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.

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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Just Married

I am delighted to share with you, my AJWS friends, that I got married at the end of last year. For many of us, marriage sounds like a common milestone—but it was unthinkable for someone like me in most parts of the United States until 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all states …Read More

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Gratitude to People who Live Close to the Earth

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving at a time of climate crisis, I am pausing to share my gratitude to Indigenous Peoples and others around the world who live close to nature, care for the earth and battle climate change. Through my travels for AJWS, I have been fortunate to meet, break bread with and …Read More

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Hope Grows for the Ogiek People

“The forest is our heart!” Those beautiful words gave me chills when a village elder spoke them on a recent trip I made to Kenya. There I was deeply moved and motivated by the members of a special community—the indigenous Ogiek people, who for generations have cared for and thrived in the ancient Mau forest. …Read More

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My Summer List: Read, Watch & Listen with Me

This summer, when so much of the world is riven by divisive politics and hostility, I’m reveling in books, podcasts and television shows. All these offer messages of hope but also make me think deeply about what’s wrong with our world and provide insights into making it better. Here are some of my favorites: Half …Read More

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The tragedy this weekend

Dear AJWS Community, I am writing to connect with you in the wake of this tragic weekend, marred by yet another deadly attack on American Jews worshipping in synagogues. Last time it was in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This time it was across the country in Poway, a town just north of San …Read More

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The Fierce Urgency of Now

Keeping MLK’s legacy alive in our work for justice today Today is the one day we set aside each year for the sole purpose of reflecting on the tremendous ethical legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and our moral obligation to “carry it on.” But this year, with so much injustice in …Read More

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