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Best wishes for a sweet Passover!
HUCNews will appear on April 7th and 14th during the Passover holiday.
News at HUC-JIR
Rabbi David Ellenson Ranked 5th in Newsweek's "50 Influential Rabbis" - Newsweek
This list is intended to provoke a global conversation about the role of our religious leaders in today's world. Our criteria: Are they known nationally/internationally? Do they have political/social influence? Do they have a media presence? Are they leaders within their communities? Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? Size of their constituency. Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? Have they made a "greater" impact? Rabbi Ellenson is charged with training tomorrow's leaders as the President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education.
Special Honors at Graduation Ceremonies
Distinguished academic, religious, business, communal, and organizational leaders will be honored at Graduation Ceremonies in New York, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati.

The honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters will be awarded to: The American Jewish Distinguished Service Award will be presented to: The President's Medal will be presented to: The Citation in Recognition will be awarded to:
Online Publication of American Jewish Archives Journal - Volume LX Number 1 & 2
Articles include Sonja L. Mekel's analysis of how America, and Jewish life in the United States, was depicted in the pages of the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums, one of the most important Jewish newspapers in central Europe; Richard Menkis's pioneering essay on the work of Canadian Jewish chaplains during World War II; two documents that affirmed the authenticity of an "official copy" of the Declaration of Independence commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820 that was discovered in a thrift shop a few years ago; Robert Schine's study of the minutes book (pinkas) of the Jewish congregation in Poultney, Vermont; and Rabbi William B. Silverman's powerful sermon in the aftermath of the anti-segregation vigilantes' bombing of the Nashville Jewish Community Center, annotated by Rabbi David Meyer.
Congregational Outreach Conference Connects SoCal Rabbis and Lay Leaders with HUC-JIR Faculty and Students
More than 25 congregations were represented at the first-ever Congregational Outreach Conference sponsored by the Los Angeles Board of Overseers this past weekend. The Conference, nicknamed, "We'd like You to Meet HUC," provided Rabbis, Cantors, congregational leaders, and professional staff the opportunity to interact with HUC-JIR students, administration and faculty and tour the HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus, meet the future leaders of the Reform movement, and attend two timely and important seminars.
Dr. Beatrice Lawrence Addresses Issues of Prophecy at Annual Shabbaton in Southern California
Dr. Beatrice W. Lawrence, Assistant Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR, was the keynote speaker at the Annual Shabbaton of Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley, CA. This year's topic was "Prophecy" and Dr. Lawrence provided a look at the biblical prophets, how they communicated with God, what their lives were like, and the variety of tasks they performed.
HUC-JIR in the News
World War III, Coming To A Theater Near You - The Jewish Week
Michael Cook, a rabbi and professor of New Testament at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, took exception to the filmmakers' claims of objectivity and thorough research, asserting that the documentary is "amateurish to the point of embarrassment and its mis-conclusions even dangerous for the Jewish community." Commenting on the film at a recent screening in Columbus, Ohio, Rabbi Cook worried aloud that "it will readily be used to discredit all Christian Zionists through a ridiculing misrepresentation and stereotyping in order to convince ... American Jewish communities to reject Christian Zionists as their friends." That would be more than a shame because not only are Christian Zionists fervent supporters of the State of Israel, many of them are equally passionate about donating funds to Jewish causes.
Ritual Beer for Jewish kids in Bill Not a Sacramental Drink, Scholars Say - Arkansas Democrat Gazette
"I can't think of any religion, off the top of my head, that uses beer sacramentally," said a chuckling David Gilner, Director of Libraries at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.
Lions to roar into NYC - Jewish Community Voice
On Wed., April 29, the Jewish Federation's Lions of Judah (LOJ) will visit HUC-JIR/NY. They will enjoy a private tour of the institution, a view of the museum exhibits and a talk by Dr. Wendy Zierler, associate professor of Feminist Studies and Modern Jewish Literature at HUC-JIR. Peggy David, LOJ chair, has a special relationship with HUC-JIR because her husband, Rabbi Jerome David of Temple Emanuel attended HUC-JIR's Cincinnati school and her son, Rabbi Benjamin David, was ordained at the NY school. "It is a place I feel Jewish women should recognize," she said. "HUC-JIR was among the first to accept women as fully equal members of the student body and board of trustees."
Noted Religious Scholar Firestone Discusses Religious Similarities - The Colgate-Maroon News
Dr. Reuven Firestone used excerpts from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Qur'an, to show how Abraham fits into all three religions. Abraham was, in all three religious faiths, the first person who had a personal and lasting relationship with God, which makes him an incredibly important figure. In addition, he is the prophet from whom all other faithful people of these religions are said to descend. In all three texts this relationship --- characterized by God commanding Abraham, Abraham following the wishes of God and finally God making a covenant to protect Abraham's people if they follow God -- is similar.
Rabbi Pine Appointed as First Female Hillel Director - The Johns Hopkins News-Letter
Pine's goals for the future are to further connect Hillel to the Hopkins community, which includes reaching out to more students. "One goal is to reach out to both the Jewish and the non-Jewish community and to really create a community that helps every Jewish student find a home," Pine said.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
National Invitation to Graduation, Investiture, and Ordination
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 Roger E. Joseph Prize, the 2009 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize, and recipients of the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. 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.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
What the Four Corners of the Earth Truly Mean - Jewish Exponent
Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, from HUC-JIR/NY, discusses this week's Torah portion: Tsav, Leviticus 6:1-8-36.
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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