AJWS launches global justice fellowship program

American Jewish World Service is recruiting in the Bay Area for its newly launched global justice fellowship program.

Known for its work-study projects in developing nations, the social justice organization is also recruiting in the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles areas. In the Bay Area, the program is co-sponsored by the S.F.-based Jewish federation.

Ruth Messinger

The initiative is aimed at creating a cadre of social justice activists prepared to advocate within their home communities and in Washington for issues of concern to AJWS.

During a recent visit to the Bay Area, AJWS President Ruth Messinger said the new program represents the organization’s strategy of focusing more narrowly on several key issues, including the rights of women, girls and LGBT individuals, and ending poverty; and training key opinion leaders in the American Jewish community to act as advocates for those goals.

“The experience of being overseas with us is very powerful,” Messinger said at an event in San Francisco. “It helps [participants] understand what’s going on, and that they have the power to change it.”

The program involves a year of study and workshops centered around a visit to AJWS projects in a developing nation. For example, the Bay Area contingent, expected to number from 15 to 18 people, will spend 10 days in Uganda next February, learning from local groups who are using grassroots organizing tactics to defend the rights of women, girls and LGBT people.

There are no age requirements, although the ideal applicant is involved in Jewish community leadership and committed to advocating for global justice issues after the program concludes. Costs to participants are minimal, and the application deadline for the Bay Area is Oct. 1. For more information, visit www.ajws.org. — j. staff