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We offer volunteers various social programs in the areas of arts and culture, education, sports,  health and environment.


Ticún : Join local Hillel guys and gals for the afternoon in Rio’s Home for Jewish Elderly.

Introduce yourself, drink some tea, listen to their amazing stories, enjoy vintage Jewish music together, chat about health, politics, etc., play chess, smile, repeat.

Just like visiting your grandma!

Portuguese: From none (English is spoken by 20 – 30% of the home residents, some Yiddish/Hebrew may be appreciated) to advanced.

When: Normally on a Sunday afternoon, but visits may be arranged on other days too. Plan on spending several hours. Feel free to come back the next day.

Where: Lagoa – Upper West Side type area of Rio, 25 minutes bus ride from Ipanema. Transportation may be provided from Hillel’s office in Lagoa.

Qualifications: You must love grandparents, have patience, be between ages 18 – 30. Yiddish or Hebrew is a plus.

Contact: Tamar. phone: +55-21-22460039

Program Fee: None

Child in Motion

Ticún: Educational and recreational work with children from a Rio de Janeiro’s less favored community (favela). You probably heard of tourist favela tours – this visit is much more authentic and you are given a chance to actually contribute your time and skills.

Hillel has well established program of visiting a favela’s community center and playing various games, teaching innovative visual lessons, interactive music activities etc. with kids aged 5-12 years.

You’ll be joining Rio’s Hillel members for few hours of learning and fun.
Make a difference in life of a local kid!

Portuguese: From none (Hillel guys will translate for you and you can get away by playing music or dancing) to advanced.

When: Normally on a Sunday morning, but visits may be arranged on other days too. Several hours.

Where: Different favelas (Cantagalo, Pavão-Pavãozinho, etc.) in the city are visited. Transportation will be provided from Hillel’s office in Lagoa.

Qualifications: You must love kids, be between ages 18 – 30. Playing musical instrument is a plus.

Contact: Tamar. phone: +55-21-22460039

Program Fee: None

Individual placements to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

Ticún: Custom developed placements are available depending on volunteer’s skills. The options vary according to the volunteer’s abilities and interests (i.e. teaching or architecture). Currently there are more than 40 projects (in the areas of Arts, Child Development, Sports, Teaching English, Environmental, Media & Design Innovation, NGO Development, Health Education & Awareness and Homes Building).

Portuguese: From none (training will be provided) to advanced.

When: The programs can last up to 24 weeks. All year round except Carnival and major footbal games. The longer the placement, the more beneficial the volunteer will be to the partner organizations, and the more they will learn from the experience.

Where: Different favelas (i.e. Barriera do Vasco) in Rio. Transportation will be provided.

Qualifications: Sanity, enthusiasm, 18 and over.

Contact: Daniel

Program Fee: Up to four weeks: R$ 2,300.00 includes accommodation, breakfasts, orientation, Portuguese classes and 50% donations to support the project in which you will be working.

Each additional week: R$ 210.00 (per day R$35 – for accommodation expenses only – to be paid in advance)


Laços de Amizade (Friendship Circle)

Ticún: São Paulo’s Jewish chapter of The Friendship Circle provides moral and fianacial support to children with special needs (i.e. disabled kids and children with cancer) and their families. The project is run by local youth wing of Chabad (Espaço K).

Contact Espaço K to see how you can get involved this week. The activites are unique and creative: recent events involved clowns, magicians, train rides through the neighborhoods, bingo, scavenger hunts, etc.

There is nothing better than making someone smile!

Portuguese: Medium to advanced, although local volunteers will try to accommodate the beginners.

When: Normally on Sundays and weeknights. Plan on spending several hours. Feel free to come back the next day.

Where: The volunteers report to Espaço K office in downtown São Paulo.

Qualifications: You must be between ages 18 – 40, creative, have sense of humor, patience and be open minded.

Contact: Patty. Phone: +55-11-3666-0088.

Program Fee: None


Q: Why volunteer on a holiday?
A: The program adds meaning and purpose to your holiday: you are visiting
exotic and beautiful land and being useful to the community.
Bringing international volunteers to work in favelas can make a real
difference. The volunteers get to pass on their valuable skills and
experiences and to develop new ones. And the residents of the
communities, young and old, get to learn more about the rest of the world.
This exchange of cultures is enriching on both sides.
Unlike an ‘ordinary’ tourist, you will be interacting with many regular
Brazilians outside the tourist industry. It is rewarding and fun!

Q: What my volunteering day will be like?
A: A typical working day would be:
Breakfast 7-8
Leave the accommodations at 8 to get to project at 9. You will get to see
more of non touristy Rio on the way!
Work at the project 9-12
Lunch 12-1.30
Work at the project 1.30-4.30
Back to accommodation, shower and going out for dinner, informal
meetings with local Jewish activists, live music and dancing.

Q: Who is your ideal candidate?
A: Open minded, energetic, positive and dedicated individuals
who enjoy outdoors and Brazilian culture.

Q: Do I need to know Portuguese?
A: The volunteers are not expected to know Portuguese,
although it helps to learn at least a bit. We could recommend teachers and
online materials to prepare.

Q: What is the size of the group?
A: 2-30 people, depending on the project.

Q: What is the age of the volunteers?
A: Most of our volunteers are in their 20s and 30s.

Q: Do I have to be Jewish?
A: No, but you have to be open to brainstorm Jewish topics (i.e. Jewish
culture, assimilation and Zionism vs. Diaspora) with fellow local and
international Jewish volunteers and activists. This interaction is one of the
unique features of our program.

This article from the leading local Jewish scholar Bernardo Sorj provides
excellent introduction to distinctive circumstances of Brazilian Jewry, “Judaic
historiography and sociology in the 20th century have been especially sensitive to anti-Semitic
phenomena in the numerous societies where Jews live. However, they have shown very little
concern in understanding why, in certain societies (i.e. Brazil), antisemitism is slight or nearly

Q: What do I do about food while I am there?

A: Hearty traditional breakfast will be provided and is included in the cost.
Please notify if you keep kosher and it will be arranged. Lunches will be
provided on volunteering days (Monday to Thursday). Upon arrival
volunteers receive guides and maps that include supermarkets and tips of
good restaurants.

Q: What are accommodations like?
A: Our volunteers are lodged in  in various part of the city.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Email us for any additional info/application form. After we review your completed
form, you’ll be contacted for in-person interview with local Ticún Brasil coordinators.

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