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A Note From HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
Rabbi Michael Marmur, Dean of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, writes, "'Tense' and 'calm' are usually considered opposites, but in a way you need both of them together to describe the mood in Jerusalem at the moment. Calm - because life in this city is being lived at its usual pace, without any interference or missile anxiety. Tense - because there is a conflict raging just a couple of hours away from here, and because many of us have loved ones who are directly involved in the hostilities, either as soldiers or as residents of towns within range of Hamas rockets.
Rabbi David Ellenson Announces Appointment of Rabbi Naamah Kelman as Dean of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
The appointment is effective July 1, 2009. Rabbi Kelman currently serves as Associate Dean at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem. "Rabbi Naamah Kelman's pioneering role as the first woman rabbi ordained in the State of Israel and as a founder of liberal Jewish educational programs and institutions in the Jewish State demonstrates her passionate commitment to religious pluralism. As Dean, she will bring academic strength, creativity, vision, and vitality to our community of faculty and students from Israel, North America, and throughout the world, and will strengthen our Jerusalem School's role as the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism in Israel," stated Rabbi Ellenson.
Arnold Jacob Wolf, a Leading Reform Rabbi, Is Dead at 84 - The New York Times
Rabbi Wolf, C '48, a nationally prominent Reform rabbi known for his progressive, sometimes provocative public stances, including opposition to the Vietnam War, a speech at Yale accusing the university of a history of anti-Semitism, and early political support for his neighbor Barack Obama, died in Chicago. He was 84. Read more in Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, 1924-2008: Led 2 Prominent Reform Jewish Congregations - The Chicago Tribune, Rabbi Arnold Wolf, 84, Was Progressive Leader - The Forward, and President-Elect Obama's statement in Obama: Wolf Not Just Neighbor, but Friend - JTA.
Rabbi Nathan Kaber, Led Altoona Synagogue - Jewish Community Voice
A graduate of HUC-JIR, he was a member of the HUC-JIR Alumni Association Board of Trustees. He was also president of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Western Pennsylvania Region of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He served on the Pennsylvania Advisory Board of Public Assistance, and the Governor's Committee on Aging, and was Instructor in Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus; and Jewish Chaplain, Altoona VA Hospital. Read more in Rabbi Taught by Example - Altoona Mirror.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Rabbinic Alumni Invited to 'Rabbinic Leadership in a Time of Fiscal Crisis' at HUC-JIR/NY
HUC-JIR Rabbinic alumni are invited to a day of study on 'Rabbinic Leadership in a Time of Fiscal Crisis,' Thursday, January 22, 2009, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. The program will feature study with Rabbi David Ellenson, Dr. Alyssa Gray, Rabbi Nancy Wiener, and Rabbi Charles Kroloff.
Dr. Samuel Atlas Memorial Lecture
Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel Center, White Plains, NY, will deliver the 2009 Dr. Samuel Atlas Memorial Lecture at HUC-JIR/NY. Rabbi Tucker will speak on "Thoughts on Prophetic Halakhah" Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The Dr. Samuel Atlas Memorial Lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation. We are grateful to the trustees of the Foundation, Mrs. Ruth O. Freelander, Mrs. Beatrice Weidman, and Carole L. Weidman, Esq.
NYSOE and RHSOE Alumni - Save the Date for the Annual Alumni Brunch
'Jewish Identity Development and Today's Jewish Teens,' the NYSOE Alumni Association Annual Alumni Brunch, will be held February 3, 2009 at HUC-JIR/NY. David Bryfman, Director for Collaborative Leadership at the New York Board of Jewish Education, is the featured speaker.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
Map Quest - New York Press
The current exhibition at HUC-JIR/NY Museum seems particularly apt for 2008. Envisioning Maps is a giddy investigation of maps and more interestingly, the underlying concept of "mapping;" getting lost, getting found and staking out a place to belong in the world. Whether it's a historical scarf mapping the invasion of Normandy or Paula Sher's staggering, insanely wordy map of Israel and its neighbors, the desire to know where one is resonates loudly in a world where we don't seem to know where we are going.
