AJWS President Ruth Messinger Named to 'Forward 50' List of American Jewish Community's Most Influential People

Messinger listed for seventh consecutive year as one of America's most significant Jewish leaders

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Our mission is to make sure the American Jewish community has a vehicle to advance social justice for all people. Helping to bring an end to the genocide in Darfur; fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS; creating local economies in the developing world; educating children; and encouraging women to recognize their power to lead are quintessentially Jewish things to do.

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 14, 2007

Ruth W. Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), has once again been named to the Forward 50, an annual list of the 50 most influential members of the American Jewish community. This marks the seventh consecutive year she has been listed in the Forward 50 as one of America's top Jewish leaders.

Messinger assumed the top post at the international development organization in 1998, after a distinguished career in government. AJWS engages the American Jewish community in the pursuit of social justice in the developing world. Over the past three years, its budget has grown three-fold from $10 million to $30 million. Recently, Charity Navigator, a highly-regarded independent evaluator of more than 5,300 non-profit organizations awarded it its seventh consecutive four-star rating, the highest possible score for overall efficiency and effectiveness. The organization is one of only two non-profits to earn a four-star rating seven years in a row

Through an extensive grantmaking program, AJWS supports grassroots community development efforts in 36 developing countries. The organization also sends more than 400 members of the Jewish community, ranging from high school seniors to adult professionals of all ages, to the developing world to volunteer with many of the NGO's that it funds. Messinger has also emerged as the American Jewish community's leading advocate on ending the genocide in Darfur .

"Whether as a consequence of redoubled dedication, extra chutzpah, a change in the community's mood or the sheer magnitude of the need out there, AJWS has become a major player around the communal table, by anybody's measure," Forward's write-up on Messinger reads. "Her tireless lobbying for Darfur managed, almost single-handedly, to put the agonies of Africa on the agenda of the American Jewish community. Along the way, (Ruth Messinger) has become a sort of symbol to young Jews across the country of the Other Judaism that once was and could be again -- engaged with the world, driven by a passion for social justice for Jews and all humankind."

Messinger, who speaks to groups around the country on both the Jewish commitment to social justice and the tragedy in Darfur, said: "I'm honored to again be listed in the 'Forward 50' and to have that distinguished newspaper recognize the impact that AJWS is having on the Jewish community.

"Our mission is to make sure the American Jewish community has a vehicle to advance social justice for all people. Helping to bring an end to the genocide in Darfur; fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS; creating local economies in the developing world; educating children; and encouraging women to recognize their power to lead are quintessentially Jewish things to do."

About AJWS
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. It is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the American Jewish community. (http://www.ajws.org)

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