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News at HUC-JIR
Visiting Faculty in Israel Studies at HUC-JIR
Larissa Remennick, Ph.D. at HUC-JIR/New York
Martin Sherman, Ph.D. at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

"Israel Studies lies at the heart of our mission, as we seek to train Jewish leaders who are steeped in the concept of Jewish peoplehood and nurtured by the enduring ties linking the State of Israel and Diaspora Jewry," says Rabbi David Ellenson. "As leading Israeli scholars, Dr. Remennick and Dr. Martin Sherman will further reinforce our students' relationships with Israel, building upon their required first year of study at our Jerusalem campus." Larissa Remennick, Ph.D., an expert in gender/sexuality/family processes, women's health, and immigration/integration, is the 2009-2010 Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at HUC-JIR/New York, a joint appointment with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. Martin Sherman, Ph.D., an expert in strategic and foreign policy issues and Israeli intelligence and counter-terrorism, is the 2009-2010 Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, a joint appointment with the University of Southern California. These faculty positions have been made possible by a grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation in conjunction with the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprises' Scholar Development Fund, with generous matching grants from Lief Rosenblatt and Elliott and Robin Broidy.
Dr. Reuven Firestone to Address Interfaith Conference in Qatar
Dr. Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Jewish and Islamic Studies, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, senior fellow of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, and co-director of the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, a joint project of HUC-JIR, USC, and the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Foundation (, will present a talk in Doha, Qatar on October 21st at the Seventh Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue. His talk, entitled "Solidarity and Economic Interdependence: A Religious Response to the Financial Crisis," will be presented to a forum of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish scholars and religious leaders from around the world. The program for the conference can be found at:
Dr. Michael Zeldin to Address Symposium on Jewish Identity
Dr. Michael Zeldin to present keynote address on "Jewish Identity: The Story" at Symposium on Jewish Identity, which will take place on November 2-4, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, immediately preceding the URJ North American Biennial Convention.
IJSO Offers Resources for National Coming Out Day - October 11
The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation ( ) provided ribbons and printed materials on the Los Angeles campus to support individuals on National Coming Out Day.
HUC-JIR/LA's Spiritual Retreat on "Becoming Holy: Persons and A Day"
The Spiritual Growth Department at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles has organized the the first ever Spiritual Retreat, which will take place on the weekend of Shabbat Bereshit, October 16-18 at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, with the generous support of the Angell Foundation. The theme of "Becoming Holy: Persons and a Day," is dedicated to ways of deepening the holiness of each person's life and their incorporation of the holiness of Shabbat. Sessions will be held on meditation, yoga from a Jewish perspective, wilderness spirituality, the relation between spirituality and social justice, and personal applications of the week's Torah portion. There will be some silent meals, as well as teaching of traditional Shabbat zemirot melodies, and the formulation of spiritual plans for the year by the twenty participants Among the teachers are Rabbi Mike Comins, Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Rabbi Ruth Sohn, Ida Unger, and Rabbi Richard Levy.
Dr. Gary P. Zola is Chaifetz Scholar-in-Residence at Fairfield University
On Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m., he will present a lecture entitled "He Was One of Us: American Jewry and the Idealization of Abraham Lincoln" as part of the 2009 Judaic Studies Scholar-in-Residence program presented by Fairfield's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. The two-day Judaic Studies Scholar-in-Residence program will also include Dr. Zola meeting with students, faculty, rabbis and lay leaders.
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Appoints HUC-JIR as Assessor Institution for Hebrew Language
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has asked Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) to serve as an assessor institution for its Languages Other Than English (LOTE) programs. HUC-JIR will administer Hebrew language competency examinations for State candidates seeking a single-subject teaching credential in world languages (foreign languages), with a focus on Hebrew.
HUC-JIR Faculty and Alumni Featured in "Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible"
HUC-JIR faculty and alumni are prominently included in the newly published "Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible," edited by Gregg Drinkwarer, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer, with a foreword by Judith Plaskow (NYU Press). Included are: Margaret Moers Wenig on "Male and Female God Created Them: Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)"; David Ellenson on "Laws and Judgments as a 'Bridge to a Better World,': Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:8)"; Lisa Edwards, N '94, on "Going Ahead: Parashat Matot (Numbers 30:2-34:42);" Julie Pelc, L '06, on "Rethinking the Wicked 'Son': Parashat Vaetchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)"; Shirley Idelson on "In a New Country: Parashat Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)"; and Sue Levi Elwell, C '86, on "Embodied Jews: Parashat Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)";
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
"An Evening with Debbie & Friends" Benefit Concert on November 12th at Central Synagogue, New York
"An Evening with Debbie & Friends" - a concert celebrating the creativity of world-renowned folk songwriter and performer Debbie Friedman to benefit HUC-JIR and its School of Sacred Music - will take place on Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 6 p.m. at Central Synagogue, Lexington Avenue at 55th Street, in New York City. The music of Debbie Friedman will be performed by Debbie Friedman and feature The Afro-Semitic Experience, HaZamir, The Western Wind, Alumni, Faculty, Students, and surprise guests. This concert launches HUC-JIR's Cantorial Invest-in-a-Student Campaign, headed by Cantor Claire Franco. Cantorial alumni are supporting the education of their emerging colleagues and successors through this initiative in which donors sponsor students for their five years of study at HUC-JIR, from the Year-in-Israel through investiture. Honorary Celebrity Co-Chairs are Jason Robert Brown, Mandy Patinkin, and Paul Schaffer. Concert Co- Chairs are Barbara Friedman and Bonnie Tisch. Benefit Committee Co-Chairs are Marjorie and Morgan Miller.

