The Torah of Activism: AJWS’s Global Justice Fellows in Guatemala

In late January, AJWS’s Global Justice Fellows travelled to Guatemala for a hands-on, immersive lesson in activism from AJWS’s grantees there. The cohort of engaged, globally-minded rabbis met with journalists, midwives, attorneys, women’s empowerment advocates, and other activists leading movements to curb corruption, create a free and open 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 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, schools 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, with photos from Christine Han Photography: