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.

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 …Read More

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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 …Read More

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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 …Read More

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I’m Ready, Are You?

I have to admit, I am breathing easier. I am feeling hopeful after hearing President Biden say these simple but truthful words: “This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.” Most profoundly, I am relieved that with these words, we are turning a page in American and world history. …Read More

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What Biden’s win means for us

Minutes ago, an historic and hard-fought presidential election was called, and I am writing today to share my reflections on the results to share my reflections on the results of the U.S. presidential election as it relates to our shared global mission to advance human rights and end poverty. For 35 years, we have worked together …Read More

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Defending American Democracy

I am writing you, a friend of AJWS, at this unsettling moment in our lives, the history of the United States and the world. As members of the AJWS community, we have worked together for 35 years, as American Jews who are inspired by the eternal value of respecting the dignity of every person on …Read More

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Robert's Summer Reading List 2020

My Summer Reading List

You, the members of the AJWS community, are some of my favorite thought partners, and each summer I enjoy sharing with you my reading recommendations. Here are some of the books I’ve recently found most compelling: One of the most powerful novels I read this year, or ever, is about the horrors of racism in …Read More

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A Time to Mourn. A Time to Act.

By now, all of us are haunted by the image of a Black man, George Floyd, being asphyxiated by a white Minneapolis police officer — recorded for all to view. I cannot get this brutal picture out of my mind, and, like you, I am heartbroken and outraged. George Floyd’s murder is the latest in …Read More

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