AJWS was born in 1985 out of a grassroots vision of tikkun olam: our duty to repair our deeply fractured world.
AJWS’s founders understood that charity only goes so far, and that for change to be real and lasting in the world’s poorest communities, it must be driven by the people who need it. AJWS began by funding a handful of community-based organizations that were implementing their own visions for fighting poverty and responding to crises—and achieving extraordinary results.
Today, AJWS supports 458 organizations working in marginalized communities in 34 countries. In remote rural areas, urban slums and regions of wrenching conflict, our grantees’ work spans the broad spectrum of civil-society building and human rights advocacy—from education and women’s empowerment, to food security and health, to recovery from natural disasters and genocide. AJWS supported many of these organizations in their nascent stages and has stood by them as they have grown.
To date, AJWS has granted more than $100 million to grassroots organizations. Our grantees’ dramatic success in alleviating poverty and empowering people to make lasting change in their communities demonstrates how far we’ve come—and what is yet to be achieved.