Our grantee, Jacob Szotkman who founded Gabriel Project Mumbai three years ago penned an article in today’s e-Jewish Philanthropy which speaks so eloquently to why he has dedicated himself to helping the children of Mumbai’s slums; kids he so aptly refers to as “on the margins of the margins of society.” He shares that when fellow Jews ask him what he does and he describes his work with this marginalized population he is often chastised for helping “others” and not his own people… “There are so many needy Jews – why are you helping those people out there?”
Jacob’s thoughts resonated for us as well, for not only have we too been asked that very same question but it has also been a point of discussion amongst our lay and professional leadership. Just what makes us a “Jewish” organization?
We, too, believe that it is our obligation as a Jewish organization, to help everyone, irregardless of their religious beliefs. Anyone whose life circumstances leaves them vulnerable and overlooked by society deserves our help whether they be hungry, without a roof over their head or isolated by age or illness or other circumstances. As Jacob so eloquently states, we should “remember that those who society has given up on–Jewish or not Jewish–are human, too. They are worthy of love and care.”