RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA) — Luiz Fux, the first Jew to become a Supreme Federal Court judge in Brazil, received B’nai B’rith’s highest human rights medal.
“As a judge, it is very important to be honored for the sake of being sympathetic to minorities,” Fux said after receiving the award on Sunday.
Named after Austregésilo de Atahyde, a prominent late ex-president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and delegate at the United Nations, the B’nai B’rith medal honors distinguished people in the human rights field in Brazilian society.
Fux, 62, was appointed judge of the Supreme Court by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2011. Before that, he had served as minister of the Superior Court of Justice.
“I was raised in a Jewish home where solidarity was a key concept. At the Jewish school, I learned that in Hebrew charity and justice are synonymous words. The Jewish upbringing embeds such values in your life,” he declared during an interview with the Rio Jewish Federation.
Commonly known as “ministers,” the eleven judges of the Brazilian Supreme Court must respect a mandatory retirement at age 75.