AJWS Appoints Rabbi-in-Residence/Director of Jewish Communal Relations

Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek Joins AJWS Staff

Sept. 16, 2008; New York, NY—AJWS today announced that Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek has joined the organization’s staff as Rabbi-in-Residence/Director of Jewish Communal Relations. In his role, Spodek will serve as the primary liaison between AJWS and the organized Jewish community at both the local and national levels. He will also serve as one of the organization’s primary spokespeople on issues related to Judaism and the Jewish community.

AJWS is an international development and human rights organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among people in the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. The organization supports hundreds of grassroots community development projects in 36 of the world’s most impoverished countries, sends more than 500 volunteers to the developing world each year and has mobilized tens of thousands of human rights activists in communities across the United States.

“Justice has always has always been one of the core pillars of Judaism,” Spodek said. “And just as yeshivas, seminaries and schools focus primarily on the learning of Torah and synagogues and minyanim focus primarily on prayer, AJWS focuses on justice in a global arena.”

Prior to joining AJWS’s staff, Spodek served as a group leader for several alternative break and the summer volunteer programs organized by AJWS. In addition, as a lead writer for AJWS’s D’var Tzedek program, Spodek wrote a number of commentaries exploring and elaborating the connections between social justice and Jewish spiritual life.

Spodek received his Rabbinic ordination as well as a master’s degree in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007. Following rabbinical school, he served as the Marshal T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City. Upon earning his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in 1997, Spodek worked as a newspaper reporter in Durham, North Carolina.

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