September 10: Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish
Ruth Messinger turned the American Jewish World Service into a communal powerhouse. During Messinger's tenure, AJWS has pioneered a unique blend of support for grass-roots efforts in the developing world with advocacy for social change, all in the context of Jewish teaching. Messinger's leadership again galvanized the world through her extraordinary efforts after an earthquake devastated much of Haiti. Just hours after the earthquake tore into the poorest nation in the hemisphere, Messinger arranged for AJWS grantees to coordinate relief activities and galvanized a fundraising effort that eventually brought in more than $6 million to 17 Haitian organizations.
November 17: Jay Michaelson, Author of "God vs. Gay"
Jay Michaelson is a writer, scholar, and activist whose work addresses the intersections of religion, sexuality, spirituality, and law. His newest book is God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality, will be published in October, 2011, by Beacon Press. Jay is is the author of three other books and over 200 articles, essays, and works of fiction. He is the Associate Editor of Religion Dispatches, a Contributing Editor to the Forward newspaper, and Founding Editor of Zeek magazine. His work on behalf of sexual minorities in religious communities has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, and NPR, as well as several anthologies.
February 11: Anat Hoffman, Chairperson of Women of the Wall
Anat Hoffman is the chairwoman of Women of the Wall. She is the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. Previously she held a seat on the Jerusalem City Council, where for fourteen years she stood in opposition to the policies of the city's right-wing and ultra-Orthodox administration. She has dedicated her adult life to the Jewish principle of tikkun olam, which literally means repairing the world.