2011 was the year that we brought the issues of slavery and human trafficking within our country to the fore; RHR-NA led a rabbinical delegation to Florida’s tomato fields to witness labor injustices firsthand and we have mobilize community to action. It was in 2011 that RHR-NA began its East Jerusalem campaign and was instrumental in getting the JNF to suspend the eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in Silwan. In Israel, RHR-NA launched its Rabbinical Students for Human Rights: Year in Israel Program and led a 10 day Hands on Human Rights Tour to Israel and the West Bank. We continued our efforts to fight Islamophobia, torture and indefinite detention in the United States and the demolition of unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel. Over 100 communities across North America participated in our annual Human Rights Shabbat and we developed countless Judaic and rabbinic resources related to human rights.
In 2011, RHR-NA welcomed Rabbi Jill Jacobs as the organization’s new Executive Director and Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg become Co-Chair of our board along with fellow Co-Chair Rabbi Charles Feinberg. Under their leadership, our organization grew and was recognized for our achievements. RHR-NA was included in Slingshot’s annual list of the 50 “most inspiring and innovative organizations, projects, and programs in the North American Jewish community today.” Newsweek ranked Rabbi Jacobs, several of our board members and many of our supporters in their list of America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis. Rabbi Jacobs was also honored in the Forward 50 list of extraordinary Jewish leaders for her activism received a Rockower Award for excellence in writing. RHR-NA’s Director of North American Program Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster was recognized by New York Jewish Week as one of their top “36 Under 36″ raising stars in the Jewish world. As the year came to a close, RHR-NA issued its own honors and celebrated Rabbi Israel “Si” Dresner, Rabbi Barbara Penzner, and Mr. Jon Esformes for their human rights leadership.
Thank you to everyone who supported our work this past year. If you didn’t have a chance to make a year-end gift to RHR-NA, please start 2012 off right by showing your support today.