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News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR Graduation Honors Jewish Leaders, Alumni and Graduating Class of 2009 on the Los Angeles Campus
Nearly 700 communal leaders, relatives, and friends gathered at the Los Angeles Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Graduation Ceremonies of the 134th academic year.
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Presidents' Medal
Citation in Recognition
Rabbinical Alumni - Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa
  • Sanford D. Akselrad
  • Arthur Gross-Schaefer
  • Avi M. Schulman
  • Steve L. Silver
Cantorial Alumni, Doctor of Music, honoris causa
  • Steven Michael Puzarne
Communal Service Alumni - Doctor of Jewish Communal Service, honoris causa
  • Mark L. Goldstein
  • Mark David Gurvis
  • Cheryl J. Kessler, z"l
  • Zev A. Kessler
  • Amy Dover Neistein
  • Steven A. Reitman
Education Alumni - Doctor of Jewish Religious Education, honoris causa
  • Madelyn Mishkin Katz, RJE
  • Rabbi Barry M. Lutz, RJE
  • Cindy Reich, RJE
  • Lori B. Sagarin, RJE
HUC-JIR/LA Holds Ordination Services at Temple Israel of Hollywood, May 17, 2009
Fifteen rabbinical students were ordained this year at HUC-JIR's Ordination Ceremony in Los Angeles. Rabbi Richard Levy, Director, School of Rabbinical Studies at HUC-JIR/LA, delivered the Ordination Address, entitled: "Does Reform Judaism Still Matter?"
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Doni Silver Simons Artist's Talk on "Omer 5769" - June 10 at noon
As part of her solo exhibition "Marked," on view at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles through July 24th, Doni Silver Simons presents "Omer 5769," a new installation and multi-person performance that commemorates the counting of the Omer -- the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot -- a time to move from slavery to freedom. 'Marked" is comprised of drawings, paintings, and three-dimensional works that explore the passage and counting of time and space in the context of Jewish daily life, culture, and religion. The exhibition and "Omer 5769" are free and open to the public. The artist will talk about her work on Wednesday, June 10 at noon.
HUC-JIR in the News
How Rachel Adler Uses Feminist Ideas to Challenge Jewish Law - My Jewish Learning
Rabbid David Ellenson writes: "The writings of Rachel Adler on Jewish law and ritual have catapulted her into the center of modern Jewish religious discourse, and she is unquestionably among the leading constructive Jewish theologians, translators and liturgists of the modern era, garnering attention from Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, women and men alike."
'Midrash and Medicine': Conference Offers 'Spiritual Nourishment' for Healers -
Midrash and Medicine: Imagining Wholeness was co-coordinated by the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and the Hebrew Union College Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health. It was the first conference of its kind, according to the agencies' staff. The conference took an interdisciplinary approach to health care and healing, exploring the challenges and innovations in healthcare and healing through classic and contemporary Jewish text study and expressive arts. About 150 people - including mental health professionals, physicians, nurses, artists, educators, chaplains and lay leaders - came to Asilomar Conference Center from 16 states, Israel and Canada.
Reports of 'Death' Exaggerated - Jerusalem Post
Dr. Michael Marmur writes: The truth is that there is ample and powerful evidence that a Judaism of meaning aimed at those for whom Orthodoxy is untenable, unpalatable or impossible is more urgently in demand today than ever before. The prognosis offered in the name of [Rabbi Norman] Lamm is similar to concluding that since people no longer buy vinyl records, music is going out of fashion. The challenge for my institution, the Hebrew Union College, and for others like it, is to embrace a sustainable model of excellence in teaching and learning. Reform Judaism isn't dying - it's changing. That's what we Jews do best.
Alysa Stanton: First Black Female Rabbi (Associated Press, Washington Post)
Alysa Stanton believes her future is in God's hands but isn't satisfied with the world as it is, said Rabbi Kenneth Ehrlich, campus dean. "She deeply believes that God calls upon her - and upon all of us - to make this a better world, a place that God wants it to be," Ehrlich said, referring to Stanton's work with a hospice and other community activities.

More press coverage about this milestone ordination in Jewish history:

Charlotte, NC Observer

WCPO-TV in Cincinnati

Mercury News, Bay Area

The Daily Voice

Raleigh, NC News and Observer

Myrtle Beach, SC Sun News

Houston, TX Jewish Herald-Voice

Columbus, GA Ledger-Enquirer

Huffington Post
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
HUC-JIR Faculty Events
Wendy Zierler, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at HUC-JIR/NY, will be the scholar in residence at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons on the weekend of June 28th.
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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