New York, NY; November 23, 2010— American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international development and human rights organization, has selected four outstanding rabbinical students for its annual “Kol Tzedek: Voices of Justice” speaking fellowship. David Fainsilber, Adam Greenwald, Leah Greenwald Jordan and Aaron Lerner are all alumni of AJWS’s Rabbinical Delegation program, which sends two multi-denominational groups of rabbinical students and one group of early career rabbis per year to the developing world. During the Rabbinical Delegation program, participants live and work alongside AJWS’s grassroots partners for 10 to 14 days while studying Jewish text and tradition that speak to their service experience.
AJWS introduced the Kol Tzedek fellowship in 2009 to provide its rabbinical delegation alumni the opportunity to travel throughout the U.S. to speak about their personal experiences with AJWS in the developing world and to engage Jewish communities in Jewish texts and tradition that anchor their commitment to global justice. When presenting to Jewish communities, selected fellows discuss how they developed a sophisticated understanding of global citizenship after completing service-learning projects with grassroots leaders and grappling with Jewish texts and theology about the struggles for social justice and human rights. They also emphasize the importance of taking action in their own communities—with the help of AJWS—to support social justice initiatives and to make global citizenship a core element of Jewish expression.
“David Fainsilber, Adam Greenwald, Leah Greenwald Jordan and Aaron Lerner are captivating speakers who are steadfast in their pursuit of social justice,” said AJWS’s Director of Education and Community Engagement Stephanie Ives. “AJWS is proud and fortunate to have these charismatic future leaders teach the ‘Torah of social justice’ in Jewish communities throughout the country and to help AJWS partner with these communities to actively pursue tikkun olam.”
The Kol Tzedek fellowship includes briefings on global justice issues and formal training in public speaking and teaching. The 2010-2011 Kol Tzedek fellows will begin their speaking engagements this fall with each fellow scheduled to visit eight communities through next June. For a brief bio of each fellow, click here. Communities interested in inviting one of the Kol Tzedek fellows to join them for a Shabbat of learning and engagement should contact Ilan Caplan via email at email@example.com or by phone at 212-792-2906.
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David L. Marcus