American Jewish World Service Names Global Justice Fellows or 2019-2020

14 clergy from 12 states selected to participate in prestigious global social justice program

NEW YORK – Fourteen clergy from 12 states have been named as 2019-2020 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. They were chosen for the prestigious fellowship program because of their powerful leadership in their communities and their commitment to international human rights. (Please see the full list of fellows below.)

The Global Justice Fellowship trains American Jewish leaders to advocate in support of international policies that advance the human rights and well-being of vulnerable people and communities around the world. The 2019-2020 Fellowship includes an educational trip to Guatemala in January, during which the Global Justice Fellows will meet with local front-line leaders who are fighting poverty and advancing human rights.

Fellows will come away with a deeper understanding of how the political and economic situation in Guatemala is driving migration to the United States, and what must be done to protect democracy and the rule of law for all Guatemalans.

The trip comes at a time when Guatemala is at the center of a debate about Central American refugees seeking asylum in the U.S., and when Guatemala’s government and military are trampling the rights of indigenous communities and targeting human rights advocates. The Global Justice Fellows will learn from local activists about how they work to improve life in their communities—and how globally-minded American Jews and others can support this vital work.

The 2019-2020 group of fellows is made up of 14 esteemed clergy from across the United States: California, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. The Global Justice Fellows were selected through a competitive process and represent a diverse array of Jewish denominations, communities, professional experiences, identities and networks.

In addition to traveling to Guatemala, each participant in AJWS’s 2019-2020 Global Justice Fellowship will engage in six months of education and action that includes learning from advocates and AJWS staff in the United States. 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.

Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service, said: “This group of influential Jewish leaders works in solidarity with some of the world’s most persecuted people. At a time when the U.S. administration is vilifying Central American refugees, our Global Justice Fellows are living their values by joining together to defend the human rights of all Guatemalans.”

The AJWS 2019-2020 Global Justice Fellows:


Rabbi Corey Helfand of Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City

Rabbi Suzanne Singer of Temple Beth El in Riverside


Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz of Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs


Rabbi David Baum of Congregation Shaarei Kodesh in Boca Raton


Rabbi Capers Funnye of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago

Rabbi Lauren Henderson of Mishkan Chicago in Chicago


Cantor Vera Broekhuysen of Temple Emanu-El in North Andover


Rabbi Joshua Whinston of Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor


Rabbi Felipe Goodman of Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas

New York

Rabbi Gordon Tucker of Temple Israel Center in White Plains (emeritus); currently a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer of HIAS in New York City


Rabbi Elyse Wechterman of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association in Abington

Rhode Island

Rabbi Sarah Mack of Temple Beth El in Providence

West Virginia

Rabbi Victor Urecki of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Charleston


About American Jewish World Service (AJWS) 

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to fight poverty and pursue justice 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.


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