Tikkun Olam: Gabriel Project Mumbai

Categories: B-shul, Religious School

The Ilanot class, led by Morah Mollie, is learning about three worldwide tikkun olam projects, one of which is Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM).  Founded in 2012 by former hi-tech executive Jacob Sztokman turned social entrepreneur, GPM is built on a vision of changing the lives of children in Mumbai’s slums through literacy and hunger relief while educating young Jewish adults about the ethos of care, global responsibility and tikkun olam that are at the heart of the Jewish people. This program aims to change the trajectory of the children’s lives while offering young Jewish adults a meaningful and life-transforming experience.

To get students excited about GPM and learn a bit about India, we prepared a traditional Indian rice pudding known as “kheer.”  Students measured and mixed basmati rice, with milk and sugar and flavored the pudding with raisins and cardamom.  After 20 minutes of stirring the team saw the ingredients transform into a thick pudding.  Traditionally it is topped with nuts like cashewspistachios or almonds but since we are a nut-free kitchen we sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.  In India, rice pudding is typically served warm during a meal as a dessert.  We found it interesting that desserts are served mid-way through the meal, a practice the kids would like to adopt here in Pittsburgh!  Students said the blessing over washing hands before cooking and over this yummy dessert before eating.  The Ilanot class gave kheer the thumbs up so if you’d like to try it at home, here is the recipe…

Kheer (Rice Pudding)


  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (optional-top with sliced almonds or chopped pistachio nuts or cinnamon-sugar)


  1. Bring the coconut milk, milk, sugar, vanilla and cardamom to a boil in a large saucepan
  2. Add Basmati rice and simmer over low heat 20 minutes until the mixture thickens and rice is tender
  3. Stir in the raisins and cook for a few more minutes
  4. Ladle into serving bowls and allow to cool for 5 minutes
    (recipe yields seven ½ cup servings)
  5. Garnish and eat warm
    OR Refrigerate and eat cold

(recipe yields seven ½ cup servings)

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