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News at HUC-JIR
18 Rabbis Ordained at HUC-JIR/LA Service on Sunday, May 18th
Eighteen rabbis were ordained Sunday at the HUC-JIR/LA Ordination Service at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, delivered the Ordination Address.
HUC-JIR Graduation Honors Jewish Leaders, Alumni and Graduating Class of 2008 on the Los Angeles Campus
On Monday, May 19, 2008, HUC-JIR/LA students earned 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 were awarded Honorary Doctorates. The convocation honored the activism, scholarship, and visionary leadership of noted Jewish leader Daniel Sokatch, who presented the Graduation Address. The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, was awarded to Christoph von Dohnanyi, Principal Conductor, Philharmonia Orchestra, London and Professor Jacqueline Powers Doud, President, Mount St. Mary's College.
Reuven Firestone on "Media and Violence from a Jewish Perspective" at Sixth Doha Conference of Inter-Faith Dialogue in Qatar
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Jewish and Islamic Studies at HUC-JIR/LA, addressed the Sixth Doha Conference of Inter-Faith Dialogue, held in Qatar on May 13 and 14, 2008. The conference theme was "Religious Values: Perspectives on Peace and Respect for Life."
News from Abraham Geiger College
The Abraham Geiger College's first-year student Paul Moses Strasko has won the Year in Israel Michael Klein Prize for Academic Excellence at the HUC-JIR/Jerusalem. The 2008 HUC-JIR Fellow in Berlin will be Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., of HUC-JIR/LA.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
10.6.73 - The Yom Kippur War: Photographs by Tom Heyman at HUC-JIR/NY Museum; Reception May 29, 2008
In celebration of Israel's 60th birthday, this exhibition features 200 photographs by Tom Heyman depicting the heroism and sacrifice of Hativa Sheva, the Seventh Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces on the Golan Heights.
HUC-JIR/NY Choir to Perform in Honor of Cantor Dana Anesi
The choir will perform Sunday, June 1st, 2008, at Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester to celebrate Cantor Anesi's 25 years at the synagogue. 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.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
American Jewish Archives Publishes Latest Edition of AJA Journal
The American Jewish Archives Journal has just issued Volume LVIII Numbers 1 and 2 (2006), published by the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) at HUC-JIR. The AJA Journal, edited by Dr. Gary P. Zola, AJA Director, features articles exploring American Jewish history.
Introduction to Islam for Jews, by Reuven Firestone, Published by The Jewish Publication Society
Jews and Muslims struggle to understand one another and know little about each other's traditions and beliefs. Firestone explains the remarkable similarities and profound differences between Judaism and Islam, the complex history of Jihad, the legal and religious positions of Jews in the world of Islam, how various expressions of Islam regard Jews, and the range of Muslim views about Israel.
Jewish Lights Publishes Rabbi Leonard A. Schoolman's The Changing Christian World, A Brief Introduction for Jews
Designed to answer Jews' common questions about Christianity, this enlightening overview by HUC-JIR alumnus Rabbi Leonard A. Schoolman, C '63, is also an excellent interfaith resource that will help all readers understand the changing Christian climate and what its implications are for the future of Judaism and interfaith relations.
The Gift of Grief, by HUC-JIR Alumnus Rabbi Matthew D. Gewirtz, Published by Ten Speed Press
Based on his extensive pastoral experience helping congregants grapple with grief, Rabbi Gewirtz, N '97, identifies the ways we block our experience of sorrow and loss and guides us to encounter these feelings fully, with compassion and clarity, and incorporate the lessons we learn into a richer life.
Re-spinning Ancient Verses for Modern Readers - Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin Spins Vignettes, Memoirs and Midrash from Biblical Verses to Address Issues in the Lives of Modern People
In his new book ...and turn it again, author Simeon J. Maslin, C '57, introduces his readers to a first-century sage who taught: "Turn it and turn it again, for everything is in it."
