American Jewish World Service, Inc.

Rating: 4.63 stars   32 reviews

Issues: International, Religion

Location: 45 W 36th St 11th Fl New York NY 10018 USA

Mission: American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism?s imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community.
Geographic areas served: Americas, Africa, Asia
Programs: Strategic Grant Making AJWS funds hundreds of grassroots projects throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America that promote health, education, sustainable economic development, disaster relief, and social and political change. AJWS works with women, youth, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, indigenous people, refugees and IDPs and people living with HIV/AIDS. Volunteer Service AJWS volunteer service programs are designed to increase the impact of its grant making and to create a cadre of global social justice leaders. Each year, more than 400 AJWS volunteers, ranging from high school students to retirees, travel to the developing world to work with AJWS?s project partners. Advocacy In partnership with grantees, AJWS advocates for U.S. engagement to help find peaceful and just resolutions to the world?s worst conflicts and to provide support to rebuild societies devastated by crisis. AJWS?s current advocacy work focuses on the genocide in Darfur, HIV/AIDS, debt relief, women?s rights, and universal access to education. Education AJWS seeks to make the pursuit of global justice an integral part of American Jewish identity. It brings Jewish perspectives to bear on many dimensions of global poverty through teaching and publishing materials that are true to Jewish tradition and responsive to the unique challenges of the 21st century.
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 22-2584370
212.792.2900
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I am proud to be a part of AJWS. This organization puts Jewish values to work all around the world, helping those in need to build the resources to sustain themselves. I especially like the range of options that AJWS offers to the Jewish community: making monetary donations; following the issues through AJWS's web site, blogs and emails; joining learning trips to various parts of the world in need, and all the way to sustained on-the-ground service, with programs tailored to many ages. I’m inspired by my involvement with AJWS, and I can think of no organization that better represents the values of tikun olam.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

progress in Darfur

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world!

Ways to make it better...

no suggestions

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I’m inspired by AJWS’s ability to teach the value of tikun olam (repairing the world) to the Jewish community through service opportunities. AJWS is dedicated to helping populations with the most need, across the globe- regardless of faith or background. Their programs promote long term self sustainability rather than a dependence on donors and volunteers. Year after year, I’ve seen participants in AJWS volunteer tours return with new found passion for helping to repair their worlds, with a deep understanding of how interconnected we all are. I believe their use of Jewish text and spiritual groups really helps to support the young volunteers in very challenging working environments. I can think of no other Jewish organization that deserves this honor more.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Inspiring my community to broaden their horizons.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ways to make it better...

More short term volunteer opportunities.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have been a group leader for service trips to Central America with AJWS and I am also a member of the steering committee of Global Circle, the organization's new young leadership initiative.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Guatemala and El Salvador. By leading service trips I had the priviledge of meeting and working with AJWS grantees who are doing incredible life-sustaining work in Central America.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the sophistication, thoughtfulness, and dedication of its staff and program development and implementation.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

end global poverty, hunger, and disease in our lifetime.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

We have volunteered for the AJWS since 2000 for 3 1/2 months each year in Thailand, India, Uganda (2 times) Namibia, Ghana, Kenya, and for a shorter time in Mexico. Through this partnership we have been able to make an impact on communities and individuals, and become more educated and sensitized ourselves. Check out our blog at wwww.peterandhindas.blogspot.com, and our videos at www.youtube.com/hindapeter to learn more about AJWS and us. Peter and Hinda Schnurman

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Thailand, India, Namibia, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

permit multiple volunteer assignments

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

understanding the problems of the developing world

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

excellent

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help empower many more people and help to brng about a better world

Ways to make it better...

we could have more time to volunteer

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Through AJWS, I participated in an Alternative Spring Break in Nicaragua and a Volunteer Summer program in Ghana, and then received support to launch a women's leadership initiative in Mwange Refugee Camp, Zambia, and conduct research on refugees' access to justice in Meheba Refugee Settlement in Zambia. AJWS is an incredible organization deeply dedicated to cultivating social justice leaders. The support I received as a volunteer while in the field was outstanding, but I have been truly impressed at how hard AJWS has worked to make me feel a part of a community and to support me long after I returned from the programs. My experiences with AJWS in Ghana launched me on a professional and academic track of work related to Sub-Saharan Africa, and also strengthened my Jewish identity and commitment to Jewish pluralism.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

cultivating strong social justice leaders, inspiring commitments to Jewish pluralism, and supporting innovative and impactful grassroots organization.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

enhance the academic elements of post-field education.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the continued feeling of community and support long after my stint as a volunteer concluded.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, inspired, inspiring, open, thoughtful, and genuine.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

touch hundreds of thousands of lives.

