“Let us ask ourselves whether we are doing our part to make our own community more inclusive, more caring, more spiritual, more just…. Our history demands it, and so does our future.”

Rabbi Neil S. Kraft z”l, Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue, London; died of COVID-19, March 27, 2020

A Virtual Celebration
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
6:45 ET / 5:45 CT / 4:45 MT / 3:45 PT


Marc Elias

Founder, Democracy Docket & Chair, Perkins Coie Political Law Group
Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award

For a fierce and unwavering commitment to resisting suppressive voting laws and practices, and for his fight to secure our democracy. 

Rabbi Rachel Greengrass

Rabbi, Temple Beth Am
Pinecrest, Florida
Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award

For representing the Jewish community — as a leader with RAC-FL (Religious Action Center in Florida) — in a fearless fight to reunite immigrant families and restore the rights of the formerly incarcerated.

Rabbi Oren J. Hayon

Senior Rabbi, Congregation Emanu El
Houston, Texas
Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award

For his courageous leadership in protecting refugees as Chair of Refugee Services for Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, which operates one of the largest and most robust programs for resettling political refugees to the United States.

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

Rabbi & Bioethicist
Brookline, MA
Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award

For bringing a strong and steady Jewish ethical voice to issues of racism, equity, education, and medicine in her community and beyond.

Speaker & Musical Guest

Leah Donnella

Leah Donnella is an editor on NPR’s Code Switch team, where she produces and edits the Code Switch podcast alongside a team of journalists of color. The podcast tells stories about how race and identity interact with every aspect of life in the United States. Leah also created the “Ask Code Switch” series, where members of the team respond to listener questions about how race, identity, and culture come up in day-to-day situations.

As an African American Jew, Leah is fascinated by the complexity of identity and relationships between marginalized groups. In her work, she’s explored the challenges of Israel in the American conversation, questions of Judaism and racial identity, and her personal experiences participating in Jewish life as a Black woman.

Joey Weisenberg
Musical Guest

Musician, composer, and teacher Joey Weisenberg is the founder and director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, which aims to cultivate the grassroots musical-spiritual creativity of the Jewish people. He is the author of The Torah of Music (2017 winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and Building Singing Communities. He has released seven albums with the Hadar Ensemble on Rising Song Records, most recently Nigunim Vol. VII: Songs of Ascent (2019).

Honor Our Human Rights Heroes

Watch Our Digital Journal

Host Committee

(currently in formation)

Honorary Chair

Masimo Foundation
Perkins Coie LLP

Human Rights Leaders

Sally Gottesman
Marc Gross & Susan Ochshorn

Healers of the World

Kathleen Peratis
Betty Robbins & Moses Silverman


Marina and Stephen Kaufman
Michael Skloff

Prophetic Voices

Alisa Doctoroff
Anne Germanacos
Sara and Andrew Litt

Righteous Ones

Barbara and Eric Dobkin
Michael and Alice Kuhn Foundation
Evely Laser Shlensky and Rabbi Ira Youdovin

Pursuers of Justice

Michael Bien
Jeannie Blaustein and Peter Bokor
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl
Clergy of Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX
Rochelle Cyprus
Rabbi Rachel Greengrass and John Crary
David Feltman
Rabbi Aaron Brusso and Hana Gruenberg
Margaret Huang, Southern Poverty Law Center
Rabbi Lila Kagedan
Rabbi Michael Lezak and Rabbi Noa Kushner
Rabbi Paula Marcus and Aryeh Nanas
Elaine Reuben
Rabbi Lester Bronstein and Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller
Rabbi William Plevan and Sara Shapiro-Plevan
Rabbis Eric and Jenny Solomon
Rabbi Susan Talve
Judith Tuller
Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel

Guardians of Justice

Rabbi Steven Altarescu
Joshua Arnow
Robert Bank, American Jewish World Service
Jeff and Dr. Karen Basen-Engquist
Eric Sloan and Dominique Bravo
Martin and Shirley Bresler
Colleen and Richard Fain
Rabbi Chuck and Krayna Feinberg
Norbert Goldfield
Karen Adler and Larry Greenwald
Rabbi Nicki Greninger
Rabbi Oren Hayon and Julie Hayon
Neal Hoffman and Andrew Ingall
Shelley Jacoby
David Litt and Jacqui Kappler
Rabbi Esther Lederman
Rabbi Ken Chasen and Allison Lee
Mel Levine
Rabbi Devorah Marcus
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon
Lisa Kohn and Harvey Nathan
Cantor Julie Newman
Rabbi Sid Schwarz and Sandy Perlstein
Bob Schloss and Emily Sack
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz and Michael Simon
Temple Shaaray Tefila Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
David P. Stone
Nancy Meyer and Marc Weiss
Rabbi Josh Whinston
Rabbi Michael A. White
Linda and Richard Zoll


Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Rabbi Guy Austrian
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann and Kathryn Conroy
Clergy of Temple Beth Am, Pinecrest, FL
Clergy of Temple Beth El, Boca Raton, FL
Clergy of Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach, FL
Janice Fine and David Donnelly
Rabbi Elizabeth Richman and Dr. Ben Dreyfus
Rabbi Rachel Gartner and Dr. David Ebenbach
Rabba Yaffa Epstein
David and Rachel Milner Gillers
Phyllis Teicher Goldman and Alvin J. Goldman
Rabbi Joshua and Annie Fixler
Joshua Friedes
Maharat Ruth Friedman
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann
Kohenet Judith Porges Hollander
Rabbi Sarah and Yuri Hronsky
Nancy K. Kaufman
Rabbi Georgette Kennebrae
Rabbi Peter Berg and Karen Kerness
Susan Kippur
Susan and Richard Lampen
Shelly Lewis
Robert and Margery Loeb
Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen and Rabbi Marc J. Margolius
Susan and Willy Mautner
Gail Dratch and David Michaels
Jerry Kickenson and Kathleen Michels
Maharat Rori Picker Neiss and Russel Neiss
Rabbi Amy Eilberg and Louis Newman
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster and Dr. Paul Pelavin
Rabbi Jill Perlman
Rabbi Rachel Greengrass’s Daf Yomi Chevruta
Cantor Rollin Simmons and Rabbi David Segal
Rabbi Pamela and Jeff Silk
Rabbi Amy Joy Small
Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener and Judith Tax
Rabbi Rachel Timoner
Rabbi Roy A. Walter
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Randi Weingarten
Rabbi Elianna Yolkut and Dr. Stephanie Wethington
Yeshivat Maharat Staff, Faculty, and Board
Yeshivat Maharat Alumni and Current Students
Jacqueline Hantgan and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback

Honoree Ambassadors Circle

Special thanks to our ambassadors for their commitment to making this event a success.

Jeff Basen-Engquist
Rochelle Cyprus
Rabba Yaffa Epstein
Rachel Milner Gillers

Rabbi Sarah Hronsky
Shelley Jacoby
Rabbi Frederick L. Klein

Rabbi Esther Lederman
Rabbi Devorah Marcus
Rabbi Elianna Yolkut