Seventeen Young New York Leaders Selected to Travel to Nicaragua and Learn from Advocates for Human Rights

Trip is part of American Jewish World Service’s new year-long Global Justice Fellowship

NEW YORK, NY — Today, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading international Jewish human rights and development organization focused on ending poverty and realizing human rights in the developing world, announced that 17 Jewish New York City Young Leaders were selected to participate in AJWS’s Global Justice Fellowship. The Global Justice Fellowship is a selective, year-long program designed to educate and train key opinion leaders in the American Jewish community to become advocates in support of U.S. policies that will help improve the lives of people in the developing world.  

The New York City fellows will deepen their knowledge of human rights in the developing world through the fellowship, which will include a week of on-location study in Nicaragua in March. They will learn from local Nicaraguan human rights activists who are educating, empowering and mobilizing their communities to maintain control over their food and agriculture and support the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Nicaraguans. The Global Justice Fellows will participate in innovative trainings that will prepare them to mobilize their communities and networks in the U.S. to support AJWS’s policy campaigns to improve the lives of people in the developing world. 

“As American Jews, New Yorkers and global citizens, we have a responsibility to advocate for the dignity and human rights of some of the poorest and most oppressed people in the developing world,” said Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS, and former Manhattan borough president. “We launched this Global Justice Fellowship for New York City Young Leaders to build a new network of students and young professionals who will advocate for human rights for years to come. New York City is home to immigrants from every part of the world. This gives New Yorkers, and this group of fellows in particular, a unique understanding of human rights challenges faced by people across every continent. This group of 17 young leaders is committed to engaging their communities and persuading our government to do all it can to improve the lives of women and girls, LGBT people and others who are defending their farm land and water supplies from ‘land grabs’ related to unbridled development projects.” 

The Global Justice Fellowship for New York City Young Leaders is the fourth group to be selected and participate in this new national program created by AJWS. The fellows were chosen through a competitive process and represent a diverse array of backgrounds, communities, professional experiences and networks. The fellows are:

  • Evan Davidoff, a senior development officer at Bend the Arc
  • Sarah Friedman, a program associate at UJA-Federation of New York
  • Rachel Goldrich, a program director of the Jewish Community Relations Council New York’s Community Connections Fellowship
  • Jena Lee Hershkowitz, a non-profit professional
  • Danielle Kaidanow, a programming intern at Seeds of Peace
  • Arielle Mallen, a graduate student studying social work at Columbia University
  • Talya Minsberg, a news assistant at The New York Times
  • Lindsay Monin, a student outreach coordinator at Peace Action New York State
  • Tara Pokras, a program coordinator for Project Sunshine
  • Gerry Sherman, a CinemaSource manager at West World Media
  • Sarah Shuster, an undergraduate student at Barnard College, Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Avichai Smolen, a graduate student studying public administration at New York University and program assistant at the Open Society Foundation
  • Raquel Wildes, an undergraduate student at Columbia University
  • Sophia Yackshaw, a graduate student at Columbia University
  • Sarah Young, a non-profit professional at the Center for Urban Community Services
  • Drew Yuckelson, a research analyst at ESPN
  • Zahara Zahav, a program coordinator for Rabbis Without Borders – CLAL

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