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HUC-JIR/Los Angeles Ordination Service to be Held at Temple Israel of Hollywood, Sunday, May 17, 2009
The rabbinical graduates of the Los Angeles School of HUC-JIR will be ordained at Ordination Services at Temple Israel of Hollywood on May 17th. Fifteen rabbis (6 women, 9 men) will be ordained (of 43 rabbinical graduates of the Class of 2009 - 13 men, 30 women). Rabbi Richard Levy, Director, School of Rabbinical Studies at HUC-JIR/LA, will deliver the Ordination Address.
HUC-JIR Graduation to Honor Jewish Leaders, Alumni, and Graduating Class of 2009 at Los Angeles Campus Monday, May 18, 2009
HUC-JIR will present the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Lowell Milken, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Milken Family Foundation, Dr. Mohammed Fathi Osman, Scholar in Residence, Omar Ibn al-Khattah Foundation, and posthumously to Dr. Michael Signer, z"l, Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture, University of Notre Dame. Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/LA, will deliver the graduation address. Dr. Roland Chapdelaine, President, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, will be presented with the Presidents' Medal. Madelyn Mishkin Katz, RJE, Director of Student Life at HUC-JIR/LA, will be presented with a Citation in Recognition. HUC-JIR alumni will be awarded honorary Doctorates of Divinity, Music, Jewish Religious Education, and Jewish Communal Service in recognition of their 25 years of distinguished professional service. The College-Institute will award earned Masters Degrees to its Los Angeles students.
HUC-JIR and WUPJ Hold Sixth Annual Pesach Project in the Former Soviet Union
Sixteen HUC-JIR students assisted the six resident Progressive rabbis - Alexander Lyskovoy (Moscow), Stas Wojciechowicz (St. Petersburg), Alexander Dukhovny (Kiev), Gregory Abramovich (Minsk) and Mikhail Kapustin (Simferopil) and traveled to 18 cities and towns in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus to lead seders and other Pesach holiday activities.
Recruitment Open Houses and HUC-JIR
The Spring Recruitment Open Houses at HUC-JIR were a great success. Held concurrently on all three stateside campuses, over 60 prospective students visited for a 24-hour-long taste of HUC-JIR. There were over 30 guests in NY; 17 in LA and 15 in Cincinnati.
HUC-JIR Alum Spearheads Jewish Involvement in Tri-Faith Initiative
On March 27, 2009, a Tri-Faith Dinner was hosted by the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, NE. The Initiative is a partnership in which Temple Israel, The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, and the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture have come together to promote a partnership of the three Abrahamic faith groups- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. HUC-JIR alum, Aryeh Azriel, spearheaded the Jewish involvement. The group is planning to build a campus which will house a mosque, synagogue, church, and shared facility.
Swine Flu Alert
Everyone is urged to take precautions indicated in the materials provided (click here). If you become aware of any specific symptoms or circumstances, please get in touch with the local dean's office immediately. Currently there are no changes to campus operations or activities as a result of Swine Flu, but we are monitoring the situation, and will keep you informed should any changes need to be implemented.
Dr. Steven Windmueller to Speak in Albany on May 1
Dr. Steven Windmueller will be speaking on May 1, 2009 in Albany, NY at Congregation Beth Emeth on the topic of "The Second American Jewish Revolution: Understanding the Emerging Story of American Judaism."
Cincinnati Human Relations Commission to Honor Dr. Gary P. Zola
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 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will receive The Bishop Herbert Thompson Jr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award at the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission's annual awards event, CHRC & Cincinnati-Connecting Cultures and Communities on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 in Cincinnati.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Concert to Benefit School of Sacred Music
"Debbie and Friends," a concert to benefit the HUC-JIR School of Sacred Music and featuring the music of Debbie Friedman with special guests, alumni, and students, will be presented at Central Synagogue in New York City on Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 6 pm, with a reception following for concert patrons. Please save the date. For more information, contact: or 212-824-2290
National Invitation to Graduation, Investiture, and Ordination
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
Amy Morrison in Elle Magazine - Elle Magazine
Amy Morrison, HUC-JIR/LA '08, was featured in an article in the April 2009 issue of Elle Magazine (Italian).
New Study Guide for The Torah: A Women's Commentary, "Acharei Mot" - WRJ
Log on to to access the User's Guide and Torah Study Guides.
