Robert Bank

Robert Bank is President and CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the world’s leading Jewish organization working to end poverty and promote human rights in the developing world. Robert joined AJWS in 2009 as its Executive Vice President to both grow and deepen the organization’s impact in championing the rights of the world’s poorest and most oppressed people.

Robert Bank’s must-reads for the summer

This summer reading list features recommendations from the AJWS community. Though the storylines span different eras and regions of the world, each title is engaging, eye-opening, and most of all, deeply inspiring. I know you’ve grown accustomed to me sharing my must-reads for the summer. This time, however, I thought it would be fun to …

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My Must-Reads for the Summer

I confess that I have a book problem. Even though many have taken to audiobooks and e-readers, I still like the feeling of a book in my hands. As a result, my husband is starting to have difficulty moving around our apartment. That said, here’s a list of my summer reading recommendations. Surprise, surprise, they lean toward …

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Pride in the Face of Prejudice

Last month, the world lost a transformational giant in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Urvashi Vaid was a pioneering social justice activist, attorney and award-winning author. She was also one of my great human rights teachers. Urvashi was bold, unflinching, driven. She brought the question of race, nationality and ethnicity into the LGBT space in the …

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Writing the Wrongs: Why Journalists Give Me Hope

A few weeks ago, I woke up to news that filled me with hope. After nearly four decades, justice prevailed for 36 Indigenous Achi women who were raped and tortured by paramilitaries during Guatemala’s civil war. After enduring years of taunts, threats and outright denials, vindication came on January 25 when a tribunal sentenced their …

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My Chanukah & holiday book list

As we enter the second winter holiday season in our changed world, I’m thankful for the solace and strength reading has given me. Books have been steady companions throughout the pandemic—sometimes nourishing and comforting me, and sometimes reigniting my lifelong passion for justice. On this holiday of giving thanks, and with Chanukah and other holidays …

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My thoughts for the New Year

During my beautiful – smaller this year because of COVID-19 – Rosh Hashanah celebration with my husband, our family and friends, I was thinking about you and all of our supporters. I was thinking how grateful I am for you and all who sincerely wish to do good in the world, upholding our deep and …

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“The More They Crack Down, The More We Fight Back”

With July 4th approaching, I am writing to affirm that securing the promise of democracy for the people of the world is on my mind every day, as I know it is for you. Without democratic rights, neither we nor the activists we support can fight to create a more just world. That’s why upholding …

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