American Jewish World Service Names 2018-2019 Global Justice Fellows

15 rabbis from cities across the United States selected to participate in prestigious social justice program

NEW YORK, NY – Fifteen rabbis have been named as 2018-2019 Global Justice Fellows with American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading Jewish organization working to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS announced the selection today of 15 Jewish leaders from across the United States who will participate in this prestigious program.

The Global Justice Fellowship trains American Jewish leaders to advocate effectively in support of international policies that advance the human rights and well-being of the world’s poorest and most oppressed communities. The 2019 Fellowship includes an educational trip to Guatemala in January, during which the Fellows will meet with front-line leaders who are fighting poverty and advancing human rights. Fellows will learn firsthand about the challenges facing vulnerable communities in the region. Most crucially, the Fellows will learn from local advocates about how they are working to improve life in their communities and how globally minded American Jews and others can support their efforts.

The 2018-2019 cohort of Fellows is made up of 15 esteemed rabbis who live across the United States in Arizona, California, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. The Fellows were selected through a competitive process and represent a diverse array of Jewish denominations, communities, professional experiences, identities, and networks.

Robert Bank, president and CEO of American Jewish World Service, said: “This group of influential Jewish leaders will join forces to improve the lives of some of the poorest and most oppressed people on Earth. They will issue a moral call to action to their communities and persuade decision-makers in the United States to bolster human rights and end poverty in Central America and the rest of the developing world.”

In addition to traveling to Guatemala, each participant in AJWS’s 2018-2019 Global Justice Fellowship will engage in six months of education and action that includes learning directly from advocates and AJWS staff in the United States. The fellows will also meet with and educate government officials in Washington, D.C., and will have the opportunity to learn about advocating for social change on a global scale from AJWS Global Ambassador Ruth Messinger. With American foreign aid and support for human rights at a crossroads, these fellows will play a key role in educating their peers, the public, and elected officials about the importance of continued U.S. leadership on the global stage in bolstering human rights and ending poverty.

The AJWS 2018-2019 Global Justice Fellows include:


Rabbi Dean Shapiro of Temple Emanuel in Tempe


Rabbi Jessica Graf of Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco


Rabbi David Wirtschafter of Temple Adath Israel in Lexington


Rabbi Aderet Drucker in Silver Spring


Rabbi Barbara Penzner of Temple Hillel B’nai Torah in Boston

Rabbi Jill Perlman of Temple Isaiah in Lexington

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum of Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton


Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis

New York

Rabbi Adam Baldachin of Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster of T’ruah in New York City

North Carolina

Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh


Rabbi Eve Posen of Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland


Rabbi Sharyn Henry of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh


Rabbi Philip Rice of Congregation Micah in Brentwood


Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth El in Richmond


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About American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all. Learn more at


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