Tikun OlamSupporting Remote Jewish Community Partners Around the World
In January we had our River tour the Amazon. It was quite exotic, and entertaining. We tasted the amazing tropical fruits and had gourmet meals in the river cruise. Every day there were trips to see pink dolphins, monkeys, birds, and much more wildlife and nature. The serenity of the river combined with the elegant boat made the trip even more memorable than ever.
What is amazing, is that a member of the Jewish people actually lives there so far away from the bigger cities like S. Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. For the past 10 years Rabbi Arieh Raichman and his 6 children have been servicing the tourists, like us, and the local Jewish residents. It is hard to believe, but the Jewish people have actually been living in the Amazon for more than 200 years. They mostly came from Morroco during the rubber boom, and many remained while forming large families.
As the rubber industry came to an end most of the immigrants made their way to the bigger cities like Belem and Manaus. Today, what remains in the smaller cities are cemeteries with few remaining Jews. The Rabbi came on boat and shared with us some inspiring stories, like meeting a Jewish nun and indian. He also told us of the great challenges they entail for Mikvah and Jewish education. They say small city, small problems, but in his case it is a big problem.
The closest mikvah is a 2 hour flight, each way. Although the Amazon River is one of the largest in the world, for a Mikvah it is not Kosher. Like with all our trips, we at Kosher River Cruises like to take a part of the community, and help them grow. They are going to be running a campaign to raise funds to purchase a property and build a mikvah. We hope you take part, and will join us as we see the developments of the Amazon Mikvah.
Thank you and see you on our next trip.
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