jewish Community of India with Cookies!

Tufts Hillel – India – May/June 2010

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