The American Jewish World Service, headquartered in New York City, supports community-based organizations in developing countries across the globe. The organization was founded in 1985 with the goal of alleviating poverty, disease and hunger. The AJWS advocates for policy reform to help alleviate world hunger and disease, and also supports education and volunteer programs to educate the Jewish American community about global issues.
Ruth Messinger has served as president and CEO of the American Jewish World Service since 1998. She ran for the Democratic mayoral race in 1997, losing the candidacy to Rudy Giuliani. She was a delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention and serves as a board member of Hazon, an organization to establish sustainable communities, and a trustee emeritus of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women.