Click here if you have trouble reading the content below
HUCNews is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.

Contact the National Public Affairs Office.
Subscribe to receive the weekly e-newsletter.

How to Support HUC-JIR
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR Announces 2009 Ordination, Investiture, Graduate, and Honorary Degree Recipients
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, has announced the Class of 2009, who will be ordained, invested, and graduated this spring in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York. He said, "The Class of 2009 emerges from the College-Institute imbued with leadership skills, steeped in knowledge, strengthened by a commitment to service, and dedicated to bringing hope and healing to our troubled world. As they touch the lives of others through their sacred work as rabbis, cantors, educators, communal professionals, scholars, and pastoral care-givers throughout North America and around the world, they will be a source of inspiration and guidance." Rabbi Ellenson announced the 2009 Roger E. Joseph Prize, the 2009 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize, recipients of the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award, President's Medal, and Citation in Recognition. HUC-JIR alumni will be awarded honorary Doctorates of Divinity, Music, Jewish Religious Education, and Jewish Communal Service, as well as the Founders' Medallion, in recognition of their 25 years of distinguished professional service. HUC-JIR will ordain 43 rabbis, 11 cantors, and bestow 162 earned graduate degrees.
View the national invitation for event details.
New Leaders Inducted onto Board of Governors
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
American Jewish Archives Set to Launch Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise Digital Archive on the 190th Birthday of the Architect of Reform Judaism in America
Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900) was the leading force behind the rise of American Reform Judaism in the late nineteenth century. He played a central role in the founding of three major Reform Jewish institutions that still exist today: The Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873 (now the URJ), HUC in 1875, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1889. The new digital archive consists of approximately 3,300 items captured in nearly 20,000 digital images. The collection documents the life and work of the architect of Reform Judaism in America. The Wise digital archive is the world's largest web-based collection of primary source material on this prominent leader of American Reform Judaism.
HUC-JIR in the News
Synagogues Working to Be More Open to Gays - The Jewish Journal
The newsletter sent out last month by Temple Israel of New Rochelle contained the usual sort of announcements, but a small notice about a screening of the film "Hineini: Coming Out In a Jewish High School" reflected a quiet change at the Reform synagogue in suburban New York. The screening is part of an overall push by Temple Israel to be more welcoming to gay and lesbian Jews. Temple Israel is not alone: A recent conference in New York, organized by Jewish Mosaic and the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (IJSO) at the HUC-JIR, attracted a cadre of about 60 rabbis, educators and activists from across the denominational spectrum who shared "best practices" for becoming more welcoming to gay and lesbian Jews. "We're trying to come up with a process that's scalable," said Joel Kushner, Director of the IJSO. A similar program took place March 1-2 in Los Angeles.
Jewish Scroll That Survived Holocaust Read at Rancho School - Orange County Register
When the war ended, a survivor returned to Yanov to collect the pieces of the Torah and had them stitched together. Eventually the survivor gave the Torah to a Russian doctor who immigrated to Los Angeles. The Torah was then sold and donated to Rabbi Erwin Herman, who traveled the country taking the scroll from synagogues and schools. After Herman died in February, rabbinical students from HUC-JIR continued his work.
Rabbi Lives Life to Say 'Hineini,' Meaning 'Here I Am' - Orange County Register
Rabbi Heather Ellen Miller, N '08, reflects on her journey toward the rabbinate and her aspirations for her congregation in Aliso Viejo, California. She says, "Being a rabbi means being the one who is there for her congregants for any and all reasons at any time there is a need. This means that I am not only a teacher, but a pastoral counselor, a consoler, I lead services, and I support people in trying times and share joyous milestones with them - the full cycle of life."
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Judith Margolis: Countdown to Perfection-Meditations on the Sefirot at HUC-JIR/NY Museum; Reception March 25th
Judith Margolis, an Israel-based American artist, makes one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist's books. This exceptional Omer Counter identifies forty-nine personality traits that, taken together, map a mystical journey of change. An examination of kabalistic insights and meditations offers personal inspiration and spiritual discipline. A reception will be held Wednesday, March 25, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at HUC-JIR/NY.
School of Sacred Music to Present Composers' Showcase on March 26th
The School of Sacred Music will present its HUC-JIR Composers' Showcase on Thursday, March 26, 2009. The concert will be held at 6:30 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.
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

Search | Site Index | Contact Us

(c) 2009 Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion