HUC-UC Ethics Center Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems
Graduate Internship Program

HUC-UC Ethics Center offers a graduate internship program in ethics and social policy. The internship encompasses practical as well as academic exposure to contemporary ethical issues. It was initiated to promote applied research in a variety of areas of public policy and strengthen interaction among not-for-profit and academic organizations and government agencies by placing skilled graduate students in real life professional settings. HUC-UC Ethics Center promotes and advertises the internship in leading professional journals addressing social policy, and among graduate schools throughout the country.

Graduate Intern Bio
Application Information
Graduate Interns

Alice Skirtz, LISW (2004/2006) - Graduate Intern
Alice Skirtz interned at the HUC-UC Ethics Center as part of her doctoral program in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with emphasis on poverty and social policy. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker. Following a long career in Social Work practice with low income and homeless populations, her research at HUC-UC Ethics Center focuses on ways faith traditions inform public ideas of poverty and social welfare policy. Alice Skirtz worked with HUC-UC Ethics Center scholars and the editors of the Journal of Poverty to develop the "Symposium on Religious Perceptions of Poverty and Welfare Policy" (May 7 - 9, 2005) featuring nationally recognized scholars in the fields of history, social work, public policy, and political science. Proceedings of the Symposium are to be published by HUC-UC Ethics Center and the Journal of Poverty.

Mark Rothschild
As part of his graduate studies at HUC-JIR, Mark Rothschild engaged in a project that HUC-UC Ethics Center co-sposored. It is entitled "Engaging Disengaged Jews: From the Outside, In."

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There is a growing understanding of the forces that positively impact Jewish commitment among moderately-affiliated and newly-affiliated Jews. These studies provide valuable insight into the factors that affect Jewish identification and offer useful policy guidance for Jewish institutions to consider to better attract and retain these populations.

While these studies have significant value, they focus largely on those Jews who are at least moderately affiliated with Jewish life, and in doing so miss those individuals who are not on the radar screen of institutional Jewry-those Jews who rarely (if ever) attend synagogue. With respect to their involvement in synagogue life, we call this population the "Disengaged."
  • What the Disengaged think about synagogue life and the degree to which it meets their needs
  • Whether or not these individuals are interested in new avenues to search for meaning, social and civic engagement, or the pursuit of a just society within a Jewish framework
  • How, if at all, synagogue programs and services might be structured to better reflect these views and address this population's unmet needs
The Disengaged represent an significant, underserved target population for synagogue products and services. If we do not reach out to this market of Jewish individuals and their partners and families, (a) they will miss out on the benefits that can be gained through synagogue life; (b) we risk losing this population to other religious groups and activities that may be less beneficial to them but seemingly more compelling (e.g., other faiths, self-help groups); (c) we will not adequately leverage our resources or accomplish our missions as Jewish leaders; and (d) we may lose the perspectives and benefits that the Disengaged can bring to synagogue life.

The goal of this research is to explore and design new opportunities to engage the Disengaged. In the words of Franz Rosenzweig, it is an attempt to understand how, if at all, to bring these Jews "from the periphery to the center, from the outside in."
Application Information

A qualified candidate will be selected following a set of criteria based on:

  • academic excellence
  • record of public service
  • quality of intern's proposal and feasibility of planned project

Among areas of interest that the HUC-UC Ethics Center would like to see addressed by the internship are issues such as, but not limited to:

  • poverty and welfare
  • race relations
  • education
  • affordable housing
  • homelessness
  • healthcare
  • law and order
  • senior citizens' concerns

The intern must either have completed the requirements for graduation candidacy, or anticipate completion within one year. The intern will be obligated to fulfill the following conditions:

  • engage in original research in an area of public policy
  • work within the mission of HUC-UC Ethics Center under the supervision of its director or a member of the faculty at HUC-JIR or UC; the specific area that the intern will specialize in (the intern's project) will be determined in consultation with HUC-UC Ethics Center, an appropriate not-for-profit organization, and the incoming intern
  • engage in both public service and academic research
  • conclude the internship with a public lecture or symposium in which the intern must participate and present his or her findings
  • engage in the publication of the intern's findings in (a) professional journal(s)
  • conduct the internship in no less than 9 months and no longer than 18 months. The time frame will depend on the scope of the project and amount of work the intern is able to accomplish

For more information on the internship, or if you are interested in applying contact HUC-UC Ethics Center at 513-221-1875 ext. 3367 or per email at: