Past Honorees | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

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Past Honorees

This page presents the names of recipients of the Keter Shem Tov Award, Doctor or Humane Letters and Presidential Recognition Award granted by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

The Keter Shem Tov Award recognizes distinction in scholarship or community service in the pursuit of Reconstructionist ideals, and is offered to an individual of the highest regard. The honor takes its name from Pirkei Avot 4:17: “Rabbi Shimon says there are three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood and the crown of kingship, but the crown of a good name [keter shem tov] rises above them all.”

The Doctor of Humane Letters is awarded to a communal leader or scholar who is distinguished in the pursuit of Reconstructionist ideals, and has made an outstanding contribution to the Jewish community and/or to Jewish life in North America or Israel.

The Presidential Recognition Award is presented to an individual who has devoted his or her life to advancing Reconstructionist Judaism in both institution and practice, a person who has sown the seeds that nurture rabbinical training and movement leadership. This award honors an individual whose life’s work has been to advance Reconstructionist Judaism profoundly, making an inclusive, vibrant, open and thoughtful Jewish practice available to countless individuals, and thereby transforming the landscape of Judaism in our day.

Year of AwardKeter Shem Tov AwardDoctor of Humane LettersPresidential Recognition Award
2019 Rabbi Sheila Peltz WeinbergRabbi Sid Schwarz, Ph.D.Herbert Krasnow
2018David RobertsRabbi David A. Teutsch, Ph.D.Daniel Levin
2017*Rabbi Arthur Ocean WaskowWillam H. Fern, Ph.D.
2016Stephen Phillip Cohen, Ph.D.John Ruskay, Ph.D.Aaron Ziegelman
2015Rabbi Jeffrey EisenstatRuth Calderon, Ph.D. 
2014Bert W. LinderRabbi David R. Blumenthal, Ph.D. 
2013Joyce Galpern Norden, Ph.D.Rabbi Shaye J.D. Cohen, Ph.D. 
2012Rabbi Sharon KleinbaumLori Hope Lefkovitz, Ph.D. 
2011*Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D. 
2010Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Ph.D.Paul Mendes-Flohr, Ph.D. 
2009Arik Ascherman* 
2008Ruth W. MessingerSylvia Boorstein, Ph.D. 
2007*Judith Plaskow, Ph.D. 
2006*Joel Rosenberg, Ph.D. 
2005Daniel LevinDr. Rebecca T. Alpert 
2004Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D.Rabbi Rachel B. Cowan 
2003Marilyn L. PriceGershon David Hundert 
2002Patricia A. Barr  
 Arthur "Nick" Goldman  
2001*Dr. Deborah Dash Moore 
2000Rabbi Jack J. CohenDr. Tikva Frymer-Kensky 
 Jacques Pomeranz  


For more than 50 years, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has bestowed the Keter Shem Tov Award. Below are additional Keter Shem Tov award recipients.

Dr. Salo W. Baron Dr. Dorothy G. Becker Rabbi Lavy M. Becker
Mr. Sidney Becker Mr. Samuel Blumenthal Mrs. Ruth Brin
Dr. Rachel Davis Dubois Ms. Shoshana Shoubin Cardin Dr. Ira Eisenstein
Dr. Judith Eisenstein Rabbi Arthur Gilbert Dr. Nahum N. Glatzer
Dr. Solomon Grayzel Dr. Arthur Green Dr. Irving Greenberg
Mr. Irving Howe Ms. Lillian Kaplan Mr. Mendel Kaplan
Mr. Philip Klutznick Rabbi Eugene Kohn Dr. Bertram W. Korn
Ms. Dorothy Kripke Mr. Daniel Levin Dr. Franklin H. Littell
Mr. Theodore Mann Rabbi Hershel J. Matt Dr. Egon Mayer
Hon. Benjamin Wm. Mehlman Cantor Moshe Nathanson Mr. Lionel S. Reiss
Ms. Goldyne Savad Dr. Albert P. Schoolman Rabbi Harold Schulweis
Mr. Charles Silberman Dr. Marie Syrkin Dr. Marvin Wachman
Mr. Lou Wiener Mrs. Myra Wiener Rabbi Arthur J. Zuckerman