Temple Rodef Shalom, located in the Falls Church-McLean area, has presented its 2022 Rabbi Richard Sternberger Social Justice Award to Alicia Jones-McLeod on behalf of Challenging Racism, a local organization that works throughout the region on behalf of social justice.
The award was presented at the synagogue’s March 25 Shabbat service. Jones-McLeod has been executive director of thehonoree organization since 2020.
“Disruption is what I am all about: How can we change a system to do better for all of us?” Jones-McLeod said at the awards ceremony. “We teach people how to identify racism – individual and systemic – and how to dismantle it.”
The Challenging Racism initiative evolved from a 2004 effort in the Arlington school system. Programs range from one-time meetings to full 11-session classes.
The awards program, which began in 1992, honors the memory of Rabbi Sternberger, a Navy chaplain during the Korean War who was active in the civil-rights movement and social activism. Rabbi Sternberger “never forgot that the search for the divine and human spirituality is inseparable from the search for a just society,” the synagogue said.