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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

AJC Access

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Intergroup & Race Relations, International, International Peace & Security, Judaism, Race, Religion

Mission: AJC ACCESS envisions a generation of Jews committed to building a just and secure world for our community and all people. ACCESS empowers young professionals to understand and act on critical contemporary issues and facilitates their development as leaders in and beyond the Jewish community. We reach out and facilitate meaningful interaction with diplomats, policy makers and young leaders of diverse religious and ethnic communities ACCESS is positioning itself at the cutting edge between the establishment (AJC has represented the Jewish community in domestic and international halls of power for over a century) and the dynamic grassroots.

Results: ENHANCING UNDERSTANDING OF ISRAEL: ACCESS engages the diplomatic community in major US cities and visiting opinion makers from around the world through formal meetings and informal gatherings to advocate for a better understanding of Israel and the Jewish community writ large. Programs such as our “Viewpoints on Israel” series provide ACCESS members with a serious and engaged forum to discuss the central issues and developments confronting Israel in its quest for peace. ACCESS members have represented our views at conferences and meetings in Argentina, Ethiopia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Qatar, Poland, Rwanda, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates, and a trip is planned to India in 2010. BUILDING BRIDGES WITH OTHER ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS: Whether by traveling annually to New Orleans to help rebuild human connections and infrastructure post-Katrina or engaging in community service projects and dialogue locally with the Urban League Young Professionals, Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, and our counterparts in the Indian-American and Latino communities: ACCESS believes in the importance of building bridges across ethnic and religious lines to broaden our understanding of each other and to make a concrete difference in our community. As representatives of the community, we also believe it is vital to be able to articulate a point of view that resonates with a knowledge of Jewish history and thought. WATCH for ACCESS NY first fundraiser/gala with Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Dec 8 (ajc.org/accessny). PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD: ACCESS sent a 25 member delegation from across the country to the April 2009 Durban Review Conference at the United Nations in Geneva to speak up for victims of human rights abuses in places like Sri Lanka, Iran, Rwanda and Darfur – victims whose plight is all too often crowded out by the grossly disproportionate attention paid to Israel by the UN Human Rights Council.  ACCESS members conducted meetings with 15 country delegations and played a role in ensuring the anti-Semitic excesses of Durban I were not repeated. ACCESS has done programs on the Rwandan genocide and Darfur and on other areas of concern in the human rights arena. We are actively working on a program about online activists in closed regimes. ADVOCATING FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: JREC (Jewish Response to the Energy Challenge, http://www.jrec-conference.org/ ) is an ACCESS-sponsored initiative to bring together the collective intelligence, dynamism and enthusiasm of the nation’s young Jewish professionals to advocate for an energy policy that protects the environment and ultimately ends our dependence on Mideast oil. The JREC conference on November 8 will be webcast via satellite to ACCESS chapters and partners nationwide as well as in Europe and Israel. ACCESS offices have worked on energy issues through direct service, legislative advocacy and more. ACCESS is also proud to have formal partnerships with young Jewish communities around the world and works collaboratively with these groups through internet communications and knowledge sharing, and through joint trips and planning. (Partnerships with European Union of Jewish Students, Australasian Union of Jewish Students, South African Union of Jewish Students, Canadian Federation of Jewish Students.)

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5000

Geographic areas served: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AJC ACCESS has been by far one of the greatest experiences I have had with a non-profit organization. From diplomatic trips to countries around the world, volunteering in the local community and their amazing local programming in Energy through their J-REC (Jewish Response to the Energy Challenge), Young Diplomats Program where they train future leaders to hold diplomatic meetings at Embassies and Consulates, and the Jewish Identity in the World. In the last year I have had the opportunity to meet and hear Shai Agassi talk about the future of the electric grid, meet with diplomats from Germany, Israel, and Mexico. I first got started with ACCESS a few years back via their amazing Leadership Institute. I have participated in many leadership programs and this was by far the most engaging and educational. It addressed the state of Jews throughout the world, current issues affecting Jews in different parts of the world, how to address the media about these issues, and how AJC as a whole has developed strong relationships with foreign governments and local cultural and religious organizations in order to help build stronger diplomatic and civil rights partnerships. I could go on and on and on. I will leave it at this and hope that others will check out AJC ACCESS and discover all that I have and more.

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

the conference was quite superb. the organisation,quality of participants,the food, everything was first rate . i felt privilkeged to be there and learn such a great deal. full credit to all who put together this outstanding conference.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing organization. I go to many ACCESS events, have travelled to several international cities and attended conferences. Attended the J-REC conferecen in San Francisco this past weekend - and was blown away by people they had present and ideas for what I can do to make a difference. I met so many of the right people, thank you ACCESS!

