Temple Israel will host a talk by Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service, an international development organization that supports human rights for marginalized people, on Sunday, Sept. 23. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the temple, 14 Coleytown Road.

Her topic will be "Pursuing Global Justice through Grassroots Change," wherein she will discuss ways to alleviate poverty, hunger, violence, disease and oppression while speaking of her experiences in the developing world. She will talk about the transformative impact volunteering and advocacy can make by sharing the words of volunteers in America, such as college and rabbinical students, community leaders and skilled professionals.

Messinger assumed her current position in 1998 following a 20-year career in public service in New York City, where she served for 12 years on the New York City Council and eight as Manhattan borough president. She ran for mayor in 1997, according to a news release.

Considered a national leader in the movement to end the genocide in Sudan, Messinger has been called upon several times to advise Presidents Bush and Obama on creating a sustainable path toward peace in that country, the release states. In recognition of her leadership, she has served on the Obama administration's Task Force on Global Poverty and Development and currently sits on the State Department's Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group.

Messinger graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass., in 1962 and received a master's degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma in 1964. She began her professional career in public service in Oklahoma, running a child-welfare agency. Her husband, Andrew Lachman, directs an educational foundation in Connecticut.

Messinger will talk as the speaker for the temple's annual Tzedakah Lecture, which serves to bring notable people to the larger community and raise money for the congregation's charitable activities, the release states. The event's proceeds will go to grants earmarked for local agencies serving those in need.

Tickets are $15 per person, $10 for students with school identification. Sponsor tickets are $100 and entitle donors to reserved parking, reserved seats and a private dessert with the speaker. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 203-227-1293 or at the door the night of the lecture.

Contact Lisa Goldberg at lgoldberg@tiwestport.org or 203-227-1293 for information.