Jennifer Joseph spent years hearing about the service trips her aunt, Sara Litt, took with the American Jewish World Service. So when she was told that the organization was starting a young leadership initiative in 2009, she jumped at the chance to get involved.
Today the Global Circle — as the committee was named — which is currently chaired by Joseph, has a 15-member board, and over 1,000 people coming to events throughout the year. “We’re going to be the generation who moves the organization forward,” said Joseph. Sharing the message of the grassroots work AJWS does in 35 developing countries across the world is the focus at many of the events, which include film screenings, discussions and networking. “The idea of tikkun olam is something that’s always been extremely important to me,” said Joseph. “It was always stressed to me throughout my Jewish education.
“Even though [AJWS’s] work doesn’t necessarily benefit Jews,” she said, “it is directly shaping how Jews are viewed throughout the world.” The first service trip geared towards the Global Circle audience is taking place this month, in Ghana.
Recent events include a meeting with Ruth Messinger, AJWS’ CEO, to discuss rebuilding Haiti, a happy hour to promote the upcoming volunteer trip and an after party at the AJWS 25th anniversary event. “You want to give back and make a positive impact and also be with people that are interesting and enjoyable,” said Joseph. In addition to planning events, the Global Circle committee participates in training sessions to help it better get out the message of AJWS. “We’re able to tap in to people who are going to be the next leaders of New York,” said Joseph. “Global Circle is going to be the future of AJWS.”
Joseph also co-chaired the Global Circle benefit dinner for the past two years, which raised over $70,000 each time for the organization.
Good excuse: Joseph would have loved to participate in the Global Circle trip to Ghana this month, but she had a good reason to stay home: new baby, Max Henry Winik, was born April 10. Well traveled: Joseph’s work as a TV producer for ABC has taken her to India, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Australia.