Creating global citizens

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We appreciate your recent column on the importance of service programs, inspired by your own experiences as a young woman. Service is an arena in which we at American Jewish World Service have been active for some years, and we know it makes a difference for participants.

While we will be changing how AJWS does service programs, we will not be leaving this important practice behind. Like most organizations with a clear mission, AJWS looks for even more effective ways to advance its work, which is why we are now focused on modifying our service programs to increase our impact in the developing world.

In 2013, we are organizing 12 service/study trips — among them delegations of rabbis and rabbinical students of every denomination, including rabbis from the Bay Area. We are also organizing several new overseas programs for young people and adults focused on cultivating activism, including an upcoming trip for activists from California. These new trips are designed to forge deep connections between grassroots human rights advocates in the developing world and American Jews of all ages who are committed to taking action in the United States in support of the rights of women and girls, LGBTI people, subsistence farmers and other marginalized groups in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

These programs are part of our effort to create a new generation of “Jewish global citizens” who are committed to repairing the world for all. We thank you for your interest in our work and for sharing your views with your readers.

Ruth Messinger   |   New York

President, American Jewish World Service