In 2015, we were deeply gratified to celebrate AJWS’s 30th anniversary and enter our fourth decade of promoting human rights in the developing world.
For 30 years, the activists, organizations and movements we support have demonstrated tremendous leadership in struggles that matter. Our international grantees have waged courageous campaigns to stop poverty and persecution, bring peace to war-torn countries, end genocides and ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable communities are defended. By their side, the passionate American leaders whom AJWS has called to action—our allies in Congress, celebrities, writers, rabbis and hundreds of thousands of donors and supporters—have used their dollars, signatures, votes and voices to
build a better world.
In this annual report, we invite you to join us and celebrate these remarkable people who have made and continue to make a difference worldwide. Their visionary leadership has taken various forms and tells the story of AJWS.
On these pages, you will meet:
- Our founders, who believed Jews must act proudly—as Jews—to stop the horrors of history from repeating
- A Congolese activist who refused to accept sexual violence against women as a way of life
- Ugandan human rights attorneys who risked their lives to overturn a hate law
- A Mexican activist who died fighting for his indigenous community’s land
- A Jewish philanthropist whose support is helping AJWS’s grantees end child marriage in India
- An indigenous Guatemalan who demanded justice for the massacre of his people
- A Liberian survivor of Ebola who is helping fellow survivors heal
- A Jewish congressman who uses legislation to repair the world
The 30 leaders profiled in this book are just a sampling of the thousands who have raised their voices with AJWS, and the millions whose lives have been changed for the better because of their leadership.
As an AJWS supporter, you are also among our most cherished leaders, and we could not have reached this milestone without you. Thank you for believing in our mission and for helping us support the changemakers and movements pursuing justice, peace and equality—these past 30 years and in the years to come.
Ruth W. Messinger