Each year, T’ruah honors a group of extraordinary clergy who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to living and working in accordance with a Torah of justice and human rights. And each year we turn to our supporters to help us find these remarkable leaders by nominating their clergy colleagues and friends. Nominations for our 2023 Rabbinic Human Rights Heroes will be reviewed by a Gala Honoree Selection Committee made up of distinguished rabbis, T’ruah board members, and previous T’ruah honorees. Learn more about the 2023 Gala Honoree Committee members below.
Rabbi Ken Chasen is Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, a congregation recognized nationally for its leadership in social justice activism. An outspoken advocate for human rights both in the United States and in Israel, Rabbi Chasen’s writings have appeared in numerous books and publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Forward, Variety, Thrive Global, and The Jewish Journal, among many others. In addition, he is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, is an appointee to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Interfaith Leadership Collective, and is a prominent Jewish composer whose works are regularly heard in synagogues and schools around the world. He is married to Allison Lee, the Managing Director of PEN America Los Angeles, and they are the parents of three children.
Rachel Faulkner is a community organizer, coach, social justice advocate, and anti-racist educator. She has done this work through roles at City Year, Match Education, the Community Builders, and Citizens of The World Elementary School, and currently serves as the Director of Community Investments at the Safety Respect Equity Network. Additionally, Rachel served as the National Organizer for #JWOCMarching, is an alum of Bend the Arc’s Selah program, the Schusterman Foundation’s REALITY trip, and serves on the boards of the Jewish Multiracial Network and Fat Torah. Ultimately, Rachel is passionate about ensuring that the voices of Jewish Women of Color are centered in Judaism and in the greater world. But when she’s not busy doing that, she spends time with her daughter Ori Justice taking long walks around the nation’s capital.
Rabbi Esther L. Lederman is the Director of Congregational Innovation & Leadership at the Union for Reform Judaism. Previously she was an associate rabbi at Temple Micah. Before moving to Washington, DC, she served as the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of Manhattan, a prestigious and competitive position in one of the United States most dynamic synagogues. She was ordained in May 2008 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.
Rabbi Shira Stutman is a nationally known faith-based leader and change-maker. She and the actor Joshua Malina host the PRX podcast “Chutzpod!” which since its launch has consistently been ranked in the top five Jewish podcasts nationally, and which aims to provide Jewish answers to life’s contemporary questions and help listeners build lives of meaning. In addition, as founder of Mixed Multitudes, an organization that exposes diverse groups of Jews and fellow travelers to the beauty and power of Jewish life, she currently is working on a variety of projects including: helping launch a new minyan in Aspen; facilitating less reactive and more heart-centered conversations about Israel; and working with Jewish federations to lead year-long programs for the next generation of philanthropic leadership. She was named one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Jewish Forward and a T’ruah Rabbinic Human Rights Hero, among other awards.