In January, AJWS’s Global Justice Fellows traveled to Guatemala for an immersive lesson in moral courage and activism. This cohort of 15 rabbis passionate about social justice met with many AJWS grantees—from journalists and midwives, to attorneys and human rights defenders—who are leading movements to curb corruption, create a free press, advance women’s rights, and seek justice for survivors of human rights abuses. They were joined by AJWS’s Global Ambassador, Ruth Messinger, who shared her expertise on international advocacy and moral leadership.
The journey was the centerpiece of AJWS’s six-month fellowship, which is designed to inspire and train American rabbis to lead their communities in advocating for human rights around the world. Across Guatemala, the rabbis bore witness to stories of remarkable resistance and resilience that have moved them to return to their pulpits and organizations ready to lead for change. In the coming months, they will mobilize their communities and lobby Congress to advance U.S. policies that positively affect the lives of vulnerable people in Guatemala and around the world.
These were their experiences, in their own words:
All photos by Christine Han Photography.