HEBREW UNION COLLEGE - JEWISH
INSTITUTE OF RELIGION
The Academic, Spiritual and Professional Development Center for Reform Judaism
The Center for Victims of Torture, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Program for Survivors of Torture, a joint program of Bellevue hospital and New York University in New York City, will receive the 1998 Roger E. Joseph Prize at the Ordination and Investiture Ceremonies of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on Sunday, May 17 at 9:00 AM at Congregation Emanu-El, 65th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City.
The Roger E. Joseph Prize is presented annually to an individual or organization that has made a distinctive contribution to humanity by virtue of religious and moral commitment. Douglas A. Johnson, Executive Director, will accept the prize on behalf of The Center for Victims of Torture, and Dr. Allen Keller, Director, will accept on behalf of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture.
Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will present the Joseph prize. President Zimmerman praised the two programs as "inspiring examples of institutions governed by conscience, and staffed by individuals whose courage is mirrored in their personal commitment and moral passion to redeem and resettle individuals relentlessly ravaged by human tragedy."
The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is a private, non-profit organization that was founded in 1985 to provide direct care to survivors of politically-motivated torture and members of their families. CVT, the first organization of its kind in the United States, provides care on an outpatient basis for approximately 150 clients annually. CVT also conducts ongoing research on the long-term effects of torture and effective rehabilitation models; provides professional training to health care, human service, resettlement and immigration professionals; and contributes to the prevention of torture through public education, policy initiatives, and cooperative efforts with other organizations. Douglas Johnson, Executive Director, is also an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and previously worked as National Chairperson and cofounder of the Infant Formula Action Coalition. He received his Master's in Public and Private Management from Yale University in 1988.
The Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture was founded in 1995 as the first comprehensive clinic for treatment of torture survivors in New York City. The center has treated over 150 victims of torture or severe political violence, along with their families. Patients come from 40 countries, roughly a third of them from Africa and many others from Bosnia, Tibet, Bangladesh, and China. The Program receives some funding from the United Nations, but many of the staff members are volunteers. Dr. Allen Keller, an attending physician at Bellevue and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at New York University School of Medicine, organized the program with Dr. Jack Saul, a psychologist and assistant professor in psychiatry at NYU. Dr. Keller previously taught courses in Cambodia on treating trauma survivors, and worked for Physicians for Human Rights in New York.
The Joseph Prize has been awarded since 1978. It provides a $10,000 cash award to be used for further humanitarian efforts. The first award went to Victor Kugler, who gave refuge to Anne Frank and her family in The Netherlands. Other honorees have included Rosa Parks; Helen Suzman, an anti-apartheid activist; The Children's Defense Fund; and the Montana Association of Churches and the First Congregational Church of Billings, Montana, for public activism in combating local anti-Semitic hate crimes. Last year, the award went to Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard University for his commitment to improving Black-Jewish relations.
During the New York School's Ordination and Investiture services of the 123rd class, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, President of HUC-JIR, will ordain 18 men and 12 women as rabbis and 3 men and 8 women as cantors. An additional 10 women and 15 men will be ordained at HUC-JIR's Cincinnati School on June 6, 1998.
Copyright © 1998 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion