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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

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had a great experience with AJC ACCESS> It is a great place for young Jewish professionals to come together and advocate on behalf of issues we care about. It is different from many other young boards I have been a part of because it is not focused on fund raising but instead allowing young individuals to engage in the organization's core mission.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

AJC ACCESS is serving as the home for genuine Jewish debate, and because of that it feels like my home too. It is neither liberal nor conservative, nor orthodox or reform, it is a central meeting point for all perspectives. I have worked with AJC ACCESS to meet with diplomats, and to build relationships with African-American and Muslim young leaders. The meetings have not been dialogue for dialogue sake but to work with these communities on common projects.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACCESS has shown me the world, both literally and figuratively. ACCESS members are a unique group of people who bring a great deal of diversity, perspective and open-mindedness to each engagement. We are bonded in the mission to advance plurality, build interethnic parternships and engage political leaders abroad, whether in Israel or Ethiopia. Yet we vigorously debate among ourselves in a climate of friendship and a spirit of learning. We make waves and leave a lasting impression. In meetings with diplomats right here in New York or in my recent trips to Israel and Germany, ACCESS members have performed as effective and impassioned ambassadors for the Jewish community. I traveled to Berlin with AJC ACCESS to meet with various groups on the future German-US relations. These groups included politicians of various parties, grassroots organizations, journalists and immigrant groups. This led to a subsequent trip to Israel, focused on the role Germany and the US can play in addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a delegation of young German political officials and ACCESS members.