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

Love this group. They are helping the Jewish communty tackle the issues of our day. Highly recommend folks getting involved.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

Since December, I have attended a variety of AJC ACCESS events and have found the topics and the participants to be intelligent, open-minded and curious about our world. Moreover, I have been amazed by the incredible access to significant figures, events and places that this organization has provided its young group.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACCESS offers something unique to young Jewish people in that it caters for people interested a wide range of stimulating diverse and topical issues. I personally find its programs intellectually stimulating and really appreciate the way they deal with such a diverse array of issues. I also appreciate the way access deals with issues that may be slighly controversial or beyond the scope of normal Jewish organisations as this is what engages and interests toidays young people

8

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was an incredible experience with wonderfully talented and motivated individuals. My specific roles entailed writing briefing papers on social, political, religions and international affairs, attending conferences, planning meetings and conducting research. The access that I gained to leading academics, politicians, government officials and activists is unparalleled for a young person. The program is enriching, and it is well organized. The mentors are hands on and the other individuals in the program are top-notch. The experience is memorable and invaluable!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the Russian Yound Leadership Program at the AJC in the Spring 2009 and had an amzingly enriching and inspiring experience. Each week, we have been exposed to the key challenges faced by the Jewish world and Israel today by top-high experts and much engaging speakers. It changed me views on many issues and provided me with a network of equally involved young leaders. Congratulations to the AJC for having designed and made this program possible!

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Lately I haven't been so involved with AJC ACCESS because of my school schedule, but ACCESS is a great group. Unlike other nonprofits I've worked with, ACCESS is open to ideas, is forward-looking, and is proactive. For example, if a member has an idea that would further the organization or its mission, unlike other nonprofits, ACCESS is open to explore the feasibility of this member's idea and support the member in executing it.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AJC not only does great work through its international organization, but also empowers individuals to promote ideas of understanding in a variety of ways.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization, open minded people, great reach. It has been very rewarding organizing intercultural activities and outreach to embassies and international communities, as AJC is very recognized as the main Jewish organization with a tolerant mindset and a unifying message.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great group of smart, young, Jewish professionals who care about current events and policies impacting our country, religious freedom, Israel and the Jewish community. Well attended events, seminars and for those willing to get more engaged an opportunity to get to know about the great work AJC is doing nationally and internationally.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACCESS is a fabulous organization that combines substantive programming about the issues I care most about-- foreign affairs, energy independence and strengthening interfaith relations-- with a strong commitment to a secure Israel and Jewish role in international relations.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with AJC Access for over 2 years and it is an incredible organization. I have had hands on experience dealing with issues ranging from energy security to national security to equal justice. As one example, I was able to meet and talk with the ambassadors of over 20 countries about issues affecting the Jewish community at a luncheon sponsored by the AJC. I can't think of another organization that has such an important impact on so many issues.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with AJC professionals and volunteers has been wonderful. The content has been very accessible, relevant, and meaningful. I enjoy our partnership and look forward to future collaborations.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had an amazing experience at Durban II. The planning and communication, coordination, and support was all first rate. ACCESS opened my eyes to a whole new world of international multilateral diplomacy and put trust in me as a delegate. This is how to build long term relationships with an organization, and how to truly build a community.

3

Former staff

Rating: 5

This summer, I had a Goldman Fellowship with the AJC and learned about AJC's energy agenda. I helped to plan an event to teach people about the importance of reducing our oil-dependence and using alternative energy sources. Also, I had the opportunity to meet with dedicated and passionate AJC employees and lay leaders, politicians and diplomats, and understand the inner-workings of one of the most amazing and essential Jewish organizations in America. My work with the AJC this summer made it pretty clear to me that I want to work in the Jewish non-profit sector for a future career.

2

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

As high school ended, I was looking for an opportunity to experience working with an organization committed to Jewish communal service/advocacy. I was warmly welcomed by Rebecca Neuwirth and her ACCESS staff when I joined them for a month, working on reviewing AJC's high school Israel information and awareness curriculum, helping organize events, and coordinating other office-related efforts. It was wonderful and inspiring to be in an environment where so many people are accomplishing great things for the Jewish community of today and of tomorrow.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had an amazing experience as an Access Board Member. I have had the opportunity to engage the community of Miami and also attend some amazing events with international representation. There have also been many opportunities that I have been unable to take advantage of, including some missions to other countries regarding several different issues such as energy and immigration, that I heard were amazing. I did get to go to New Orleans for a great ACCESS conference that was very worthwhile.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have had two very positive experiences with Access. The first was an information event I attended at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The second was a conference held in New Orleans in January 2009. On both occasions I have found the events to be well organized, informative and empowering.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACCESS has provided me with many unique opportunities--I even traveled to the UAE for the Women as Global Leaders Conference with an ACCESS delegation where we participated in education sessions on leadership, women, interreligious efforts, etc. I've met all kinds of experts and diplomats from all over the world through ACCESS and have learned of very interesting and eye-opening perspectives from conversations with these speakers.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Recently this organization had event targeting a cross section of young professionals and diplomats relatively early on in their careers. The event was so successful that several embassies contacted AJC to continue and grow the relationship. The professional staff that aides the lay leaders in putting on such events is so sophisticated that the events are incredibly professional

