AJWS Global Justice Fellowship for Rabbis

August 1, 2015 - September 1, 2016

A year-long fellowship designed to inspire and equip rabbinic leaders to become effective advocates for global justice.

The AJWS Global Justice Fellowship is a year-long program designed to inspire, educate and train key Jewish opinion leaders to become passionate global justice activists.

As part of this fellowship, rabbinic leaders will…

  • Learn about human rights and international development, including Jewish perspectives
  • Develop advocacy and organizing skills
  • Take action as part of AJWS’s We Believe campaign, focusing on ending violence against women, girls and LGBT people
  • Organize your communities to advocate for human rights
  • Travel to the Dominican Republic to learn from local communities effecting change
  • Lobby members of Congress
  • Join a national network of American Jewish leaders dedicated to promoting human rights and ending poverty in the developing world


What: A fellowship designed to inspire and equip rabbis to become effective advocates for global justice. The fellowship includes a 10-day trip to the Dominican Republic and innovative trainings designed to develop skills in organizing and advocacy in the U.S.

When: U.S. programming from August 2015 – September 2016; international travel from January 17-26, 2016, AJWS Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., May 15-17, 2016.

Where: In addition to international travel to the Dominican Republic, meetings will take place in New York City, Washington D.C. and via a virtual seminar space.

Who: Rabbis with five or more years of experience in the rabbinate

Application Deadline: Applications are now closed.

Cost: $180 – $540 (sliding scale based on financial ability) plus cost of visas, vaccinations, medications and health/travel insurance

Preliminary Fellowship Schedule and Requirements

Click here for a preliminary list of events, workshops, dates and commitments required of all fellows.

  • What is the AJWS Global Justice Fellowship?

    The AJWS Global Justice Fellowship is a selective year-long program designed to inspire, educate, train and empower key leaders in the American Jewish community to become activist leaders in support of global justice. The fellowship includes organizing and advocacy skills training; an 8- to 10-day immersive experience in the developing world to learn from extraordinary human rights activists; and support in organizing your communities to advocate for global social justice issues, specifically the rights of women, girls and LGBT people. Fellows will join a strong core of leaders in the U.S. already dedicated to advocating for human rights and ending poverty in the developing world.

  • Is there more than one group of fellows each year?

    AJWS will select two groups of fellows for calendar year 2015, including one national group of rabbis and one group of established Jewish leaders in San Francisco.

  • What is the structure of the year-long fellowship program?

    The AJWS Global Justice Fellowship consists of three programmatic components that take place over the course of one year:

    Months 1-6: Fellows will engage in a series of educational workshops—both virtual and in-person—to build community with their peers, set expectations for the year, learn about AJWS’s We Believe campaign, and develop their organizing and leadership skills. Fellows will be assigned background reading to learn about global justice issues, organizing and advocacy, and to prepare for international travel. Fellows will engage in partner learning with one of their peers to discuss texts, films and other media that relate to these topics. Fellows will take a leadership role in AJWS’s activist network, known as the AJWS Action Team, in order to engage in strategic campaign organizing in their communities.

    International Travel: Fellows will participate in an immersive, 10-day experience in a community where AJWS works in the developing world. They will learn from AJWS grantees, engage with other local experts, explore the impact of U.S. policy on developing world communities, and train in activism and leadership skills.

    Months 7-12: Fellows will engage in a series of trainings—both virtual and in-person—to deepen their organizing and leadership skills and stay updated on AJWS’s We Believe campaign issues. Fellows will continue to play a leadership role within AJWS’s Action Team in order to engage in strategic campaign organizing in their communities. Fellows will organize public education events and local lobby visits, fundraise and write articles and op-eds in order to mobilize their communities around AJWS’s campaign. Fellows will attend AJWS’s annual Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., to meet with decision-makers on Capitol Hill. Fellows will also continue to engage in partner learning with their peers and will meet periodically as a group to reflect on and support each other’s organizing work.

  • Who is eligible for the rabbinic fellowship group?

    All applicants must be Jewish clergy with 5+ years of religious leadership and be able to participate in all components of the fellowship (see here).

    AJWS welcomes a diverse pool of applicants with regard to denominational affiliation, gender, race, ethnic origin, disability and sexual orientation.

    The ideal applicant:

    Is highly motivated to be part of a select delegation of rabbinic leaders dedicated to achieving global justice

    Believes in AJWS’s mission to promote human rights and end poverty and is committed to raising awareness of and building commitment to that mission within the greater Jewish community

    Has a strong desire to learn more about how U.S. citizens can improve the lives of people in the developing world through advocacy, mobilizing and organizing

    Demonstrates significant experience or potential as a community leader

    Understands that traveling as a U.S. citizen to the developing world requires respect for the local people and their communities

  • What is the entire cost of the program?

    The AJWS Global Justice Fellowship is heavily subsidized by AJWS and a number of our generous donors, enabling us to offer this opportunity at a minimal cost.

    Fellows pay a one-time fellowship fee of $180 – $540 (on a sliding scale based on financial ability) and are additionally responsible for paying for visas, vaccinations, medications and health/travel insurance. All other fellowship expenses—including international and domestic travel and all supplies and programs—are covered as a benefit of the fellowship.

    The following list outlines the entire cost of the program:

    Expenses paid by AJWS and subsidized by our donors:

    International flight, accommodations, food and activities during international travel component in the Dominican Republic

    Domestic flights, accommodations, food and activities for U.S.-based engagement events/trainings

    Programmatic costs (e.g. AJWS curriculum, group medical supplies, trainings, etc.)

    Expenses paid by fellows:

    $180 – $540 (based on sliding scale)

    Visas for international travel

    Vaccinations or other medical expenses related to international travel

    Health insurance (all participants must have both regular U.S. insurance and international/travelers’ insurance)

  • How will the fellowship address prayer and Shabbat on the trip?

    Each morning, the group will participate in “sacred space”—an opportunity for fellows to share a spiritual intention for the day. The group will not formally engage in weekday prayer together. If desired by the fellows, time will be built into the schedule to allow for individual or communal prayer. Shabbat will be planned and led by the fellows and will likely include prayer, special meals, learning and other activities, at the discretion of the group.

  • What is the food like? Can I keep kosher while traveling on the Global Justice Fellowship?

    Most meals will be eaten at restaurants and hotels where vegetarian options are available. Individuals with particular questions regarding kashrut should contact us.

  • What safety & security measures does AJWS take during the international travel component of the Global Justice Fellowship?

    Please visit this page for a complete overview of all AJWS Safety & Security policies and procedures.

  • How can I learn more?

    For more information about the application and program logistics, please fill out the form.

    If you have any questions about the AJWS Global Justice Fellowship, please contact us or call 212.792.2886.

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