HUC-JIR in the News
Study Night Near Gaza - Rabbi Michael Marmur in The Jerusalem Post
Rabbi Marmur, Dean of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, writes, "This week I was privileged to experience an extraordinary encounter of text and context. The movement to which I belong has developed a relationship with some residents of the district immediately bordering the Gaza Strip. In the last days lives have been lost in these settlements, as part of a constant war of attrition which has been waged for over seven years. I was invited to teach this week in a beautiful kibbutz close to Sderot and even closer to Gaza."
The Update: Special Report
At 84, Israeli President Shimon Peres is the only remaining member of the founding generation still active in top Israeli political leadership. And in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary of independence, he threw a birthday party - drawing over 3000 of the Jewish world's leaders and leading citizens, as well as prominent Israeli Arabs and non-Jewish leaders to Jerusalem, our eternal capital. Among the hundreds of heads of state, ambassadors, academics, religious leaders, business giants, organizational heads, young activists, and artists assembled was Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D. President of HUC-JIR.
A Nation in Focus -- Hadassah Magazine
A range of recent books and exhibitions showcases photography depicting intimate moments and iconic scenes from Israel's history. HUC-JIR in New York foregoes a panoramic overview of history to focus on one critical moment in "10.6.73- The Yom Kippur War: Photographs by Thomas Heyman." Heyman, a New York-born photojournalist, immigrated to Israel in 1970 and was living in Safed with his wife, Uziela, when the war broke out. They turned their home into a relief center, and at age 45, Heyman was invited to join the brigade as its official photographer. "Every day I would photograph the soldiers in battle," he recalls. "[I] tried to record the faces of young men growing old."
Marriage Ruling is a Great Leap Forward - San Francisco Chronicle
Dr. Joel Kushner, Director of the Institute for Judaism & Sexual Orientation at HUC-JIR, writes, "I wanted to be able to tell my son that, yes, we are married by our rabbi and by the state and that our family has all the protections and responsibilities given by those contracts and commitments. Now, almost three years to the day, I can! Marriage matters to kids and to families. Thank you to the Supreme Court of California."
Inland Clergy React Differently to Court's Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - The Press Enterprise
Rabbi Suzanne Singer belongs to the Reform branch of Judaism, which allows same-gender marriages. She said she was elated when she heard of the decision, which jibes with Reform Jewish belief in the equality of all human beings. "The Bible says we were all created in God's image, and that we're all worthy of dignity and respect," she said.
How to Answer the Most Common Anti-Israel Charges - The Jewish Journal
Some charges criticizing Israel are distortions and slanted, based on faulty information and half-truths, animus, and even classic anti-Semitism. This report was prepared in consultation with HUC-JIR Professors Adam Rubin and Michael Meyer.
Hebrew Union to ordain 19 - The Enquirer
HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will ordain 19 graduates as rabbis at services May 31 at the Plum Street Temple downtown. At the college's graduation ceremony the next day at the Isaac M. Wise Temple, five students will earn doctorate degrees and 12 will receive the Master of Hebrew Letters degree. Rabbi Naomi Levy, author and faculty member at the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the Academy of Jewish Religion, will deliver the Ordination Address.
Author: 'I Don't Believe God Sends His People Out to Go to War' - The Advocate
Reuven Firestone, Professor at HUC-JIR/LA and Co-Director of the Center of Muslim-Jewish Engagement, looks to help defuse animosity and misunderstanding among practitioners of these three religions.
Dry Tears: An Installation by Rosalyn Engelman - Hadassah Magazine
Inspired by the 1941 Nazi pogrom in Babi Yar, Engelman calls this mixed-media exhibit, at the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, her "silent scream against man's inhumanity to man.
Exhibitions at Two Jewish Museums Honored By The American Association of Museums - Art Daily
"We're honored that the American Association of Museums has recognized Noah's Ark at the Skirball," comments Dr. Uri D. Herscher, Founding President and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center.
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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