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News at HUC-JIR
Cincinnati Ordination Services to be Held at Plum Street Temple, Saturday, June 6, 2009
The rabbinical graduates of the Cincinnati School of HUC-JIR will be ordained at Ordination Services at Plum Street Temple on June 6th. Fourteen rabbis (10 women, 4 men) will be ordained (of 43 rabbinical graduates of the Class of 2009 - 30 women, 13 men) at the convocation marking the 134th academic year. Rabbi Ellenson will deliver the Ordination Address.
Cincinnati Graduation Ceremonies to Honor Jewish Leaders, Alumni, and Graduating Class of 2009 at Isaac M. Wise Temple, Sunday, June 7, 2009
Dr. Arno G. Motulsky, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Medicine and Genome Studies, University of Washington, will receive the 2009 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize. HUC-JIR will present the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Scott Cowen, President of Tulane University, who will deliver the Graduation Address, and to Cardinal William Henry Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore. Betty Benjamin, Former President, Women of Reform Judaism, will be presented with the Presidents' Medal. 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 Doctor of Philosophy and Masters Degrees to its School of Graduate Studies students.
LA Communal Service Students Present Masters Theses and Projects
Twelve students in the School of Jewish Communal Service (SJCS) completed and presented their graduation theses and capstone projects on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, to their peers, faculty and members of the SJCS Advisory Board. The students will be awarded the Master of Arts degree at Graduation on May 18th at HUC-JIR's Los Angeles campus. For the list of students and their projects, please click here.
School of Sacred Music Alumni Association to Present Webinar
The HUC-JIR School of Sacred Music Alumni Association will present a webinar for all HUC-JIR alumni on Tuesday, May 19th. Cantor Bruce Ruben, Ph.D., Director of the School of Sacred Music, will present "Professionalizing the American Reform Cantorate."
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
HUC-JIR Faculty Appearances
Dr. Wendy Zierler, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at HUC-JIR/NY, spoke at the Skirball Center on April 19th for their Jewish University in a day program on the history of Jewish women's prayers.

Dr. Rabbi Leonard Kravitz, Professor of Midrash and Homiletics, will be a Visiting Professor at Abraham Geiger Kolleg in Potsdam from May 25,2009 to June 22, 2009. He will be teaching a seminar on "Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed."
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Kalsman Institute Co-sponsors Midrash and Medicine Conference in Monterey - Respite in the Chaos
While many other large-scale, national conferences were being canceled due to fears of low enrollment and budgetary concerns, two West Coast organizations dedicated to health and healing in a Jewish context -- HUC-JIR's Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center -- will present a ground-breaking, collaborative conference in Monterey, California next month. Midrash and Medicine: Imagining Wholeness will bring a diverse collection of professionals merging interpretive arts, Judaism and medicine at an interactive conference. Spiritual, behavioral, and healthcare professionals, scholars, artists and lay-leader colleagues will learn together, exchange best practices, and find a much needed respite from their worries in a world filled with personal and professional challenges due to the economic times.
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.
HUC-JIR in the News
Middle Israel: US Jewry's unlikely savior - The Jerusalem Post
Nowhere else is American Jewry's future cultivated more effectively than in its rabbinical colleges. It follows that they, before all other American Jewish outfits that are currently hurting, must now be helped on their feet. And this help had best be provided by the Jewish state. Israel's help to HUC, JTS and YU might be more appropriately transmitted through the Jewish Agency, but the origin of the money can only be the government of Israel, which can earmark $100 million for this kind of purpose with relative ease. Such a sum would not only immediately lift the three schools out of their current crises, it would serve Israel's long-term needs far better than the handful of fighter planes that $100 million can hardly buy. For the rabbis all these colleges produce later lead communities, inspire education and create more of what Israel lacks even more sorely than its hopeless lack of gold, oil, water and peace: They produce Jews.
