Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha to Receive Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's 2019 Roger E. Joseph Prize - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha to Receive Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's 2019 Roger E. Joseph Prize

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The 2019 Roger E. Joseph Prize was presented to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Founder and Director, Michigan State University and Hurley Children's Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, at the Ordination Ceremonies of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York at Fifth Avenue at 65th Street, New York City. 

An associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University, Dr. Hanna-Attisha is also the founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children's Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a model program to mitigate the impact of the Flint water crisis so that all Flint children grow up healthy and strong. Through community and clinical programs, childhood health policy and advocacy, and robust evaluation, the Pediatric Public Health Initiative works with many partners, including Flint's heroic parents and kids, as a center of excellence, with the primary goal of mitigating the impact of the Flint Water Crisis and serving as a national resource for best practices.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha is the author of "What the Eyes Don't See," a powerful first-hand account of the Flint water crisis, the signature environmental disaster of our time, and a riveting narrative of personal advocacy. Dr. Hanna-Attisha used science to prove Flint kids were exposed to lead, and courageously went public with her research and faced a brutal backlash. With persistence and single-minded sense of mission, she spoke truth to power. The book explores the horrific reality of how misguided austerity policies and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. 

The Joseph Prize was established 40 years ago by Burton Joseph and Betty Greenberg, of blessed memory. They created this Prize to honor the memory of their brother, Roger, a man of exceptional personal courage and passionate devotion to principle and justice.  The Prize is awarded to those exceptional individuals and institutions whose work have made a lasting contribution to the causes of human rights and Jewish survival, and whose conduct not only enhances the values and ideals of Judaism, but reflects the excellence of human conduct epitomized by Roger E. Joseph. 

The Joseph Prize has been presented to exceptional individuals, organizations, and institutions whose work have made a lasting contribution to the causes of human rights and Jewish survival, and whose conduct not only enhances the values and ideals of Judaism, but reflects the excellence of human conduct epitomized by Roger E. Joseph. The Joseph Prize recipients have been recognized for:

  • eradicating racial prejudice and religious discrimination;
  • commemorating the Holocaust;
  • demonstrating exceptional the altruism as righteous rescuers;
  • promoting peace in the Middle East;
  • combatting genocide;
  • supporting the victims of trauma;
  • ending hunger; and
  • advancing the cause of human rights and social responsibility.

Read more about 2019 Graduation and Ordination in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York.


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 leaders to serve 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, museums, 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