Two years after launching an effort to beef up its political advocacy and grassroots work, aid charity the American Jewish World Service scaling back such work, laying off 10 staffers dedicated to community organizing, The Forward writes.
Stuart Schear, the charity's vice president for communications, said that while it raises tens of millions of dollars a year for overseas humanitarian and development work, donors have balked at providing unrestricted gifts to fund lobbying and advocacy.
The charity, which has grown rapidly over the past decade, eliminated 13 jobs in total from what had been a staff of 145. Andrés Spokoiny, executive director of the Jewish Funders Network, the service's struggles to attract support for lobbying and policy work on issues such as global violence against women reflects a larger challenge facing Jewish aid groups. "Systemic change needs advocacy," he said. "We need to be better at making that case for advocacy money."