David Luchins, Advocate for Social Justice, to Receive Prestigious Award at JCPA National Jewish Town Hall.

by Jared Feldman

Washington, D.C. – David Luchins, Touro College professor, community activist, and lifelong advocate for social justice, will receive the Albert D. Chernin Award from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) at its annual meeting, the 2015 Jewish Community Town Hall, October 10-13, in Washington, D.C. The Chernin Award is given to Jewish leaders whose life work best exemplifies the social justice imperatives of Judaism, Jewish history, and the protection of The Bill of Rights. Dr. Luchins represents the Orthodox Union (OU) on the JCPA Executive Committee, a position he has held since 1988 and currently serves as the chair of the Political Science Department at Touro College. 

“For over fifty years, David Luchins has been a champion and steadfast defender of Torah-imbued social justice for all peoples, ever since his high school service as the National Conference of Synagogue Youth’s National Social Actions Chair. Through his work in the JCPA, OU, NCSY and other Jewish and civic organizations, Dr. Luchins is an embodiment to the values of tikkun olam – repairing the world,” said Ethan Felson, JCPA Senior Vice President and Acting CEO. “Anyone who has attended JCPA programs for the past forty years knows of his depth of knowledge and uncanny ability to help shape consensus on the most challenging issues.” 

“David Luchins’ prodigious career as a public servant and as a communal leader is a testament to his commitment to the ideals of this award. His illustrious career in public service, at the city, state, and federal level, includes twenty years of service to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan first as a special assistant and ultimately his senior advisor, said Susan W. Turnbull, JCPA Chair. “We are honored that David Luchins has accepted this award and ever grateful to have him as a cherished part of the JCPA family,” 

Dr. Luchins did his undergraduate work at Yeshiva College, where he was profoundly influenced by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik’s social justice teachings. He earned his doctorate from the City University of New York Graduate Center and has been Chair of the Political Science Department at Touro College since 1978. He is also the founding dean of Touro College’s Lander College for Women, where he has mentored students for over 40 years, many of whom have delivered addresses at JCPA Plenum’s. 

Dr. Luchins will join an impressive list of recipients, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senators Ron Wyden, Carl Levin, and Frank Lautenberg, Rabbi David Saperstein, Alan Dershowitz, Lawrence Tribe Rabbi Eric Yoffie, and Ruth Messinger. The JCPA Plenum, the Jewish Community Town Hall, is the largest yearly meeting of the Jewish community relations field in the U.S.

To find out more information please visit www.jcpaplenum.org.

JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.


About the Author


Jared Feldman