Not just for the young

You wrote movingly of the work AJWS has done as it “sent tens of thousands of idealistic young Jews to work on long-term projects in the Third World” (“Service-learning opportunities do a world of good,” column, Feb. 15). I’m one of those Jews, as is my wife. We’re both over 60. We worked on social justice projects with AJWS partners in India last year.

I worked in community media training in Ahmedabad, site of Gandhi’s ashram. I helped plan and implement a social media strategy, rebuilt a key website and wrote a handbook for citizen journalists. My wife uncovered new funding agencies to support women’s social justice programs, wrote proposals and led team-building workshops.

The point is that young and old have much to give. The assumption that with AJWS’ change of strategy only the young have lost a chance to serve is erroneous. Here and abroad, vital skills are mobilized at all age levels. Sadly, in the U.S., huge human potential lies fallow as employers fail to use the capabilities of seniors.

AJWS was glad to mobilize our skills, and we were enriched and transformed by the experience.

Marty Perlmutter and Miki Raver   |   Tiburon