Just as AJWS's partner NGOs in the developing world educate at the grassroots level about the roots of the problems they face, and just as grappling with issues of Judaism and international development informed your service with AJWS, you too can teach your home community about global justice.
Your experience is immediate and your own; it is powerful and can be shared. Not everyone will be able to travel to the developing world and do service in partnership with people who live there but many more can hear from you what that experience was like and how it affected your commitment to global justice.
You can teach by speaking, writing or otherwise sharing the perspective on global justice that you developed through your experience in the developing world.
As you share your own story, be aware of how you portray the people in your story, and whether this is ultimately a story about you or about justice. Be careful not to sound self-righteous and to meet your listeners and learners where they are.
Ideas for your project:
- Write and publish an article in your local Jewish community's paper, school paper, synagogue's monthly bulletin, or favorite activist newspaper or magazine.
- Set up a speaking engagement at camp, school, work or synagogue.
- Gather friends and family to hear about your experience—see "Where to speak and how to make a successful presentation" below for how to organize.
- Create a photo display—exhibit photos at your school, synagogue, JCC, workplace or at a local library.
- Create your own educational program using the AJWS service learning curriculum or On1Foot.org.
Examples of past AJWS volunteers' projects:
- Over the course of a year, a group of former AJWS volunteers wrote for a blog called, "The Global Citizen," a joint project of New Voices and AJWS. These writers offered their take on global justice, Judaism, and international development.
- Ilana, an alumna of Volunteer Corps, spoke at her synagogue with an AJWS grantee about the six months she spent working at a Burmese women's-rights organization in Thailand.
- Rachel, a World Partners Fellow, invited friends and their roommates to her apartment for home-cooked Indian food, a slideshow of her photographs and a discussion of her work on maternal health.
- An Alternative Breaks group from Stanford University led a pluralistic Shabbat service focused on the connections between Judaism and global justice based on their experiences in Guatemala.
Resources for your project:
- Where to speak and how to make a successful presentation
- How to write an article and get published
- How to organize an event
- How to create a photo exhibit
- Finding Jewish texts: On1Foot.org—an open-source online database of Jewish texts on social justice.