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Alysa Stanton - First African-American Woman Ordained a Rabbi in Jewish History at HUC-JIR's Ordination Ceremonies in Cincinnati
Alysa Stanton, the first African-American woman to be ordained a rabbi in Jewish history, was ordained by Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), on Saturday, June 6th at 9 am at Cincinnati's landmark Plum Street Temple.
Fourteen New Rabbis Ordained at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
Rabbi David Ellenson ordained fourteen new rabbis at Ordination Services at the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, on June 6th. These ten women and four men are members of the 43 rabbinical graduates of the Class of 2009 (30 women, 13 men), who were ordained at convocations marking the 134th academic year in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York. Dr. Michael Meyer presented the Ordination Eve Address, entitled "They Shall Link My Name with the People of Israel and I Shall Bless Them."
HUC-JIR/Cincinnati Graduation Honors Jewish Leaders, Alumni, and Graduating Class of 2009
Communal leaders, relatives, and friends gathered at Isaac M. Wise Temple on June 7th for the HUC-JIR Cincinnati Graduation Ceremonies of the 134th academic year. Rabbi David Ellenson 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."

Dr. Arno G. Motulsky, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Medicine and Genome Studies, University of Washington, was presented with the 2009 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize.

HUC-JIR awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Scott Cowen, President of Tulane University, who delivered the Graduation Address, and to William Henry Cardinal Keeler, Archdiocese Emeritus of Baltimore.

Betty Benjamin, Former President, Women of Reform Judaism, received the Presidents' Medal in a private ceremony.

HUC-JIR alumni were awarded honorary Doctorates of Divinity, Music, Jewish Religious Education, and Jewish Communal Service in recognition of their 25 years of distinguished professional service:

Rabbinical Alumni - Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa
Rabbi James M. Bennett
Rabbi Brad Lane Bloom
Rabbi Judith A. Bluestein
Rabbi Judith A. Chessin
Rabbi Elias Jacob Lieberman
Rabbi Michael Matuson
Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport
Rabbi Gaylia R. Rooks
Rabbi Keith H. Stern
Rabbi Elizabeth Weiss Stern
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Summer Schedule for Services at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
The HUC Jerusalem Campus invites you to join us this summer for Shabbat Shacharit services during our NEW Summer Schedule in the Murstein Synagogue: June 20, 27; July 4, 11, 18, 25; August 1, 8.
HUC-JIR in the News
Spiritual Journey Leads to a Historic First - The New York Times
"It is of incredible importance to note that her ordination coincides with the election of Barack Obama," said Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College, who will ordain Ms. Stanton at the college's Cincinnati campus on Saturday. "It offers a ray of hope that the world can become a better place."
African-American woman ordained as rabbi in Cincinnati - Haaretz
After supporting the election of the first black U.S. president, the American Jewish community is continuing to fulfill its promise of working toward change with the ordination of the first black woman rabbi. Alysa Stanton, 45, who calls herself "the new face of Judaism," was ordained Saturday, along with 14 other new Reform rabbis in Cincinnati.
U.S. Has First Black Female Jewish Rabbi - UPI
"Here I stand: blessed, happy and proud of the successes that have become a part of my history," Stanton added in a written rabbinical ordination prose. "I look forward to the promising path that lies ahead, with each step guided by my faith, my village and my god."
More on Alysa Stanton:
Colorado woman to be first black female rabbi - Denver Post
For her, the tenets and rituals of the Jewish faith are the richest expression of her love of God. "In Judaism, there is a purpose for everything," Stanton said. "Judaism isn't just a religion. It's a culture, an ethnicity and a way of life."
First African-American Woman Becomes Rabbi -
"I'm a rabbi, who happens to be an African-American woman, and not an African-American woman who happens to be a rabbi," Stanton said.
First Black Female Jewish Rabbi Ordained - Cincinnati Enquirer
1st African American Woman In History Ordained Rabbi - WCPO; Kentucky Post
Colorado Woman Set to Become First African-American Female Rabbi -
Another First: African-American Female Rabbi -
First Black Female Rabbi is Ordained - Deseret News
First African-American Female Rabbi Ordained - JTA
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
Learning To Count - The Jewish Press
Judith Margolis' "Countdown to Perfection Meditations on the Sefirot," currently exhibited at Hebrew Union College Museum, offers a visual and textual guide. As I explore the days of the Omer I realize that I have entered a dual universe. Suddenly the specifics of language and its ability to conjure complex ideas with a single word are combined with the specifics of image and its peculiar ability to summon equally complex and specific emotions and ideas. In this arena it's hard to say which is more poetic and which is more specifically ethical. Each page demands that we take text and image equally seriously, producing a powerful experience.
Dr. Reuven Firestone to Lecture at National University of Singapore
Dr. Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Jewish Studies, has been invited to lecture at a workshop on "Jews in Indonesia: Perceptions and Histories" sponsored by the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore on June 10-11.
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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