The 2012 Roger E. Joseph Prize was awarded to Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions and Navyn Salem, Co-Founder and Executive Director, in recognition of their visionary impact on global hunger.
The ceremony took place during Ordination and Investiture Services at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York on Sunday, May 6, when 14 new rabbis (6 women and 8 men) and 6 new cantors (5 women and 1 man) were ordained. The presentation was made by Ellen Joseph, Roxanne Leopold, and Linda Karshan, the three daughters of Roger E. Joseph.
Rabbi David Ellenson stated, “From Biblical times to the present day, the Jewish people have been commanded to attend to the needs of those less fortunate, for the Talmud teaches us that whosoever preserves a single soul has preserved an entire world. Edesia’s goal of conquering the scourge of world hunger embodies the ultimate expression of pikuach nefesh – rescuing a human soul – and tikkun olam – repairing the world.
Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions is a non-profit producer of ready-to-use foods whose mission is to treat and prevent malnutrition for the most vulnerable children in the developing world. Its vision is to create a world in which all people have access to the basic human right of food and nutrition and to assure that vulnerable individuals no longer suffer and die needlessly from malnutrition. Edesia aims to treat children as their own, and give them the life-saving tools to overcome malnutrition and thrive.
Edesia recognizes the complexity of addressing hunger globally. Nutrition for young children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other vulnerable populations is part of larger and more complex problems. Addressing education, agriculture and policy change must also be a part of the solution. Edesia supplies high-quality ready-to-use foods for organizations working in emergency situations as well as standard nutrition programming, and collaborates on research and development to improve distribution systems and optimize the use of ready-to-use foods, in addition to supporting local producers of ready-to-use foods in the development world. In recognition that treating the most severe cases is not a permanent solution, Edesia also supplies products for and is an advocate of preventative approaches. Edesia believes in collaboration and communication and works with a number of organizations and research institutions to ensure that a multi-faceted approach to alleviating malnutrition is being pursued. It engages in educational efforts and direct advocacy to raise the profile of global malnutrition.
About the Joseph Prize and Previous Recipients
The Roger E. Joseph Prize was established thirty years ago by a generous gift from Burton M. Joseph and his sister, Mrs. Betty Greenberg, in memory of their brother, a lawyer, World War II hero, and polio victim. Although almost completely paralyzed, he resumed his law practice and advanced causes of social justice, inspired by his own exceptional personal courage and passionate devotion to principle and justice.
The first Joseph Prize was awarded in 1978, to Victor Kugler, who risked his and his loved ones’ lives to shelter Anne Frank and her family. Over the past thirty-four years, the Joseph Prize recipients have included:
- the people of Le Chambon, a Huguenot village in France which rescued thousands of Jewish children during the Holocaust;
- Helen Suzman, a leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa;
- The Center for Legal and Social Studies, the most prominent human rights group in Argentina;
- Rosa Parks, pioneer of the American civil rights movement;
- Vu Than Thuy and the Boat People SOS Committee, responsible for the rescue of thousands of Vietnamese refugees stranded in the South China Sea;
- the Humanitarian Law Center and Natasa Kandic for their courageous research and dissemination of the documentation of genocide in Kosovo;
- Daniel Pearl, posthumously, and the Daniel Pearl Foundation, to honor the memory and mission of this inspiring and courageous journalist, of blessed memory, whose integrity was grounded in a commitment to justice and a love for humanity;
- Jan Egeland, Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs at the United Nations, for rescue efforts in Darfurand around the globe;
- Chaplain Mychal Judge, of blessed memory, and the City of New York Fire Department, for their heroic efforts to rescue and provide comfort on September 11th, 2001; and
- Father Patrick Desbois for devoting his life to confronting anti-Semitism, furthering Catholic-Jewish understanding, and preserving Holocaust memory.
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 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