American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading global Jewish human rights organization, and the recently formed AJWS Union are pleased to jointly announce that AJWS management has formally and voluntarily recognized the AJWS Union, affiliated with OPEIU Local 153, to represent AJWS employees, effective June 23, 2021.
Hannah Fajer, a spokesperson from the AJWS Union, stated, “My colleagues and I are excited to have joined together to form the AJWS Union. Every day, we uplift our core values of dignity, humility, inclusivity, accountability, and courage. We are proud to work for a progressive human rights organization that supports labor rights, and we are eager to further align AJWS’s internal practices with the organizational values that drive our work around the globe.”
Robert Bank, president and CEO of AJWS, added, “We welcome the AJWS Union as a partner in shaping the future of AJWS, and we applaud its members’ commitment to our mission and core values. For more than 35 years, AJWS has supported people around the world who organize in their communities, and we view our staff organizing as an expression of our shared values. We respect the members of our staff and their valuable work, and we respect their right to organize.”
AJWS is inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, including the value of b’tzelem Elohim — a belief that every person is made in the divine image, as well as by the rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both AJWS’s Jewish values and the Universal Declaration teach us that every individual is worthy of dignity and respect. The more than 550 grantee-partners AJWS supports around the world pursue justice in their communities every day, and we are proud to join them in their fight for equity and human rights for all people. In forming and voluntarily recognizing this union, the staff of the AJWS Union and AJWS’s management seek to align how we express our values in the world, embracing the dignity of our workers in creating a more just and equitable organization for all.
AJWS and the AJWS Union look forward to collaborating on their first contract in the coming months, and, in so doing, continuing the long history of progressive Jewish labor organizing.
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