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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Human Rights, Judaism, Religion

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.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 2

I donated money for their Horn of Africa hunger relief program. This triggered an endless barrage of mail solicitations, phone calls and emails from them. I have reason to believe that they also shared my contact information with other charities. I've made multiple requests to remove my contact information from their lists to no avail.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The trip my husband and I took into the field with AJWS was a turning point in our philanthropic and passionate commitment to this great organization and to the people served through its programs. Several years ago, we accompanied the indefatigable Ruth Messinger and other staff and volunteer leaders to Thailand and Cambodia to meet the leadership and beneficiaries of programs that AJWS funds, We were moved by the level of professionalism and passion of the workers we met. And we were impressed by the strategic funding choices AJWS makes in the field, as well as the organization's commitment to measuring the impact of its investments. AJWS's funding is often to small cutting-edge groups who may not receive the largesse of traditional funders. This means AJWS is often one of the first funders to a new cause or organization -- and because this early money is the hardest to raise and has the greatest impact, it makes AJWS a leading player in the communities it serves. Our commitment to AJWS has deepened over the years, as we have come to know its leadership, its programs, and the depth of its commitment to healing the world.

Review from CharityNavigator

13

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor I feel that AJWS does all possible to reach out to those in the world who are in the greatest need. I had the personal experience of working with AJWS in a Walk for Darfur fund raising effort earlier this year and felt well supported and much appreciated by the organization. Their staff was available before. during and after the event and definitely made the event the success that it was.

13

Donor

Rating: 5

I traveled to the Yucatan on a Rabbinical School last winter with AJWS where I saw the power of a Non-Government Organization (NGO) transforming a community. Though this community only received a small grant from AJWS, they had made significant accomplishments. AJWS helped them diversify their sources of income while strengthening existing sources. In this process AJWS also helped the community implement environmental sustainability practices. Living and working with the people of this community gave me a true feeling for what they were experiencing. We also learned a astonishing amount of information about global issues, such as how foreign aid can be detrimental to those it intends to help. This trip was not just a one time event. AJWS engages you before, during, and after, strengthening your personal commitment to address global economic inequity. Sharing this experience with others has helped me create a group of friends and colleagues who are equally committed to this work.

15

Donor

Rating: 5

All of the people with whom I have worked are professional, dedicated, smart and knowledgeable about their fields. I think the concept of people all over the world who are unlikely to have contact with Jews meeting Jews in a positive context is a beautiful and important idea. And, finally, AJWS works to empower people, not treat them as needy victims.

8

Donor

Rating: 4

My husband and I frequently donate to AJWS because of how they touch the lives of the world's poor. My son has chosen this organization his Bar Mitzvah charity.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered AJWS when my husband and I wanted to make a donation to help the tsunami victims through a Jewish agency. Since then we have traveled twice with the organization to Africa and seen first hand the amazing work they do. This positive Jewish presence in countries throughout the world makes the concept of Tikkun Olam a reality. Their work in Darfur to combat genocide, their work with HIV AIDS, their work to combat world hunger, create community, support women, etc is utterly impressive.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

7

Donor

Rating: 1

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