HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, to Laurie Coskey, Ed.D.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Laurie Coskey with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in Los Angeles on Monday, May 17, 2010 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles (3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles).  Rabbi Coskey was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

Since 2001, Rabbi Coskey has served as the Executive Director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.  The ICWJ represents clergy, churches, mosques, synagogues, faith and justice organizations, and people of faith in the San Diego region who, called by their respective religious traditions, work for justice and stand up for the poor and marginalized.  In partnership with low-wage workers who are trying to obtain justice in the workplace, ICWJ brings visibility to the struggle of hard working individuals and working families trying to make ends meet in San Diego County through campaigns in the workplace, with policy makers, and around critical issues such as living wage policies, immigration, and affordable housing.

Rabbi Coskey is the Chairperson of CLUE CA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice – California), the statewide alliance of interfaith worker justice organizations.  She is the President of the San Diego Community College District Trustee Advisory Board and Rabbi in Residency at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.

Rabbi Coskey has been recognized for her contributions to the community.  She was designated the 2009 Woman of the Year for the 76th Assembly District.  In 2008, she was the recipient of the CAHRO (California Association of Human Rights Organizations) Civil Rights Leadership Award which honored her legacy of leadership as an individual who has made outstanding contributions to California in the area of human and civil rights.  She received the 2008 Outstanding Career Award from the School of Education and Leadership Sciences at the University of San Diego.

Rabbi Coskey completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University and was ordained at HUC-JIR as a Rabbi in 1985.  After serving a large San Diego congregation for eight years, she completed her doctorate in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego in 2000.  Her more than twenty year career in the rabbinate has been marked by a commitment to issues of social justice.  She is the spiritual leader of Chavurah Kol Haneshama in San Diego.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first 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.