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News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR Launches Planned Giving Website
Gifts of transformational significance often can be made at very low cost. It is just a matter of planning WHAT to give, HOW to give and WHEN to give. There are numerous potential advantages to a planned gift. Some qualify for an immediate tax deduction, may increase spendable income or provide significant future tax savings for the donor's family. Donors who commit to a planned gift create a legacy of personal philanthropy. Information on the many ways of making planned gifts can be found on HUC-JIR's new Planned Giving website at:
Professor Alan Dershowitz on "Challenges Facing the Next Generation of American Jewish Leaders" at HUC-JIR/NY on October 8 at 11:10 am
Professor Alan Dershowitz, renowned civil liberties attorney, will address the students of HUC-JIR/NY on the issues facing the emerging generation of Jewish leaders. The event immediately follows services at 10 am. RSVP: 212-824-2293;
Rabbinic Leadership: What Should a Rabbi Do? Executive Leadership Seminar for Rabbis - Oct. 12-13 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
Bringing together the resources of the CCAR, the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Communal Service, and the USC Marshall School of Business/Office of Executive Education, this intensive two-day seminar provides essential training in Executive Leadership for Rabbis using the most current applications of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and Executive Communications. By analyzing your personal leadership styles and understanding the communication styles of others, you will be better able to successfully manage professional relationships - whether with staff or lay leaders - and lead effective change in your congregation, organization and/or community.
High Holy Days Update from HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, reports that 500 people attended Yom Kippur services on campus at Blaustein Hall, including high school students on the URJ/NFTY Eisendrath International Exchange High School in Israel, many tourists, and Israelis. Three first-year cantorial students -- Amanda Kleinman, Steven Long, and Alison Lopatin Podobedov -- assisted Rabbi Kelman and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback in leading services, while first-year cantorial students David Mintz, Rachel Harrison, and Joshua Finkel conducted services in Progressive synagogues Zichron Ya'akov, Mod'i'in, and Haifa, respectively.
Alumni News
Jews Ready to Celebrate Holiday of Yom Kippur - Daily Times
"I want to remind us that the strengths of Judaism and this community can help us in difficult times and times of celebration," said Rabbi Peter Rigler, N '02. "I hope to relate it as a most important message."
Rabbi Stevens Knows 'Tradition' - Post-Tribune
"In reform Jewish thinking, reform is a verb. It's a transformation; it's ongoing. We don't ever finish reforming. We as Jewish-Americans are continually adapting to new situations, environments and cultures," says Rabbi Michael N. Stevens, N' 76.
A Special Rush for Rosh Hashanah? - Jewish Exponent
A former triathlete who was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1999, Rabbi Jamie Korngold leads Shabbat skiing and hiking trips (depending on the season), and holds occasional Friday-night Shabbat services at Sunrise Amphitheater, an outdoor facility built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-34 on top of Flagstaff Mountain, to the west of Boulder. People come from all over to attend Korngold's Rosh Hashanah retreat, which includes hiking, biking, yoga and prayer. Her monthly 2.5-hour Shabbat hikes include breaks along the way, where Korngold offers teachings or asks questions related to the week's Torah portion, and then asks her fellow Jewish hikers to discuss the questions with each other and share their thoughts at the next stopping point. "People here in Boulder really value the outdoors as a place of spiritual potential," explains Korngold, who's written a book called "God in the Wilderness."
Yom Kippur: Denver Rabbi Reflects on 40 Years - Denver Post
When Rabbi Steven Foster, C '70, started out, he said, there were 25,000 Jews in the Denver metro area. There are now about 84,000. When he began, there were six or seven rabbis. Now there are 25. "What we have done in the last 40 years - and I want to take a little credit for it - has had an impact on the issue of interfaith marriage," Foster said. "We're more welcoming to interfaith families." About half of Denver's Jewish children live in interfaith households, according to a 2007 survey.
A Spiritual Journey -
Rabbi Alysa Stanton, C '09, has three goals: Break barriers, build bridges, provide hope. So far, so good, congregates say. Stanton has been embraced by her flock, and she's embracing them in return. "Her interpersonal skills are what we wanted," Duffy, a member of the search committee, said. "She stood at the door at the opening of religious school and greeted each person as they came in."