3

Board Member

Rating: 4

I recently attended an ACCESS DC ifthar with a group of young Jews and Muslims. We each learned about the other's religious customs and found that we had many commonalities. The program was thoughtful, informative, and warm.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

very user-friendly, information is readily available and laid out in a way that makes sense. I like the images and the overall design, which fits really well with the AJC website. I also like the breakdown of the national and local chapters- very useful!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had an amazing experience with AJC ACCESS, and I feel privileged to be involved with such a meaningful and notable organization. The work is valuable, and all of us who participate are passionate about what we do. I was immediately drawn to the mission of AJC and felt a personal desire to join and help build a new chapter of ACCESS in Denver. I am a new co-chair for ACCESS Colorado and look forward to this role. Many exciting programs are underway thanks to the wonderful resources of AJC ACCESS. This year I had the honor of participating in the AJC ACCESS UN Durban Review delegation where we had a front row seat in diplomacy, attending the UN conference and key meetings with world leaders. This experience will forever influence who I am and the causes I get involved with. I am a huge advocate and supporter of AJC ACCESS and cannot say enough wonderful things about this organization!!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

The organization has been a wonderful resource for conencting to the Jewish community and finding opportunities to support others. Thank you.

3

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a French student from Sciences Po University in Paris. I spent one year at ACCESS AJC in New York as an intern. It was an extremely meaningful experience. I was able to help ACCESS in the essential work it does in diplomatic outreach, intergroup relations, and on campus.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AJC has provided Colgate University's students with a window into the important work the AJC is doing all over the world. AJC has provided our campus with expert speakers as well as assisting students in developing their own programs. Perhaps most exciting is that many of our students have traveled with the AJC to participate in high level meetings. AJC has been a wonderful addition to the offerings at Colgate.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the last 3 years I have been active with AJC Access. I have founded and participated in several organizations since my university years. AJC by far has been the most intellectually satisfying and impactful experience for me. Their staff are phenomenally informed and remarkable organized. However, it is the general feeling of compassion and understanding that attracted me and keeps me interested in their (my) endeavors. I believe unequivicolly in their creed of buidling bridges.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACCESS is extremely successful at providing opportunities for engagement for young Jewish professionals -- facilitating fun, productive exchanges with diplomats, experts in the green energy field, and civil society in the US and overseas. It's also great at providing a forum for discussion and debate about key issues -- the nature of a Jewish state, the future of U.S. energy policy, the role of intermarriage in the Jewish community. Occasionally, as a consequence, its primary objectives are a bit muddled, but the opportunities to think, learn, and come together more than make up for it.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the chairperson of the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS). Our Jewish community is much smaller than the one in America. Through AJC Access we are able to connect to a much wider Jewish world and find ways for leadership in our organisation to grow. AJC Access offers us material resources for our work,strategic thinking insights, valuable information, visits us in South Africa and contributes funds so that we are able visit their offices in the United States of America.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The AJC ACCESS program is an excellent opportunity for young Jewish leaders to channel their interests in political activism through an intellectual channel. The AJC ACCESS program connects young Jews with highly influential thinkers in American and international political society. The opportunities to engage these important leaders is an incredibly valuable experience. I am proud of my association with AJC ACCESS, and I look forward to continuing my involvement.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wored with a Jewish/pro-Israel think tank in Melbourne, Australia. I assisted in editing, translations and writing articles. It was a very rewarding experience and introduced me to the Jewish community of Melbourne.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with AJC ACCESS has been extremely satisfying. Not only that amazing people are working together on questions and issues that are of value and concern of society, its members are given the opportunity to get involved into a wide range of activities reaching from reflective hands-on activities to projects offering profound inside into diplomatic relations. AJC ACCESS provides a most wonderful platform for sincere engagement.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am involved in many different philanthropic groups, but my experience with ACCESS has been the most unique and rewarding. The ACCESS leadership consistently and carefully develops programs that are relevant to its target age demographic and are also critical to the larger work of the AJC. As a result, ACCESS is an important part of the larger organization and not a feeder program or subset of the more senior membership of AJC. ACCESS is incredibly organized, which allows it to quickly respond and provide opportunities for young leaders to participate and help in current events. In particular, I went with ACCESS to New Orleans immediately after Katrina to help in the rebuilding efforts and I have attended ACCESS's annual meeting almost every year in Washington D.C. Further, I worked with ACCESS to develop a young leadership retreat with the Dallas and Miami AJC chapters, which helped develop more active young philanthropic leaders. In summary, due to the work of the ACCESS leadership and AJC, I have dedicated my philanthropic efforts primarily to ACCESS, which I find to be the most relevant and rewarding non-profit organization that I have worked with on human right, pluralism, and democratic values.