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American Jews Line Up Against the Trump Ban

by Ron Skolnik WITH NOT MUCH to smile about since Inauguration Day, it has been heartening to see the nearly undivided reaction of the American Jewish community to Donald Trump’s January 27 Executive Order (EO) on immigration and refugee admission – widely considered to constitute a Muslim ban. With one or two glaring exceptions — […]

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January 1: Jews of Haiti

Haiti declared its independence on this date in 1804, after ten years of revolution by former slaves led by Toussaint L’Ouverture (portrayed at right by Jacob Lawrence) had stymied both the French and British military. The uprising brought death or exile to most of Haiti’s small Jewish population, but a few years later, Jewish refugees […]

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November 6: Ruth Messinger

Ruth Messinger, who has led the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) since 1998, was born in New York on this date in 1940. Messinger served on the New York City Council from 1978 to 1989, and as Manhattan borough president from 1990 to 1998, and was a champion of rent control and public school education. […]

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May 1: American Jewish World Service

The American Jewish World Service was launched on this date in 1985 by two philanthropists, Larry Phillips (CEO of Phillips-Van Heusen) and Larry Simon, working with a network of rabbis and Jewish communal activists and leaders. AJWS is dedicated to mobilizing Jewish funding and volunteerism to alleviate poverty and political helplessness across the globe by […]

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The Global AIDS Pandemic and Jewish Responsibility

by Ruth W. Messinger AIDS is threatening to be the largest humanitarian crisis our planet has ever faced. As president of American Jewish World Service, I have seen close up the devastating impact this pandemic is having on individuals, communities and entire countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where the disease is growing at […]

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Making Service Fundamental to Jewish Life

by Ruth W. Messinger As 21st century American Jews, we enjoy affluence and influence that are unique in Jewish history. At the same time, as members of an international people, Jews have an instructive role to play in helping Americans to understand that our world is interconnected: that poverty, hunger, disease and oppression anywhere on […]

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