The Roger E. Joseph Prize

The Roger E. Joseph Prize was established by Burton Joseph and Betty Greenberg, of blessed memory, to honor the memory of their brother Roger, a man of exceptional personal courage and passionate devotion to principle and justice.

Joseph Prize

In 1978, the first Joseph Prize was presented to Victor Kugler, who risked his and his loved ones’ lives to shelter Anne Frank and her family.

For the past 45 years, the Joseph Prize has been presented to outstanding individuals, organizations, and institutions whose work fulfills the highest ethical and humanitarian values of our tradition.

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Nancy Northup receiving Joseph Prize

Nancy Northup proudly shares the 2023 Roger E. Joseph Prize with the audience at New York Ordination on May 7. Northup is President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which was awarded the Prize in recognition of their global efforts to advance and protect reproductive rights as fundamental to human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person worldwide.



Recipients of The Roger E. Joseph Prize (1978-2022)

1978 Victor Kugler
1979 Not presented
1980 Rabbi Moses Cyrus Weiler
1981 Raoul Wallenberg
1982 Not presented
1983 Village of Le Chambon sur-Lignon, France
1984 Gerhart Riegner, Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress
1985 Church World Service, Catholic Relief Services, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
1986 Helen Suzman
1987 Rosa Parks
1988 The Center for Legal and Social Studies of Buenos Aires
1989 SOS Boat People Committee – Vu Thanh Thuy
1990 The Jewish Agency for Israel
1991 Children’s Defense Fund – Marion Wright Edelman
1992 The Students of HUC-JIR
1993 Teddy Kollek
1994 Johan Jorgen Holst, posthumously
1995 The First Congregational Church and the Montana Association of Church
1996 Claude Lelouch
1997 Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
1998 The Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis, and the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture
1999 The Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, and the Institute of Contemporary History and Wiener Library Limited, London
2000 Natasa Kandic – The Humanitarian Law Center – Yugoslavia
2001 Southern Poverty Law Center – Morris S. Dees, Jr.
2002 Father Mychal Judge, posthumously, and the City of New York Fire Department
2003 Daniel Pearl, posthumously, and The Daniel Pearl Foundation
2004 Erin Gruwell and the Erin Gruwell Education Project
2005 Jan Egeland, Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs
2006 Clementina Cantoni, kidnapped (and released) Italian CARE International aid worker
2007 Whitwell Middle School Holocaust Memorial and Paper Clip Project – accepted by Linda M. Hooper, Principal
2008 Father Patrick Dubois
2009 Helen Lieberman, South Africa, founder of Ikamva Labantu
2010 Dr. Dean G. Lorich, Hospital for Special Surgery
2011 ATZUM and Rabbi Levi Lauer, founder
2012 Edesia and Navyn Salem, Co-Founder and Executive Director
2013 Maestro James Conlon
2014 COPE Camp Erin and the Orel Foundation
2015 Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer – US Global Malaria Coordinator
2016 Sir Nicholas Winton MBE, posthumously
2017 Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, accepted by Mark Hetfield
2018 Fortify Rights, accepted by Matthew Smith
2019 Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Founder and Director, Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, Flint, Michigan
2020 Sara Bloomfield, Executive Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
2022 Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, accepted by Paolo Sison, Director of Innovative Finance
2023 Center for Reproductive Rights, accepted by Nancy Northup, President and CEO


The 2023 Roger E. Joseph Prize is presented to the Center for Reproductive Rights at New York Ordination ceremonies on May 7.


The Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for all.

Northup stated, “It is vitally important, following the fall of Roe vs. Wade and increasing attacks on these rights, that religious leaders speak up. And it is also important that in your roles as spiritual counselors that you provide caring support for those making profound life decisions. Together, we can build the world where people are able to make decisions about their religious lives and their reproductive lives without coercion or discrimination.”

The Roger E. Joseph Prize citation, which accompanied its honorarium, states:

The 2023 Roger E. Joseph Prize is presented to the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global human rights organization…

  • Which, since 1992, has used the power of law to advance and protect reproductive rights as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person worldwide;
  • Whose unparalleled advocacy work and jurisprudence have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human-rights bodies;
  • Whose successful efforts have been instrumental in securing legal victories on reproductive rights issues, including access to lifesaving obstetrics care, contraception, and safe abortion services, as well as preventing forced sterilization and child marriage;
  • Which has litigated and won groundbreaking reproductive rights cases before the highest courts around the world;
  • Whose work helps ensure adolescents can exercise their rights to make informed decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health and can access the necessary medical services;
  • Whose dedication to assisted reproduction, including IVF, surrogacy, and embryo and gamete regulations, seeks to destigmatize infertility for the 186 million individuals impacted by it and ensure equitable access to infertility care;
  • Which seeks to ensure that access to quality and respectful maternal health care is available to all in efforts to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes by holding governments accountable for their human rights obligations and addressing discrimination and failures to respect women’s autonomy and physical integrity;
  • And which works to eliminate barriers to contraceptive services and information—and guarantee contraception for all, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence—so all women can control their reproductive lives and their futures.