Each year we gather to honor local leaders whose work has significantly impacted interfaith relations in the DC metropolitan area.
For the 10th Annual InterFaith Bridge Builders Awards, we gathered at Adas Israel Synagogue to recognize Ms. Kit Bigelow, former Director of External Affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States; Mr. Ron Halber, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council; and Rev. Ed White, former General Presbyter for the National Capital Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
More About Our 2014 Honorees:
Ms. Kit Bigelow – For 25 years, until 2010, Ms. Bigelow served as Director of External Affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. She represented the national leadership of the Baha’is of the United States in the promotion and protection of human rights, religious freedom and the advancement of women. She was responsible for informing the U.S. government and U.S. national news media about the persecution of the Bahá’í communities in Iran and other Muslim countries. Ms. Bigelow currently serves on the Board of Directors of GlobalSolutions.org. She also serves on the executive steering committee of the Women in International Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, having served as its co-chair from 2005-2008. She is a member of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and Women in International Security. Ms. Bigelow serves on the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Arlington, Virginia, as its chairman.
Mr. Ron Halber – Since 2001, Mr. Halber has served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council. Prior, he served in other capacities at the JCRC since 1997, including as Associate Director. Under his leadership, the JCRC developed a wide range of strategic initiatives; secured tens of millions of dollars for Jewish agencies; passed numerous pieces of state wide and local legislation of concern to the Jewish community; and strengthened relationships with other faith and minority groups. He is the recipient of the 2006 Ted B. Farber Professional Excellence Award and the 2001 Professional of the Year Award from the Association of Community Government Affairs Directors. Prior to his tenure at the JCRC, Ron was the Political Coordinator for the Montgomery County Democratic Party; was the Community Liaison for former NY State Senator Martin Solomon and served on the staff of several political campaigns, including U.S.Senator Charles Schumer.
Founders’ Award Recipient:
Rev. Ed White – In his long and distinguished career, Rev. White has served as General Presbyter for the National Capital Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) and was at various times chair of the Alban Institute’s board of trustees, president of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington, president of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, and president of the Society for Advancement of Continuing Education for Ministry (SACEM). In the 1960s, Ed was active in the civil rights movement as a Freedom Rider and a coordinator for the Poor People’s Campaign initiated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Council. He has also taught special courses at Union (Virginia), and Princeton, Pittsburgh, and Sewanee Theological Seminaries; written and read Doctor of Ministry examinations for Virginia Theological Seminary; and authored numerous articles.