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News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR/LA Observes Founders Day; SJCS Celebrates 40 Years
The Los Angeles campus observed its annual Founders Day program on Tuesday, February 10th, in conjunction with a major conference honoring its School of Jewish Communal Service on the occasion of that School's 40th anniversary, while paying tribute to its Founding Director, Professor Gerald Bubis. The Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, and former HUC-JIR Board of Governors Chair, Stanley Gold, offered his perspective as lay leader on the re-visioning of the LA Federation.
Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement Text Study Program Launched; Led by Reuven Firestone and Jihad Turk
The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (CMJE) and NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change has launched its pilot Text Study Program, led by Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR/LA, and Jihad Turk, Director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic Center of Southern California. The program will promote religious understanding, facilitate dialogue, and enhance participants' knowledge of their own faith through context, comparison, and discussion.
Nationally Syndicated Radio Program Featured Dr. Gary P. Zola Discussing Lincoln and the Jews
As the yearlong celebration of the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln begins on February 12, Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and Associate Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR, was asked to provide historical background and context regarding Lincoln and the Jews. Dr. Zola is the only rabbi to receive an appointment to the Advisory Council of the Congressionally-recognized Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Modern Jewish Theology Scholars to Honor Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz on 85th Birthday; Goldner-Panken Symposium to feature Rabbi David Ellenson and International Panel, Including Dr. Borowitz, Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Simon Cooper, and Rabbi Jonathan Crane
Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz, the internationally recognized father of Modern Jewish theology, will be honored on the occasion of his 85th birthday with a symposium exploring the impact of his religious thought on American Jewry. The Goldner-Panken Symposium will take place on February 17, 2009 at 10:45 a.m. at HUC-JIR/NY.
Expert's Novel Twist on Jewish History - Jewish in St. Louis
Throughout the weekend of February 13-15, Congregation Shaare Emeth will welcome Dr. Gary Zola as a Fred and Elsie Deutsch Scholar-in-Residence. Dr. Zola is the Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, the world's largest free-standing research center dedicated solely to the study of the American Jewish experience.
School of Sacred Music to Present Composers' Showcase on March 26th
Save the Date for the School of Sacred Music's HUC-JIR Composers' Showcase on Thursday, March 26, 2009. The concert will be held at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a reception at 6:00 p.m., in the Minnie Petrie Synagogue at HUC-JIR/NY. The concert will feature original works by current HUC-JIR students and faculty in a variety of styles, including liturgical, folk, and other Jewish music.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
'Soul Memories': Powerful Art - The Forward
Laura Kruger, Curator of "Dry Tears," Engelman's 2008 exhibit at HUC-JIR, touted the artist as being in the "vanguard... calling attention to the ongoing calamity of human trafficking and human rights."
Rabbi Nancy Weiner Leads Workshops in Florida and New Jersey
Rabbi Weiner highlighted the ways in which the Blaustein Center at HUC-JIR/NY has collaborated with the development of the Blaustein Center at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, in particular the way in the centers worked with cultural differences and knowledge bases to study together, learn from each other, and design the HUC-JIR Mezorim program.
HUC-JIR in the News
Remembering Rabbi Michael Signer - National Catholic Reporter
His eulogist and close friend, Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, noted that, as much as his colleagues in Los Angeles were disappointed to see him leave for Notre Dame in 1992, they knew how important it was for him and for Jewish-Catholic relations. At Notre Dame, Rabbi Ellenson pointed out, Michael Signer "not only educated undergraduate and graduate students and brought an unprecedented religious diversity and dialogue to that Catholic campus, but he also attained a position of international prominence and leadership in Jewish-Catholic interfaith dialogue."
Testosterone-Drenched Slogans of Tribal Loyalty Won't Do It - The Jerusalem Post
Michael Marmur, Dean of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, writes, "I continue to believe that the only hope we have of surviving and thriving in this region and this economy is by educating for skills and values which move us forward."
American Pastor Honored for Bringing 300,000 Tourists Here - The Jerusalem Post
Ridgway first visited Israel in 1959 as an Interfaith Fellow at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. His visit made such an impact on his life that he felt called upon to bring other people here, he said. "It is my passion and my desire to make sure that every young clergy person, when they're still young, [has the opportunity] to come here and experience Israel," he added.
The Remaking of L.A.'s Jewish Federation - The Forward
"Stanley Gold has brought a business model into the federation," said Gerald Bubis, the School of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR's Founding Director, who has published numerous studies on the federation system. Gold has reshaped how the federation relates to its social service agencies, reconfigured the way that donors give, slashed the board, engaged a swath of younger lay leaders, and potentially created a new paradigm for Jewish federations across North America. According to Steven Windmueller, Dean of the LA Campus of HUC-JIR and an adviser to Gold on some of the structural changes, the original federation model worked for the first 100 years of the charity system's existence. "The reason it worked is that you had a variety of shared values on the part of the Jewish community, and as long people accepted those values, then the system was quite viable."
Archive Honors Rabbi - Cincinnati Enquirer
There are treasures in the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR. Gary Zola, Executive Director, said of the Four Chaplains, "It is a uniquely American story, when you think about it." "The Four Chaplains was a story I grew up with," said HUC-JIR Librarian David Gilner. "We'd like to think we're all like that, even if we couldn't be."
Sermons by Inland Clergy to Accent Housing Crisis - The Press-Enterprise
Rabbi Suzanne Singer, L '03, said she urged congregants to lobby politicians and banks to expand affordable housing, renegotiate loans and demand accountability from banks. Singer also asked congregants to provide moral support and understanding to those suffering during the recession. The Torah, she said, teaches Jews to take care of the most vulnerable. "We are part of a community, and our community is in distress," Singer said. "It's our responsibility to care for our neighbors."
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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