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Celebrating Israel's 60th Anniversary
News at HUC-JIR
  • HUC-JIR Holds Ordination and Investiture Services at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York on May 4, 2008
    Six cantors were invested, and fifty-five rabbinical students will have been ordained this year at HUC-JIR's Ordination ceremonies: 18 in New York (May 4), 18 in Los Angeles (May 18), and 19 in Cincinnati (May 31). Rabbi David Ellenson presented the Ordination Address in New York.
  • Father Patrick Desbois Receives HUC-JIR's Highest Honor; Roger E. Joseph Prize Recognizes Individuals Making Lasting Contributions to the Causes of Human Rights
    Rabbi David Ellenson presented the 2008 Roger E. Joseph Prize to Father Patrick Desbois, who has devoted his life to confronting anti-Semitism, furthering Catholic-Jewish understanding, and preserving Holocaust memory.
  • Rabbi David Ellenson to Receive Honorary Doctorate at William & Mary; Will be Keynote Speaker at Interfaith Breakfast in Virginia Beach
    Rabbi Ellenson, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, will deliver the keynote address "What Brings Us Closer Together" at an interfaith breakfast at the Virginia Beach Conference Center on May 9th. He will then accept an honorary degree at his undergraduate alma mater, the College of William and Mary, on May 11th.
  • HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Celebrates Israel's 60th Anniversary
    Some 900 Israeli youths took over the HUC-JIR campus on May 5 for a full day of presentations and celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary in light of the challenge of "Tzedek and Tzedakah: Justice and Social Responsibility." Stateside students in the HUC-JIR Year-In-Israel Program mingled with Israeli Rabbinical and Education Program students in a day devoted to study and reflection.
  • Cantor Dana Anesi Installed onto HUC-JIR Board of Governors; First Cantor to Become Governor Representing All HUC-JIR Alumni
    Cantor Dana S. Anesi was installed onto the HUC-JIR Board of Governors on May 5, 2008, at the Board's meetings in New York. The first cantor to serve on the Board of Governors, she is the incoming Chair of the HUC-JIR Alumni Council (beginning July 2008) and past president of the Cantorial Alumni Association, and member of the School of Sacred Music Advisory Council.
  • HUC-JIR's Experts in Synagogue Growth to Participate in UJA-Federation of NY's "Leading Successful Synagogue Change" Day-Long Program
    Experts from the HUC-JIR faculty will present at the UJA-Federation of New York on "Leading Successful Synagogue Change," Monday, May 12, 2008. Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Dr. Isa Aron, and Dr. Lawrence Hoffman will present.
    Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
    Research Resources
  • Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, N '95, on the Declaration of the State of Israel
    Sixty years after Jews transcended their denominational divides to proclaim the establishment of a state "for the benefit of all its inhabitants," have we succeeded in fulfilling their legacy of pluralism and tolerance?
  • Los Angeles Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Receives First-Ever California Certification in Jewish Day School Education from State
    DeLeT - Day School Leadership through Teaching - named to honor the Hebrew word for an entry into a career in day school education - has been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer a Multiple Subjects Credential (i.e. K-8) program.
  • New Book Answers Jewish Questions about Islam – An Introduction to Islam for Jews by Reuven Firestone, HUC-JIR Professor
    Jews have today, as never before, a pressing need to understand the history, theology, and practice of Muslims and Islam. In An Introduction to Islam for Jews Firestone, Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR/LA, explains the remarkable similarities and profound differences between Judaism and Islam.
  • Modern Jews Engage the New Testament by Rabbi Michael J. Cook, Ph.D., HUC-JIR Professor
    A groundbreaking, solution-oriented book by Rabbi Michael J. Cook, Ph.D., a foremost Jewish authority on Jewish-Christian relations, with three decades of experience teaching about the New Testament on the graduate level. Intent on leading Jews out of anxieties that have plagued them throughout their history, he offers an unprecedented blueprint for unraveling what generated New Testament texts regarding Jews in relation to Jesus, Paul, Judas, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and others.
  • ISJO and Kalsman Institute Co-Sponsor 'Teaching Inclusive Jewish Sexual Ethics' Lunch-and-Learn at HUC-JIR/LA
    Rabbi Julie Pelc, Assistant Director for the Kalsman Institute, reports that Kalsman and ISJO staff will work with the HUC-JIR Pastoral Education Taskforce to integrate Teaching Inclusive Jewish Sexual Ethics into HUC-JIR curricula.
  • HUC-JIR Student Wins Photo Contest
    First-year HUC-JIR rabbinical student Nicole Roberts won the landscape category of a photography contest in celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary. Her photo was taken during a Shabbat walk in February and is of a palm tree grove at Kibbutz Yahel.
