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Heartfelt Wishes for a Joyful Shavuot!
Click Here for Shavuot Greetings from Rabbi David Ellenson and Barbara Friedman
News at HUC-JIR
New Rabbis Ordained at HUC-JIR Ordination Ceremony in Cincinnati
Nineteen HUC-JIR students were ordained at Plum Street Temple on Saturday May 31, 2008. Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, blessed the new rabbis at the Convocation marking the 133rd academic year. Rabbi Naomi Levy, Author and Faculty, Wexner Heritage Foundation and Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, delivered the Ordination Address.
HUC-JIR Graduation Honors Jewish Leaders, Alumni, and Graduating Class of 2008 at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati
HUC-JIR students, faculty, alumni, and Cincinnati communal leaders gathered at the Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati June 1, 2008, for the HUC-JIR Graduation Ceremonies of the 133rd academic year, where Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., presented earned and honorary degrees. Dr. Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard Divinity School, received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, and delivered the Graduation Address. Professor Natalie Zemon Davis, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History Emerita, Princeton University and Adjunct Professor of History, Professor of Medieval Studies, University of Toronto; and Martin Peretz, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The New Republic, were also awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters.
Marjorie L. Miller Appointed Chair of Board of Overseers of the New York School of HUC-JIR
Marjorie Miller stated, "I am honored and excited at this opportunity. HUC-JIR is blessed with inspiring faculty, dynamic leadership, exceptional staff, and outstanding students who as rabbis, cantors, educators and communal professionals represent the best of the present and the hopes of the future."
Joan Pines Appointed Chair of Board of Overseers of the Cincinnati School of HUC-JIR
Joan Pines noted, "I am looking forward to this new challenge and the opportunity to work closely with the wonderful, committed leaders of the College-Institute. The Board's trip to Israel last November enabled me to witness the transformative impact of our Jerusalem School and opened my eyes to the vital role that HUC-JIR is playing in strengthening the future of Reform Judaism in Israel and in North America. These goals put HUC-JIR at the top of my list."
Reform Judaism Magazine Launches Online Summer 2008 Issue Featuring HUC-JIR Faculty Expertise
HUC-JIR faculty contributed to the RJ issue, discussing topics facing Reform Jews today.
Dr. David Ellenson on Stem Cell Research
Dr. Isa Aron on Congregational Self-Renewal
Dr. Steven Cohen on Who Joins American Congregations and Why
Dr. Reuven Firestone on Encountering God and Wrestling with Faith
Dr. Joel Hoffman on The Hebrew Alphabet
Dr. Lawrence Hoffman on Choosing Personal and Synagogue Practices
HUC-JIR/NY Professor Sperling Featured in "Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest" on the History Channel
Dr. S. David Sperling, Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/NY, is featured on the History Channel's new documentary "Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest." Dr. Sperling is interviewed in the segment on the Ark of the Covenant. The program will air nationally on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
HUC-JIR Faculty, Students, and Alumni Participate in Hava Nashira, the Annual Songleading and Music Workshop
Hava Nashira, the URJ's annual songleading and music workshop, was held at the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin May 27th through June 1st. The workshop, now in its 17th year, was created by HUC-JIR faculty member Debbie Friedman and Cantor Jeff Klepper, SSM '80. HUC-JIR faculty member Merri Arian currently directs the program.
Shavuot: One Torah, Many Views
The Hartman Institute in Israel presents text, audio, and video on Shavuot. HUC-JIR/Jerusalem faculty member Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi is featured, discussing the multiple ways of understanding revelation.
HUC-JIR in the News
URJ Meeting Here Focused on Torah Study - The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh
Rabbi Aaron Panken, of the HUC-JIR, spoke to the board over lunch on Friday. The title of his speech was, "What's a Rabbi to Do? A Talmudic Approach to the Relationship of Clergy and Congregation."
Hear, O Israel: Two Newly Ordained Deaf Rabbis Point to the Increasing Acceptance of Diversity within the Jewish Community - The Jewish Week
The milestone was cemented at the HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, which last weekend ordained its first deaf rabbi in 15 years, William Tepper, since Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe became the first deaf woman ordained in 1993.
Reform Rabbinical School Teaches Students to Reach Out to HIV/AIDS Patients - The Jewish Journal
HIV/AIDS education at HUC-JIR means "making sure rabbinical students don't leave campus before they hone their skills to help people in need," said Michele Prince, Director of the Kalsman Institute of Judaism and Health at HUC-JIR.
New Visions: A Once-Blind Artist Presents Two Exhibitions - The Forward
The HUC-JIR exhibit, Dry Tears, a mixed-media installation inspired by Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem "Babi Yar" and by a recent State Department report documenting global human trafficking, offers a look at Rosalyn Engelman's more politically engaged work. In a rear gallery, visitors encounter disarming mannequins that are painted black and then roughly applied with blood-red paint by fork and pierced with nails. "Art is a potent call to arms reaching viewers in visceral ways," said Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director of the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, praising this "authentic expression that comes from the artist's understanding of her place in the world yet exerts a universal message."
News From Postville May Be Treyf, but Kosher Consumers Keep Buying - The Forward
The kosher-eating community extends across a broad portion of the Jewish spectrum, though precise data is difficult to come by. According to Steven M. Cohen, a sociology professor at HUC-JIR, data from the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey indicate that self-described Orthodox Jews constitute 40% of adults who keep kosher, with Conservative Jews another 32%, Reform 8%, Reconstructionist 2%, and 18% not declaring an affiliation.
Jewish Conference Not Welcome in Egypt - The Jewish Journal
The "First International Conference of Jews from Egypt" was set to begin a week ago in Cairo. The five-star hotel that agreed to host the conference pulled out without explanation. No other hotel would sign on. Last year, the presence of an Islamic scholar from HUC-JIR, Reuven Firestone, who happens to be an ordained rabbi, threw the community into a tizzy.
Shaare Emeth Honors Rabbi Andrea Goldstein - St. Louis Jewish Light
Rabbi Goldstein attended the HUC-JIR where she was ordained a rabbi in June 1998.
Synagogue Honors Teachers on Festival of Shavuot - St. Thomas Source
The synagogue will have a guest cantor on the pulpit with Rabbi Starr. Cantor Oksana Chapman, SSM '98, will be adding to the joy and beauty of the celebration.
MSMC President Honored - The Tidings
Mount St. Mary's College President Jacqueline Powers Doud was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from HUC-JIR during the institution's Los Angeles commencement ceremony May 19.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR Will be Closed Monday, June 9, 2008 for Shavuot
Eight Exhibitions on View at HUC-JIR Museum in New York through July 11, 2008
Albanian Muslim Rescuers During the Holocaust: Photographs by Norman Gershman; Marginalia: Rochelle Rubinstein; The Whole Megillah: New Images from an Old Book - Drawings by David Wander; Cinema Judaica: The Epic Cycle, 1949-1971; Scripture as Sculpture: The Sculptures of Moshe Zabari; 10.6.73 - The Yom Kippur War: Photographs by Tom Heyman; and Rosalyn A. Engelman: 'Dry Tears' are on view at the HUC-JIR Museum in New York through July 11, 2008. Contemporary Judaica is featured in the ongoing 'Living in the Moment' exhibition.
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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