Is Your Rabbi or Cantor a Human Rights Hero? 

Each year, T’ruah honors two rabbis/cantors who demonstrate extraordinary commitment and dedication to a leadership focused on human rights work. And each year we turn to you, our supporters, to help us find these extraordinary leaders. Does your rabbi/cantor deserve this honor?

Nominate your rabbi or cantor for the Rabbinic Human Rights Hero award (Deadline is Oct. 22)

Two rabbis/cantors will be honored in person at T’ruah’s annual gala on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in New York City, as guests of T’ruah. Their stories will be featured on T’ruah’s website and in our newsletters, and shared via related media.

What does it mean to be a Human Rights Hero?
Nominated rabbis/cantors will be tireless leaders in progressing human rights issues in North America and/or Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. They are strongly committed to working towards the dignity and worth of every person, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Jewish belief that every person is a creation in the divine image.

Who is eligible to be nominated as a Human Rights Hero? 

  • Rabbis and cantors who work within a Jewish community setting, such as a synagogue, school, camp, JCC or other related organization.
  • S/he/They must live and work in the United States or Canada.
  • S/he/They may be retired and may be an emeritus rabbi or cantor.
  • Rabbis/cantors who work full-time for social justice or human rights organizations are not eligible.
  • T’ruah board members and T’ruah staff members are not eligible.
  • Selected rabbis/cantors must be available to attend the gala in New York City on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, as guests of T’ruah.

Who is eligible to nominate a rabbi/cantor? 

  • Members of the nominated rabbi/cantor’s community, such as a synagogue member, a student, a parent of a student or camper, a JCC or Hillel member, or someone who participates regularly in activities organized by the rabbi/cantor’s community.
  • Rabbis/cantors may nominate their colleagues.
  • Self-nominations will not be considered.

How do I nominate my rabbi/cantor? 
To nominate your rabbi/cantor, please fill out the application. You may start your application now and return to it at a later date by creating a login at the top of this page. The deadline to submit completed applications is Monday, October 22, 2018 at 8PM Eastern Time. This application will require you to:

  • Fill out contact information for yourself, your rabbi/cantor, and two additional community members.
  • Write a brief statement (250-300 words) about what makes your rabbi/cantor a human rights hero.
  • Enter the name and email address of two additional members of your rabbi/cantor’s community, both of whom will be asked to write a supporting letter of recommendation.

Once you submit your completed application, you will receive an email confirming that your nomination has been received. The two people whose emails you entered will receive an email from T’ruah with instructions on how to submit their supporting letters of recommendation. All applications, complete with your letter plus the two supporting recommendation letters, must be received by Monday, October 22, 2018, by 8:00 PM Eastern Time. Please leave enough time for your recommenders to submit their letters. Incomplete nominations will not be processed.

How will rabbis/cantors be selected? 
A distinguished group of rabbis who are recipients of the Rabbinic Human Rights Hero award make up the 2019 Selection Committee: Rabbi Mona Alfi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California; Rabbi Justin David of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton, Massachusetts; Rabbi Barbara Penzner of Temple Hillel B’nai Torah in West Roxbury, Massachusetts; and Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York.

Please do not contact selection committee members regarding this program. We disclose this information so that the selection process is transparent; any emails sent to the selection committee members will be deleted without review. Thank you for respecting this request.

All applications, complete with supporting letters, must be received by Monday, October 22, 2018, by 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Nominate your rabbi/cantor now for T’ruah’s Rabbinic Human Rights Hero award. If you don’t have all the information you need for the application, you can save your application by creating a login at the top of this page and returning to it at a later date.