    HUC-JIR in the News
  • Israel Turns 60, Many Remember – The Enquirer
    Michael Meyer, a Jewish history professor at HUC-JIR, remembers listening to the U.N. debate on the radio in 1947. He and his parents had escaped from Berlin in 1941 and came to the U.S. on a banana boat rigged to carry passengers. Meyer was 3 when they left Germany. "We really made it out at the last minute," Meyer said. Meyer and his parents listened as each nation cast its vote. His mother wept as it became clear the resolution to create Israel would pass. The U.N.'s vote was something like a miracle, Meyer said, for Jews still reeling from the Holocaust. "It was a tremendously emotional moment." Not long after Israel declared its independence, HUC established a campus there.
  • Israeli Reform Jews Celebrate First Non-Orthodox Synagogue Built with Government Funding – MSNBC
    Religion in Israel "has traditionally been an either-or proposition," said Rabbi Uri Regev, president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Most Israelis consider themselves religious or secular and don't accept the liberal streams. Groups like Regev's want to change that. "There's more than one way to be Jewish," he said.
  • Reform Jews Open Israel's First State-Funded Non-Orthodox Synagogue – Haaretz
    "This is a substantial step in recognizing different streams of Judaism in the state of Israel," said Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, N '81, who leads the 240-family congregation.
  • First State-Funded Reform Synagogue to Go Up in Modi'in – The Jerusalem Post
    HUC-JIR alumna, Kinneret Shiryon, Yozma's rabbi, said the announcement, on the eve of Israel's 60th anniversary, was particularly satisfying.
  • At 60, Israel Calls to Jewish Americans – Detroit Free Press
    "There has been a steady decline in engagement with Israel no matter how you measure it," said study coauthor Steven Cohen, Research Professor at HUC-JIR/NY. Cohen's 2007 study showed that organized trips make a real difference in Jewish perceptions of Israel. Among young Jews, 42% who never visited Israel reported low levels of attachment. That plunges to 17% after only one trip.
  • World Union Coordinates Fifth Annual Pesach Project in FSU
    For the fifth consecutive year, students from HUC-JIR, in coordination with the WUPJ, visited and conducted sederim throughout four former Soviet republics: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia. The 36 students, all either enrolled at the Jerusalem campus or spending their first year of studies there, traveled to a total of 28 cities and towns. Most served in remote areas, while others assisted the World Union's six resident rabbis and other local professionals mark the holiday in the more populated major cities. In addition, the students worked in kindergartens and schools, and with youth, the elderly and people with special needs. In all, some 6,300 people celebrated at Progressive Pesach sederim in the FSU.
  • Reform Student on Track to Become the First Black Female Rabbi
    Stanton-Ogulnick, who is studying at the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR, didn't set out to be the first. "If I were the 50,000th, I'd still be doing what I do, trying to live my life with kavanah and kedusha," she says, using the Hebrew words for intentionality and holiness. "Me being first was just the luck of the draw."
  • La Torah au Féminin – Hayom (PDF, in French)
    The Torah encourages commentaries - with each new reading, new questions emerge, new words come out, echoes are heard. Today, a long-neglected voice in biblical interpretation resonates: that of women. Under the direction of two experts on the Torah, Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea Weiss, Professors at HUC-JIR, a commentary of the Five Books of Moses was published in December 2007 by the American liberal Jewish movement. The weighty volume was such a success, it is already in reprints.
  • Community Mourns 'Lion of a Man' – New Jersey Jewish Standard
    Charles J. Rothschild Jr., 86, a national and local leader in the Reform movement, died Sunday at his Teaneck home. He had a long list of accomplishments in Jewish life, including top leadership roles at the URJ and HUC-JIR.
  • A Dialog Between Faiths – St. Clair County Journal
    The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville will be hosting "Conversations with a Rabbi," where Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, C '98, and Roman Catholic priest Greg Gallagher will discuss Judaism and its position in the Metro East. Goldstein is the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and has been an associate rabbi at Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis.
  • URJ Eisner Camp to Commemorate 50 Years - Over 1,000 People Expected to Attend Weekend Celebration
    Notable Eisner alumni include the immediate past chair, president and vice president of the URJ and Dean of HUC-JIR/NY. Additionally, hundreds of rabbis, cantors, educators, temple presidents and other lay leaders of the Reform Movement are Eisner alumni.
    Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
  • Rosalyn A. Engelman: "Dry Tears" at HUC-JIR/NY Museum Opens May 14th
    Rosalyn Engelman uses her skills as a visual artist to cast light on the genocide and vulnerability of the individual victim.
  • New Cultural Women's Program Monday, May 19, With Jewish Family Service
    Join Rabbis Ruth Alpers of HUC-JIR, Ilana Baden of Isaac M. Wise Temple, and Sissy Coran of Rockdale Temple when Jewish Family Service presents Woman to Woman, a multigenerational dialogue about couples' relationships. This Cincinnati event is open to women only.
    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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