Rabbi Robert Levine has been selected by The Manhattan Jewish Historical Initiative to be inducted into the 2020 Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame!
An inspiring spiritual teacher, counselor, and sought-after media guest and speaker, our Senior Rabbi Robert Levine is beloved by congregants and community alike. He is an advocate for the poor and the homeless, for social justice, and for civil rights. He is a past President of the NY Board of Rabbis. He has chaired the Catholic/Jewish Dialogue of the Archdiocese of NYC and the publications committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). He is a member of the Commission of Religious Leaders of NYC, the American Jewish Committee, and Synergy/UJA Federation.
His awards include the International Humanitarian Award by the World Union for Progressive Judaism alongside Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel; Rabbi of the Year by the NY Board of Rabbis; the West Side Spirit’s Westy Award; NARAL’s Champion of Choice; and the All Stars Project Bridge Building Award for Leadership in Community Relations.
Moreover, he is the author of three enlightening books that explore connection, faith, and compassion, Where Are You When I Need You?, There Is No Messiah…And You’re It, and What God Can Do For You Now.
Therefore, it is no surprise to us that he has received this distinguished honor!
The Manhattan Jewish Historical Initiative compiles and records the history and great achievements of the life, institutions, and cultural activities of the NY Jewish community. The organization’s Hall of Fame honors those who contribute in cultivating the Jewish religion, and its cultural life and thinking. Their accomplishments embody the Jewish spirit, advancing the wellbeing of the greater multicultural community. Our Senior Rabbi’s inclusion is a welcome acknowledgment of what we, his congregational family, already know.
Rabbi Levine’s tenure at CRS has been the model of an inclusive and welcoming community. His imprint etched in the many groundbreaking programs, educational opportunities, and social justice campaigns the congregation undertakes. Notably, we have been at the forefront of inclusion – welcoming those in the LGBTQIA+ community, in interfaith families, and with special needs. Of paramount importance is making sure that everyone may study and rejoice in all of Judaism’s sacred life events. Rabbi Levine’s legacy lies safely right here, where celebration and tradition continues and where progressive innovation reigns.
The MJHI has also bestowed this year’s honor to two of CRS’s treasured members, Laurie Tisch and David Zaslav. Laurie has received numerous honors including Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” Hero Award, NYC’s Special Merit in Public Health Award, and the Lincoln Center Distinguished Service Award. Her Illumination Fund champions innovative approaches to education, the arts, healthy food, and service while increasing access and opportunity for New Yorkers. David, president and CEO of Discovery, Inc., received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award and the UJA-Federation of NY’s Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award, and is on the USC Shoah Foundation’s Board of Councilors Executive Committee. Mazel Tov, Laurie and David!
In his book, There Is No Messiah…And You’re It, Rabbi Levine conveys the promising message that each of us can help to heal the world. “Stop looking for the imported savior, for our life and for our community. That’s not going to happen. You are the one anointed by God to make our world a better place,” he writes. He may talk the talk but he surely walks that walk, as it is said. You are our mentsch. And we are enormously proud to share you with the world. May you continue to go from strength to strength!
The gala event, with Ceremony and reception, was originally scheduled for May 7. Now postponed until a date in Spring 2021, the honor will soon be available to view on the MJHI website at manhattanjewish.org.