UN coverage of the 2005 Joseph Prize bestowed upon Jan Egeland, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

Monday, May 2, 2005

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Source Data: 05/23/2005 

(New York, 23 May 2005): On May 22, Hebrew Union College awarded the 2005 Roger E. Joseph Prize to Jan Egeland, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. The presentation took place at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Ceremony of Investiture and Ordination in Central Synagogue in New York City. The Joseph Prize is an international award presented annually to an individual or organization, which, by virtue of religious and moral commitment, has made a distinctive contribution to humanity and whose conduct or work enhances or encourages the values and ideals that derive from religious teaching. 

Mr. Egeland was awarded the $10,000 prize for his work on behalf of victims worldwide. Egeland was among the first to sound the alarm on the present situation in the Darfur region of Sudan and has 25 years of human rights, peace, and humanitarian work. 

"We must always speak the truth about the reasons why so many suffer, and how matters can be put right," said Mr. Egeland at the ceremony. "We must never avoid speaking the truth because we are afraid of offending people in power," he added. 

Roger E. Joseph, a lawyer and decorated World War II veteran, was severely stricken with polio in 1951. The disease left him almost completely paralysed for the remainder of his life. Confined to an iron lung, he spent years learning to care for himself; ultimately he was able to resume his law practice and was active in many causes. To honour their brother's memory, Mr. Burton M. Joseph and Mrs. Betty Greenberg established the Roger E. Joseph Prize through a grant from the Joseph Foundation to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. 

Established in 1978, previous recipients of the $10,000 award include Victor Kugler, who gave refuge to Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust; Helen Suzman, the South African anti-apartheid activist; Rosa Parks, the mother of the modern American Civil Rights Movement; the village of Le Chambon, which gave refuge to Jews and Christians fleeing the Nazis during the Holocaust; posthumously to Johan Jorgen Holst, for facilitating the Middle East Peace Accords; Chaplain Mychal Judge, posthumously, and the City of New York Fire Department; and Daniel Pearl, posthumously, and The Daniel Pearl Foundation. 

Under-Secretary-General Egeland will donate the proceeds of the prize to field operations carried out by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu