It’s hard to believe fall is here, and Rosh Hashanah has already come and gone.

Ruth Messinger in Kenya with an AJWS grantee staff member
Ruth Messinger in Kenya with an AJWS grantee staff member

As my thoughts turn to the Jewish New Year, I begin to think about all the exciting ways American Jewish World Service will continue to deepen its work in developing world. Here’s what we’re working toward this year:

End Child Marriage

  • We will hasten the end of child marriage in India and empower girls and young women to claim their basic human rights.
  • A major, multi-year grant from the Kendeda Fund will support our grantees in India, who are working to ensure that every girl has a say in her own future.


Fight for the dignity and rights of women, girls and LGBT people

  • We will launch a new national campaign in partnership with you and our grantees to persuade the U.S. government to do all it can to:
    • Stop violence against women
    • Halt the practice of child marriage
    • End hate crimes against LGBT people around the world

Build a large, robust group of Jewish leaders in the U.S.

  • Through our new Global Justice Fellowship, we will build a group of Jewish leaders who are committed to advocating for the dignity of people in the developing world
  • This year-long program includes travel to a developing country and inspires, educates and trains key opinion leaders in the American Jewish community to advocate for global justice.

Travel to the developing world

  • We will open the hearts and minds of American Jews by taking them on study tours to the developing world.
  • Participants on these trips will learn from grassroots activists on the ground while deepening their understanding of the Jewish commitment to justice.

We hope you’ll join us in the coming year to make an even greater difference in the world.

Ruth Messinger is president of American Jewish World Service.