LANSING, Mich., June 14, 2022 — State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) honored Gail Katz with a tribute today for being recognized with the World Sabbath Peacemaker Award, which she earned through her hard work and dedication, cultivating relationships to forge understanding across religious differences and build peace.
“Gail has spent her life striving to open a dialogue between people of different religions and backgrounds with the aim of fostering mutual understanding. She is a wonderful role model for peacemaking,” Kuppa said. “Her dedication and perseverance laid the foundation for creating a more cohesive community, and the World Sabbath Peacemaker Award is a testament to the work she has done for decades.”
As a teacher who taught students English as a second language, Katz spearheaded multiple diversity initiatives throughout her school district, such as Students Taking a Right Stand (STARS), which was available for fifth- through eighth-graders. She worked with the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion to build what is now a very successful and far-reaching program for seventh graders: Religious Diversity Journeys.
Outside the classroom, Katz helped create an interfaith institution, the Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Metro-Detroit (WISDOM) and led others like the International Festival of Language and Culture and Kadima. She is also one of the founders of Acts of Kindness (AOK) Detroit, an annual interfaith community service initiative for adults and teens to help uplift the city of Detroit, and on the advisory board of the Jewish Gay Network.