HUC-JIR in the News
HUC Faculty Mounts Push To Save N.Y. Campus - The Jewish Week
Faced with the possible closing of their seminary here, faculty and alumni of the Reform movement's New York campus have mounted a campaign to highlight its strengths and explain why it would be a mistake to shut down the campus in the Jewish capital of the country. Among those weighing in is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, spiritual leader of the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, a 1982 graduate. "It was clear that New York was the place," he said. "I wanted to study in one of the most vital Jewish cities of the diaspora. New York is a hub of Jewish activism, learning and creativity. I wanted to study with the faculty in New York and to experience some of the most cutting-edge synagogues in the world. A rabbinic education is not simply within the walls of the seminary but in the vitality of the community that surrounds it." Rabbi Jonathan Stein of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan noted that most national headquarters of major Jewish organizations are here and that "the largest fundraising in the Jewish community is done here." The dean of HUC's New York campus, Rabbi Shirley Idelson sounded a similar theme, saying: "New York is the center of Jewish life and culture in this country. Our faculty reflects the richness of Jewish life in New York. A significant number of rabbis and educators here serve as mentors and teachers, particularly in the realm of professional development. Our students serve in well over 100 positions in synagogues, organizations, hospitals and schools in the New York area, and in small congregations across the Northeast. We believe the ability to take advantage of all this makes them better rabbis."
In Jewish Education, Deep Cuts Shape New Landscapes - The Jewish Daily Forward
"This is a period in which institutions have to begin to think about collaboration in novel ways," said Rabbi David Ellenson, president of HUC-JIR.
Reform Seminary Among Schools Facing Crippling Cuts - The Jewish Daily Forward
Rabbi Kenneth Ehrlich, Dean of HUC-JIR/Cincinnati discussed the history of the Cincinnati campus, its commitment to interfaith graduate studies, partnerships with Cincinnati institutions and organizations, support from local foundations and corporations, and the challenges of closing one or more HUC-JIR campuses and appealed to the Cincinnati community for their support.
The Future of Hebrew Union College - Newsmakers, Channel 12 Cincinnati
Rabbi Kenneth Ehrlich, Dean of HUC-JIR/Cincinnati discussed the history of the Cincinnati campus, its commitment to interfaith graduate studies, partnerships with Cincinnati institutions and organizations, support from local foundations and corporations, and the challenges of closing one or more HUC-JIR campuses and appealed to the Cincinnati community for their support.
Click on "Newsmakers April 26th Edition Part One: The Future of Hebrew Union College" in the Newsmakers box on the left side of the Channel 12 homepage.
Hebrew Union Likely to Close Campus - Cincinnati Enquirer
The closing of at least one campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is "inevitable," the college's president said this week. Rabbi David Ellenson also said HUC could keep the Klau Library and the American Jewish Archives open on the Clifton campus but move academic operations elsewhere.
USC to save Hebrew Union College? - The Jewish Journal
I knew the folks at USC loved the Jews-but enough to save HUC's L.A. campus from closure?
Barbara Friedman Elected to Board of Teagle Foundation - Ascribe
Barbara Friedman was elected onto the Board of the Teagle Foundation. The Teagle Foundation is committed to providing intellectual and financial leadership in the effort to promote and strengthen liberal education.
Saperstein, Lawmakers Arrested in Darfur Protest - JTA
A top Reform Jewish leader and five U.S. Congress members were arrested for civil disobedience outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, joined other Darfur activists and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) Monday to protest the Sudanese government's expulsion last month of 13 international aid agencies and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
The Coming of the Intermarried Rabbi - New Voices, National Jewish Student Magazine
The Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), the Reform movement's Hebrew Union College (HUC) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) all refuse to admit or ordain students in relationships with non-Jews. "Because we believe in the importance of Jewish family modeling," reads the policy at HUC, the network of seminaries for America's largest Jewish denomination, "applicants who are married to or in committed relationships with non-Jews will not be considered for acceptance to this program." Professor Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist at HUC, argues that American Jews put "rabbis at the top of the symbolic hierarchy." As a result, "it is logical for rabbinical schools to hold rabbis to higher standards." While Cohen affords some merit to the suggestion that intermarried rabbis could serve as models for interfaith communities, he cautions that "we don't know for sure what the impact of having intermarried rabbis will be upon those families." We do know, he says, that "intermarried rabbis will have no chance of teaching the next generation the importance of marrying Jews."
'50% of Americans Change Religion at Least Once' - Jerusalem Post
About half of Americans either disaffiliate from their childhood faith or change faith at least once in their lives, many in their early twenties, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Steven Cohen, a Hebrew Union College research professor on Jewish social policy who is an expert on Jewish demographics, told The Jerusalem Post that the broad generalizations the Pew study drew about Catholics and Protestants don't apply to Jews, mainly because of the ethnic dimension of the religion. "Very few Jews who are raised Jewish abandon their Jewish identity," Cohen told the Post. Those who do drift away from ritual observance, he said, tend to continue actively identifying themselves as Jewish, while those who do leave the religion tend to do so because of intermarriage, not the slow drift ascribed to Catholics and Protestants.
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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