Rabbi Jocee Hudson
Temple Israel of Hollywood, Hollywood, California
Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award
For leading by example and mobilizing her community to work with partners from diverse backgrounds around issues of race and criminal justice, housing and food insecurity, climate change and gun violence.
Jocee Hudson is an Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH), where she has served since 2009. Her mission is to uphold Torah’s central teaching that all people are created in the divine image and are deserving of dignity, equality, and justice. She has served as a rabbinic leader of TIOH’s social justice efforts since 2014 and was instrumental, in partnership with lay leaders, in the creation of the temple’s Social Justice Coalition. Rabbi Hudson finds profound meaning in daily opportunities to pray, learn, connect, take action, and grow with Temple Israel’s members.
Rabbi Hudson and TIOH Social Justice Coalition members are active in LA Voice, the California Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Black Jewish Justice Alliance, and many other justice groups, believing that justice work is most effective when it is done in collaboration. Together they have been deeply involved in statewide campaigns on criminal justice reform, affordable housing, and climate change. She is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. In 2017, Temple Israel was awarded the Religious Action Center’s Irving J. Fain Award for exemplary social justice work.
Previously, Rabbi Hudson served as a Rabbi Educator, first at Temple Beth Sholom of Orange County and then at TIOH. She is a former board member of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators. She received rabbinic ordination, as well as Masters in Hebrew Letters and Jewish Education, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University. She is a contributor to the Women of Reform Judaism’s The Torah: A Women’s Commentary.
Rabbi Hudson and her partner Rook are the proud parents of Sela, Max, and Solomon, three young people, who keep them on their toes, always humble, and full of laughter and love.
Rabbi Elliott Tepperman
Bnai Keshet, Montclair, New Jersey
Rabbinic Human Rights Hero Award
For leading his congregants and colleagues across faiths in a variety of social justice issues, including LGBTQ rights, working to reduce gun violence and defending the rights of immigrants and refugees, including Muslims affected by the travel ban.
Rabbi Elliott Tepperman has been the spiritual leader of Bnai Keshet, in Montclair, N.J., since 2002. His rabbinate embraces spiritually courageous Judaism and loving pursuit of shalom and justice for all people. He believes that Jewish practice is most transformational when deep internal work becomes a springboard for building community and engaging with the world. And likewise when we bring the profound and mundane challenges of our personal and public lives to bear on our Jewish study and worship.
Rabbi Tepperman is a founding member of the IAF-affiliated New Jersey Together. He is currently organizing to build the sanctuary movement in New Jersey with Faith in New Jersey (PICO). He has worked with Bend the Arc teaching Congregation Based Community Organizing at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and other seminaries. He was a member of Bend The Arc’s 13th Selah cohort. He is a past President of the Montclair Clergy Association and he is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association as First Vice President.
He is married to Sarah O’Leary and is the proud father of Akiva-Lev and Sam. Surprisingly he now finds himself swimming, running and playing guitar.
Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award
For her critical work representing Christine Blasey Ford, victims of Harvey Weinstein, and other survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Debra Katz is a founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, where she concentrates her practice on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, and Title IX matters. She has developed extensive litigation experience in federal and local courts and has achieved significant courtroom successes in a number of high-profile cases. She has been recognized as “Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year” for Washington, D.C. by The Best Lawyers© In America for 2018, as one of the “toughest” employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian magazine, and as an expert in sexual harassment, employment, and whistleblower law by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME magazine and others.
Read more about Debra Katz in JTA: How Debra Katz Became One of the Nation’s Top #MeToo Lawyers
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub
For his extraordinary leadership as a member of the group that launched T’ruah 16 years ago, and ensured our long-term health and growth.
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW serves as Rabbinic Director of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York, where his major responsibilities are with the New York Jewish Healing Center in the Division of Jewish Community Services. He offers Jewish spiritual counseling and leads Jewish spiritual support groups for Jews confronting illness, trauma, and loss, as well as training seminars for rabbis and health care professionals, and has written and lectured widely on the use of traditional texts and practices for Jewish spiritual healing. Rabbi Weintraub has also maintained a private practice in Couples and Family Therapy, working with couples and families confronting a wide range of challenges, including chronic illness, infertility, trauma, and bereavement. For over three decades, he has been active in interfaith exchange, particularly in Muslim-Jewish and Arab-Jewish understanding and collaboration, in the U.S., Israel, Qatar, Pakistan, and at other international conferences. He served as Director of Public Affairs for the New Israel Fund in its early years (1987-1995) and, in addition to his role as a founder of T’ruah, he is the founder and coordinator of JACOB: Jewish Alliance of Concern Over Burma, an alliance of 25 national Jewish organizations that seeks to end the genocidal persecution of the Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar.