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.
AJWS was founded in 1985 by American Jews who wanted to join together as global citizens to help some of the poorest and most oppressed people around the globe. Today, we are the leading Jewish organization dedicated exclusively to this goal.
How We’ve Made Change
AJWS started as a small organization, but now invests nearly $34 million a year to promote global human rights. And since our founding, we have supported thousands of social justice organizations that have taken on some of the biggest global challenges of our time.
In 2020, AJWS supported 519 grassroots organizations in 18 countries, enabling them to continue and expand their work to build a more just and dignified world for the most vulnerable people on earth.
AJWS grantees work tirelessly to advance sexual health and rights for women, girls and LGBTQI+ people. They promote civil and political rights to amplify the voices of poor and persecuted minorities. They defend the land and water rights of indigenous communities most affected by climate change. And they aid vulnerable communities in the aftermath of devastating natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
But they don’t work alone.
AJWS funds constellations of organizations that are working on the same issues—both within countries and across borders. Our AJWS experts in each country work closely with our grantees to help them build skills and grow. We then bring like-minded groups together so they can collaborate, learn from one another and launch ambitious collective campaigns—movements—for justice.
Highlights of our work include campaigning to stop the Darfur and Rohingya genocides, fighting global hunger, responding to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and the earthquake in Nepal, and working to end violence against women, girls and LGBTQI+ people worldwide. Today we are fighting to stop the spread of COVID-19 and support vulnerable communities during this global pandemic.
Check out the timeline below to see some of our key accomplishments over the past 35 years!