In the Spotlight, Rabbi Gets to Work -
Instead of talking about herself, Rabbi Alysa Stanton prefers to talk about a new Jewish year and a renewed commitment to community involvement -- themes that echo the reflection and introspection that Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, are known for. But as she works to provide a meaningful Jewish experience for Greenville's 60 or so Jewish families, Stanton also offers proof that the South, and the Jewish presence within it, is no longer what it used to be.
Rabbi Jazzes up High Holiday Services - Philadelphia Inquirer
Rabbi Jon Cutler, D. Min. '96, a quintet of musicians who play in hipster black, including their yarmulkes. Maybe the blue notes and improvisation of jazz would infuse something new into a traditional liturgy for the High Holidays, which end Monday. The fresh approach is under way at Cutler's new Jewish prayer group, Darkaynu (Hebrew for "our path"). Starting with Selichot services last week, the liturgy has featured a drummer, electric guitarist, keyboard player, and sax man, with rabbi/cantor Joan Sacks on vocals.
Academic Rabbi Scores Triple Play in Houston Area - Jewish Herald Voice
Rabbi Shira Lander, Ph.D., C '91, has joined the faculty of Rice University as visiting assistant professor of Religious Studies, assumed duties as interim director of The Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance at Rice University, and has been hired by Temple B'nai Israel, a Reform congregation in Victoria, Texas, with 20 member families.
HUC-JIR in the News
As Economy Tanks, Applications Up at Seminaries and Jewish Studies Programs - Cleveland Jewish News
"The general kind of economic malaise in North America writ large has led to people considering graduate school as a safe haven and going into professions that may be less focused on monetary reward," said Rabbi Aaron Panken, vice president for strategic initiatives and dean of admissions at HUC. "After 9/11 [we saw] an uptick of people interested, [similar to the] uptick during the Vietnam War," he said. "With an economic downturn we see a return to core values, ethics, spirituality and things that make life worth living."
Rabbis in Recession - Tablet Magazine
The president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, counters that there's room for everyone. "I am someone who believes there can never be too many rabbis," he said. "At any given moment the congregations in our movement may not be able to absorb more, but there are other things to do. We need more rabbis on campuses, in JCCs, in federations, in youth work." Rabbi David Ellenson of Hebrew Union echoes that thought. "We need liberal rabbis on college campuses and in Jewish organizations" he says. "There is a strong need for humane, liberal interpretations of Judaism to be put forth in the public arena. By placing our rabbis in these positions we serve the religious needs of a very diverse population, and that is all to the good."
How I Found God in a Hospital Room: An Intern's Perspective (PDF)
Ilana Mills, L '11, RHSOE '11, writes: "Working as a rabbincal student for Jewish Chaplaincy at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, I spent my summer discussing subjects we don't usually face. This summer, my days were filled with words of hope, strength, and prayers. I was in awe of a mother's resolve to fight cancer. I met Holocaust survivors who never gave up. I watched as people found the courage to talk about being sick. My summer was filled with talking about God. I witnessed a patient, who initially told me she did not really believe, weep as I asked God to heal her. I watched as a man found the courage to cry for the first time during his five-day stay at the hospital when we prayed. I helped a woman find the words she wanted to say to God, but never knew how.
Windmueller's Wise Take - Jewish Journal
Editor Rob Eshman writes: "Prof. Steven Windmueller posts a major thought piece on the revolution occurring in Jewish organizational life today. I gobbled up every insight, as I see the truth of them play out in stories I hear over and over throughout the city."
After Utopia, Loving Israel - Forward
So when the Hebrew Union College sociologist Steven M. Cohen warns of "a growing distancing from Israel of American Jews... most pronounced among younger Jews," Israelis take notice. And well they should.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
HUC-JIR Museum Exhibition, "Judy Chicago: Jewish Identity" at the Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach
Artist Judy Chicago Tackles Cultural, Political Taboos - Miami Herald

"She comes to her art from an ever-expanding horizon of passions,'' says Laura Kruger, curator of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York and co-curator (with Chicago's biographer Gail Levin) of the compact but poignant retrospective Judy Chicago: Jewish Identity at Miami Beach's Jewish Museum of Florida.
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
Transform your worship with the "Rainbow Tallit (Prayer Shawl) and Tallit Bag" by internationally renowned fiber artist Reeva Shaffer; $1000 plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

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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, 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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