New Rabbis Face Tough Job Market - The Jewish Journal
The rabbinate has been hit hard by this recession. Congregations are pulling in less money, and many larger synagogues are going without assistant rabbis, while some smaller congregations have cut solo rabbis to part-time positions. At the same time, more veteran rabbis are holding on to their jobs as retirement funds shrink, and some retired clergy are back in the job market.
HUC-JIR Sets Deadline to Determine L.A. Campus Future - Jewish Journal
"There could be reductions in programs and staff and might even involve relocations of faculty or campus sites," Ellenson said in an interview Tuesday. "But the board of governors recognized, from the outpouring of concern and support, how very vital the Hebrew Union College is to the maintenance and growth of liberal Judaism in every corner of this country. I think members of the board of governors were heartened by the very positive response of care and concern that many thousands of people expressed for maintaining the campuses in each of the cities where Hebrew Union College is located."
Plan Would Keep HUC Campus Open - Cincinnati Enquirer
The plan, adopted by HUC's board of governors, gives administrators and educators six weeks to figure out how to make the school financially viable while preserving its campuses in Cincinnati, New York and Los Angeles.
L.A. Jewish Seminary Likely to Stay Open - Los Angeles Times
The plan, adopted by HUC's board of governors, gives administrators and educators six weeks to figure out how to make the school financially viable while preserving its campuses in Cincinnati, New York and Los Angeles.
HUC Determined To Maintain Programs - The Jewish Week
Rabbi David Ellenson, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, said that although the college still faces "the same budgetary challenges and the need to attain a balanced budget and financial stability, the board instructed us to see if we can retain a presence in all three cities where we currently reside in a way that would allow us to provide programs of excellence."
LA, Cincinnati Reform movement's seminaries to stay open - JTA/Jerusalem Post
"The board has charged the administration to devise a plan that will attain financial sustainability and enhance our academic excellence," HUC President Rabbi David Ellenson said in a statement, according to the Enquirer.
All Campuses of Hebrew Union College May Survive - Inside Higher Ed
The new plan would require fund raising and some restructuring, so it is not yet considered a done deal.
Hebrew Union To Keep Cincinnati Campus Open - WLWT-Cincinnati
The school said the changes will cut costs and enhance academics.
College Will Keep All Campuses - ABC6-Cincinnati
School officials announced the decision Tuesday after the school's board of governors adopted a plan to overhaul operations with the help of technology and innovation. The school says the changes will cut costs and enhance academics.
Rabbi Blesses Statue of Sojourner Truth - JTA
Rabbi Amy Schwartzman of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Va. delivered the benediction at the unveiling of a statue in the U.S. Capitol of Sojourner Truth. The congressional leadership and First Lady Michelle Obama attended the unveiling Tuesday of the first statue of an African-American woman in the Capitol. Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and a women's rights activist who urged fellow feminists to unite in the cause against slavery.
Pioneer Rabbi is Honored by New York College - New Jersey Jewish News
Rabbi Sally Priesand, the country's first female rabbi and rabbi emerita of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, has received the Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Elizabeth Blackwell Award.
Does God Want You to Be Bankrupt? - The New York Times
In the Old Testament, for instance, Chapter 15 of the book of Deuteronomy calls for the forgiveness of debts once every seven years. Religious leaders were aware, however, of the chilling effect that could have on lending (particularly in the sixth year). "The Torah says don't think that way, don't be stingy" in that sixth year, said Rabbi Mark Washofsky, a professor of Jewish law at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He added that later on, the Talmud introduced the idea of a Prosbul. This was a sort of workaround court that was not covered by the religious law. The Prosbul could administer debts during or right before the seventh year. When the court confiscated property outright, sometimes this worked to the benefit of the debtor and sometimes to the benefit of the creditor. "In other words, the ultimate power resides with the community," Rabbi Washofsky said. "It can intervene in what was a private transaction, in a situation of great need. The power is there. The real question is, do you use it and when?"
What Happens After You Die? - Channel 12 Cincinnati
Rabbi Ken Kanter, Hebrew Union College: "We talk of heaven and hell in worship. It's an understanding of what you get because you've been good versus what you get if you've not been good. We all have the hope, we all hope we get to heaven."
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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