Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Our Core Values
AJWS’s values are rooted in Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice for all people and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We embrace and defend the inherent worth of every human being.
Recognizing our privilege and power, we listen free of judgement and
acknowledge we alone cannot change the world.
We work in partnership to elevate the voices and perspectives of
those who are marginalized, underrepresented or excluded.
We act with integrity and transparency to honor our commitments.
We stand in solidarity with one another as we strive for innovative
change and remain hopeful in the face of challenges.
Our Theory of Change
AJWS uses a unique formula to advance social change in pursuit of our mission of empowering marginalized people around the world to realize their human rights.
Our Commitment to Making a Difference
We combine the power of our grants to international human rights advocates with our efforts to persuade the United States government to adopt laws and policies that benefit vulnerable communities around the world.
Through our grants, AJWS provides financial support to more than 500 local advocacy organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean that are working to end poverty and advance the rights of some of the poorest and most oppressed people in the world. Unlike most funders, AJWS recognizes the central role of local people in solving the problems they experience. We trust local advocates to develop and carry out their own solutions to build more just societies.
In the United States, AJWS mobilizes its supporters to persuade the United States Congress and the President of the United States to adopt policies and laws that improve the lives of people in the countries where we work and beyond.
While AJWS is a Jewish organization, the people and communities we support come from a wide array of religious and ethnic backgrounds and are united in promoting human rights in the world’s poorest countries. We work with communities and populations that are oppressed, neglected or persecuted, including women and girls, indigenous groups, LGBTQI+ people, and religious and ethnic minorities.
As a result, the AJWS community is a diverse network of people around the world, including people of all faiths, world views, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations. It includes our grantees and their communities; our board, donors, activists and staff; Jewish leaders and Members of Congress.
No matter who we are, the AJWS community is committed to making a difference by:
- Ending poverty and defending human dignity and rights
- Grasping that our historical experiences of oppression require us to stand up for the rights of others
- Pursuing the imperative to repair the world or tikkun olam
- Donating money to achieve justice or tzedakah
- Believing in the inherent dignity of every person or tzelem elohim
- Understanding that international human rights law is part of the global response to the Holocaust and promises a better world for all
- Furthering the work of earlier generations of Jewish activists for justice and equality