In Search Of Israeliness - The Jewish Week
HUC-JIR rabbinical student Yaron Kapitulnik, who heads the 92nd Street Y's Israeliness program, regaled his young audience with Chanukah stories at this new program sponsored by Dor Chadash USA and the 92nd Street Y.
HUC-JIR in the News
On Gaza, Sense and Centrism - The Forward
Rabbi Eric Yoffie writes, "Wars sicken me, even wars that I support. I support Israel's offensive in Gaza, but watching it on TV - the images of bombed-out buildings, crying women and, inevitably, the bodies of innocent bystanders - is a painful experience."
'Rabbi For Every Woman Rabbi Out There' - The Jewish Week
Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson is a rabbi's rabbi. For the women who are rabbis and rabbinical students in the Reform movement, she's the central address for questions and conversation, whether professional, personal or practical. In addition to directing the Women's Rabbinic Network, an organization with international reach, she chairs the board of the Hadassah Foundation, dedicated to creating social change for women in the U.S. and Israel. For the last four years she led a "Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing" group for girls at Congregation Rodeph Sholom. Earlier this fall, she was honored by Moving Traditions, a national organization that brings attention to issues of gender and sponsors the Rosh Hodesh groups.
Fabulously Observant: Top Jewish Stories of 2008 - The Jerusalem Post
Respondents to the survey felt Obama's Jewish support was the most important Jewish news story of the year. Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR, speculated that "the Democrats would need to run a personality with the radioactivity level of a Jimmy Carter" for non-Orthodox Jews to stop heavily supporting their candidate. And even then, he said, "the default voting pattern would reset in future elections and would continue to typify voting in state and local races."
SCM Holds Women's Event in Boston - The Jewish Advocate
More than 70 women from across the spectrum of Jewish religious belief and practice came together on Nov. 23 to hear from Rabbi Andrea Weiss of HUC-JIR, Co-editor of "The Torah: A Women's Commentary."
To Save Cash, Yoffie Raises Possibility of Merging Reform, Conservative Shuls - JTA
Barriers have been falling for some time between denominations, particularly the more liberal ones, with leaders of the various movements demonstrating greater willingness to participate in joint initiatives and share resources. This summer, the leading Reform and Conservative seminaries announced that they would be establishing a program, funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, to jointly train clergy in various areas of so-called practical rabbinics: communal trends, management and outreach.
Rabbi Sharon Brous: Warren's Presence Taints Inauguration - The Washington Post
"On the very night of that extraordinary victory, as we collectively crossed over to the other side of history, we already saw the remnants of the old way, the way of narrowness, exclusion, discrimination and lack of understanding bleed through the jubilation, as it became clear that Prop 8 would likely pass in California, depriving gays and lesbians their constitutional right to marry. I believe that it is more than a liberal reflex that is making many of us so profoundly uncomfortable with Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inauguration invocation. It is the idea that precisely in that moment, as we witness the breathtaking beginning of a new era for our nation, we will now, at the same time, be forced to grapple with the very real persistence of some of the old ways of thinking and living as an American."
Rabbi Barry H.D. Block: Invocation Pick Transcends Ideology - San Antonio Express News
"More than a few Obama supporters have protested Warren's selection. They argue that the invocation should be offered by a 'progressive' religious figure who shares the president-elect's views on some of the most controversial values-laden issues of the day, namely reproductive freedom and equal rights for gays and lesbians. I am such a 'progressive' clergyman. My religious group's stances on these contentious issues mirror those of the president-elect, not of Pastor Warren. Nevertheless, I welcome Obama's selection of Pastor Warren to offer the Jan. 20 invocation."
Transgender Jews Now Out of Closet, Seeking Communal Recognition - The Forward
Zellman was the first openly transgender person to apply to the Reform movement's rabbinical school, HUC-JIR. He is on track to be ordained in 2010. Kukla is also one of a collective of activists who a month ago launched, a Web site designed to serve as a resource for the Jewish community on transgender issues. And in another example of Jewish transgender activism, Keshet, a Boston-based Jewish group that advocates for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, is in the midst of organizing an interfaith coalition to support a transgender rights bill up for consideration by the Massachusetts state legislature.
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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