Ways to make it better...

I had done a bit more pre-field training and reading.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

building out a meaningful and targeted advocacy arm.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this is an incredible organization with both breadth and depth of impact.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-4-01

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Rating: 1 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Why do you call your self Jewish? What is Jewish about you? I believe you expose Universal Moral Values. Helping the poor, feeding the hungry, going on trips. These are not only Jewish values. Most of the worlds religions ask there adherents to help the poor and feed the hungry. Why do you call yourself Jewish? I want an answer? Please furnish one to me. I believe you are misleading. By calling yourself Jewish you get Jewish people to donate. I donate to Jewish causes as well as cultural organizations. I feel I donated $1000 to you and you are not a Jewish Organization nor a cultural organization. You need to change your name. I was mislead. cbwhyte@stribling.com

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

did not

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Can the name to: Third World Hunger and Relief Group

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

no nothing about this organization other than it calls itself Jewish

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

heard Ruth Messiger speak about feeding the hungry and poor and improving their lives.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

maybe change its name

Ways to make it better...

I had not known there was nothing significantly Jewish about this organization. There are poor Jew's around the world do you feed them?

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

raising money

One thing I'd also say is that...

be honest with your donors.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I have been close to this organization for many years, it's purposes and activities are models for our time, my grandchildren - and others as well - have told me that their awareness and experience of AJWS' programs and goals have been life-changing for them.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The feeling that one can make a difference with poverty, hunger, women's rights, political democracy in the Third World.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Being an AJWS donor enables me to help marginalized communities in the developing world create meaningful social change. Every dollar I am able to donate gives AJWS grantees the opportunity to tackle issues that affect them - from promoting universal access to education for girls to ensuring that landless farmers can collectively advocate for their resource rights.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hearing about the success of grantees AJWS has funded. Listening to volunteer service alumni talk about their expereince working with AJWS grantees in the developing world.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make sure that communities had more say in their own development and that the needs of the most marginalized and powerless populations are addressed.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Before leaving for a three month stint in Thailand with AJWS, I figured I would have a "nice and interesting" experience. I had no idea it would change the course of my life and impact me so deeply. As an English teacher with immigrants from Burma, I saw firsthand the struggles that people live with on a day-to-day basis with regard to basic human rights. While I am Jewish and the women of my organization were devout Christians, I saw us overcome our religious differences and work together toward improving the quality of life for those who have very few opportunities. It wasn't about Jew, Christian, Asian or North American. It was about humanity and doing what's right. Currently, I am working as a social worker in New York City, but the lessons that I took away from my experience with AJWS are with me always.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

opening my mind to the ills or the world. It has helped me think about new ways in which I can shape my career and orient it toward anti-trafficking.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to get more young people involved.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their commitment to international issues.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

unbelievably kind and giving.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make more grants to more organizations and strengthen those that it already has ties with.

Ways to make it better...

I had stayed longer!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The economy

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I am currently in India volunteering for AJWS, and I couldn't be happier. they matched me with a local NGO perfectly; we are such a good fit. I got ample support and preparation, and the staff in New York is always available whenever I need them. they check up on how everything is going in a number of ways, but always in a supportive way, never in a way that makes me feel they don't trust me. the organization with which i am working does incredible work, and i am able to really help them given my particular set of skills and background. AJWS has always been very responsive to anything I need or want. When i think of the amazing work they do around the world, I am proud that they are living the idea of Tikkun Olam, or the Jewish directive to help heal the world. As a Jewish organization, they are very involved in issues of genocide and racism, and they do a lot of work in Darfur, but they are also interested in women's issues, helping underprivileged or underrepresented groups of people, and many other forms of service work. The way they work is to partner with local service organizations, and that helps in so many ways. it helps directly, and it also helps those organizations develop sustainability long after the AJWS grants or volunteers have gone. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity they have given me to serve India, a country I love.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the way they partner with local nonprofits in the countries in which they work, to maximize the good they can do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help millions of people for the rest of their lives.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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