First Trip Sponsored by Grant Departs Mid-June for Senegal
New York, NY; June 5, 2009— American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international development and human rights organization, has received a generous grant from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust to expand its Rabbinical Students’ Delegation (RSD) program. The three year grant enables AJWS to send an additional delegation of rabbinical students overseas each year, doubling the number of students going into the field with the AJWS program. The grant also allows the organization to provide year-round programming that will enable RSD alumni to engage with the organization and global justice issues.
Initiated in 2004, the RSD volunteer service program is an integral part of AJWS’s commitment to creating an inter-denominational network of rabbinical students and rabbis dedicated to global justice. RSD participants live and work alongside AJWS grantees, explore texts and theology and learn about grassroots development first hand. Each 10- to 14-day delegation is led by a distinguished rabbi or educator and AJWS facilitators, and is comprised of rabbinical students from all major denominations and backgrounds.
The first RSD trip funded by the Einhorn grant will bring 25 rabbinical students to Senegal from June 14 to 25 to work with Tostan, one of AJWS’s grassroots community development grantees. While in Senegal, the rabbinical students will build latrines for two rural communities in which Tostan works.
This summer’s delegation to Senegal includes students from the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist denominations as well as non-denominational rabbinical students. The scholar-in-residence for the delegation will be Rabbi David Teutsch, Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization and director of the Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
“We’re deeply grateful to the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust for recognizing and supporting a program that offers transformative benefits for a more politically and spiritually aware Jewish community,” says Brent Chaim Spodek, AJWS’s Rabbi in Residence and Director of Jewish Communal Relations. “RSD is creating an influential group of rabbis who, for decades to come, will work together to motivate their communities and the American Jewish community as a whole, to become rodfei tzedek—pursuers of justice—in the global arena.”
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