The history of TJYE and Longsho
The Tibetan Jewish Youth Exchange was formed in the year 2000 in order to strengthen the identities of both Tibetan and Jewish youths.

Longsho SignTJYE is a partnership of Tibetan and Jewish youth operating between India and the UK, which was formed in 2000 as a grass-roots initiative following dialogue between Tibetan and Jewish youth in Dharamasala, India. TJYE’s founders were inspired by His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s request to Jewish leaders to ‘share the secret of Jewish survival in exile’ (1990). It was felt that it would be useful to share the Jewish model of informal education with Tibetan youth facing the challenges of exile, and that the process of doing so would strengthen both the Tibetan and Jewish youths’ own identities alongside increased global and cross-cultural awareness.

Tibetan and Jewish participants of TJYE have worked together to develop a Tibetan informal education structure in India which encourages Tibetan youth to engage with their identity, inspire and be role models for younger youth, and channel their energies within the community.

This resulted in the first ever Tibetan youth movement, Longsho, being set up in August 2000 with blessings from His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Longsho runs summer and winter camps each year in and near Dharamasala. Longsho currently has approximately 20 leaders, two of whom work full-time in an office in Dharamasala. The Tibetan youth who become members of Longsho have an experience that shapes the people they become, assists them in becoming active members of the Tibetan community and engages them in social and informal educational activities. Please find enclosed a leaflet produced by Longsho about its activities. Through TJYE and Longsho, Tibetan and Jewish young people have proven themselves as role models and ambassadors of dialogue and co-operation.

Within the UK Jewish community, TJYE has proved to be a unifying inter-movement project which has encouraged Jewish youth from across the spectrum to come together to draw upon what they share, consider the role that their Jewish identity can play in the world and the basis for this in the Jewish spiritual and ethical tradition, and to use the collective Jewish diaspora experience to support another community currently facing challenges of exile.