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News at HUC-JIR
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Receives Doctor of Humane Letters from The College of William and Mary; Presented by Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Rabbi Ellenson was conferred a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, by the College of William and Mary, his undergraduate alma mater. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and William and Mary Rector Michael K. Powell presented the degree. The full citation is available here. In a speech Rabbi Ellenson delivered the evening before graduation, he said (full text available here) "To be acknowledged by my alma mater in this way has a special significance and fills me with a welter of emotions I hope to be able to articulate and transmit as I speak with you about what this degree and this College mean to me personally and as a member of a family that has been blessed by this institution."
Rabbi David Ellenson in President Bush's U.S. Honorary Delegation for Israel's 60th Anniversary
President Bush invited the designation of U.S. Honorary Delegation to attend celebrations in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel on May 14-15, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Catholic Approach To The Shoah - The Jewish Week
During Ordination and Investiture services last week, HUC-JIR presented its highest honor, the Roger E. Joseph Prize, to Father Patrick Desbois, a French priest who serves as the church's liaison to the Jewish community in his country.
IJSO Response to California Supreme Court
The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation and HUC-JIR celebrate today's California Supreme Court decision that the State may no longer exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. Marriage and faith are intricately linked and this decision opens the door for Jewish couples who have already opted for a religious ceremony to embark in a covenantal relationship also blessed by the State and fully endowed with the civil rights and responsibilities given to heterosexual couples.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
HUC-JIR Students to Travel to Germany; Will Learn About the Status of German Jewery and Participate in "Germany Close Up"
Rebecca Reice, who has is completing her second year of rabbinical school at HUC-JIR/LA, says, "In the years leading up to and during World War II, Germany was the epicenter of the destruction of my family and my people. Today's Germany, lead by Chancellor Angela Merkel with a rapidly growing Jewish population, is not the same Germany. I believe that I am ready to meet modern Germany."
Joshua Holo, Ph.D., Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies and Associate Professor of Jewish History at HUC-JIR, to speak on Jews and the Ghetto in Venice at the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute
Dr. Holo will explore the cultural, intellectual, and historic experience of Venetian Jewry, with a primary focus on the Ghetto of Venice, which gave its name to all such subsequent ethnic enclosures.
Rabbi Carole Balin, Professor at HUC-JIR/NY, Featured in PBS Documentary 'The Jewish People: A Story of Survival'
The program explores how a small group who started as desert nomads overcame countless obstacles to survive to the present day. Check local listings for rebroadcasts.
HUC-JIR in the News
Rabbi Urges Acts of Kindness During Interfaith Prayer Breakfast - The Virginian-Pilot
The keynote speaker, Rabbi David Ellenson, urged listeners to perform acts of kindness that can reveal a spark of divinity found in all people. "The world can only be repaired when human beings look for and attempt to discover the sparks of holiness that exist throughout the world," said Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR.
U.S. Jews' Relationship With Israel Evolves - The Washington Post
"My guess is we're seeing a tightening of the core, the core being well-committed but the periphery less so," said Rabbi Aaron Panken, of HUC-JIR, the premiere seminary for Reform Judaism. Panken says the questioning is in a sense, just typically American. "I think it's sort of the ultimate application of American individualism. Everyone gets to decide what they believe, and just because your parents cared about something doesn't mean you will."
Wrestling with Independence - Newsweek
HUC-JIR student Jessy Gross writes, "It is no coincidence that memory bleeds into celebration. Nor is it right to say that while the sun sets and Yom HaZikaron/ Memorial Day becomes Yom Ha'atzmaut/Independence Day that there is an instant shift from sadness to joy."
HUC-JIR Alumni Lead Progressive Jewish Community in Poland
Poland's nascent Progressive Jewish community – based around Beit Warszawa in Warsaw, but with growing havurot in such cities as Krakow, Lublin, Chelm and Zielona Gora – has established Beit Polska, the Union of Progressive Jewish Communities in Poland.
Helping Synagogues Meet Members' Needs - The Jewish Week
The Synergy conference is the latest example of the growing partnership between the religious world of the synagogue and the once-secular world of the Jewish federations. "Federations didn't get all that involved in synagogues," said keynote speaker Steven Cohen, research professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR.
Local Rabbi Serves 25 Years - The Telegraph
Twenty-five years is a long time to serve as a rabbi in New Hampshire, where only one percent of the population is Jewish, because holding a congregation together is difficult. But not only has Joshua Segal done it, he even created one – Congregation Betenu in Amherst.
The Art and Discipline of Experiments That Matter - Synergy (PDF)
When congregational leaders focus disproportionately on the risks of trying something new, they tragically ignore the costs of not experimenting.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR/LA Ordination and Graduation Ceremonies to Be Held this Weekend
Eighteen students will be ordained as rabbis at the HUC-JIR/LA Ordination Service on Sunday, May 18, 2008, at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. On Monday, May 19, 2008, HUC-JIR students will earn Masters Degrees in Jewish Education, Judaic Studies, Hebrew Letters, and Jewish Communal Service at the Graduation Ceremonies held at the HUC-JIR/LA campus, where distinguished communal leaders and alumni will be awarded Honorary Doctorates.
HUC-JIR/NY Choir to Perform in Honor of Cantor Dana Anesi
The choir will perform Sunday, June 1st at Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester to celebrate Cantor Anesi's 25 years at the temple. Cantor Anesi is an HUC-JIR alumna and was recently installed onto the Board of Governors, the first Cantor ever to serve as a Governor representing all of the alumni of the College-Institute.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals and offers graduate and post-graduate degree programs for scholars of all faiths. With campuses in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York, and Jerusalem, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise renowned library, archive, and museum collections, the American Jewish Archives, biblical archaeology excavations, research centers and institutes, and academic publications. HUC-JIR invites the community to an array of cultural and educational programs that illuminate Jewish history, culture, and contemporary creativity, and foster interfaith and multi-ethnic understanding. Visit us at
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