Click here for invitation/rsvp

Click here for more information about the concert
Opening for "Isaac Bashevis Singer and His Artists" at HUC-JIR Museum/NY -- Thursday, October 15, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Program at 6:15 pm: Zalmen Mlotek and Folksbiene perform from the Yiddish-Klezmer musical "Gimpel Tam"
"Why Israeli Arabs Are a Jewish Issue: A Conversation with Rabbi David Ellenson and Rabbi Brian Lurie" -- Thursday, October 15, 6 - 7:30 pm at HUC-JIR/NY.
Rabbis Ellenson and Lurie discuss why Israel's treatment of its minority population is an issue of Jewish values and how the work of the North American Jewish community on this issue is making a difference in Israel. Co-sponsored by Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli-Arab Issues, HUC-JIR, URJ, and CCAR. RSVP:
Student Services, Sermons, Recitals, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Oct. 10 at 10:30 am: Leading Services: Rabbi Ken Kanter and Dr. Richard Sarason
Oct. 12:Leading Services/Ba'al Korei: Aaron Meyer
Oct. 13: Leading Services: Erin Boxt
Oct. 14: Leading Services: Brent Guttman
Oct. 15: Leading Services: Jordan Helfman; Ba'al Korei: Matt Cohen

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Oct. 12: Schlichai Tzibbur: Ethan Bair and Cantor Bernstein; Reading Torah: Miriam Terlinchamp; Dvar Torah: Rachel Joseph Marah; Gabbai: Arlene Bernstein
Oct. 13: Schilicha Tzibbur: Samatha Orshan
Oct. 14: Shlichai Tzibbur: Samantha Orshan and Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Beau Shapiroding ; Sermon: Noam Katz; Gabbai: Rebecca Reice

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Oct. 12-15: Leading Services: Rabbi: Adam Sheldt; Cantor: Julia Rubin-Cadrain; Educator: Rachel Petroff
Oct. 14 at 10:45 am: Practica: Jamie Marx and Cheryl Wunch
Oct. 15: Senior Sermon: Nicole Luna
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
Focus on Censorship and Banned Books in Frances-Henry Library Exhibit in LA
Dr. Yaffa Weisman, Librarian of the Frances-Henry Library at HUC-JIR/LA writes: "In recognition of Banned Books Week we have put together a new exhibit reflecting Jewish instances of, and debates about banning and censoring books...The books displayed in our new exhibit come from our collection. They represent censored Jewish books that made Jewish readers uncomfortable throughout history - would YOU banish them from our library?" Some of the books in the Frances-Henry Library exhibit are posted at as part of her blog discussion of Jewish books subjected to censorship by Christianity and Islam, or self-censored by the Jewish community itself.
HUC-JIR in the News
Bonfires In The Courtyard, Dancing Round The Flames - Jewish Week
Some religions focus on suffering, death, and even martyrdom, but Judaism is not among them. Without denying the brutal reality of human suffering, we Jews stress life ("l'chaim," we say) and joy. Nothing illustrates that message better than the week of Sukkot and the holiday following, Simchat Torah. In Temple days, the annual highlight was not the High Holy Days, but Sukkot, when celebratory bonfires shone so brightly that "every courtyard in Jerusalem was lit up." To the accompaniment of flutes, harps, cymbals, even blasts of the shofar, parades of celebrants danced their way into the Temple precinct, where water was poured upon the altar - a libation anticipating the winter rain on which the life-sustaining spring harvest would depend. "If you haven't experienced this Sukkot ritual," the Mishnah says, "you do not know what real joy is!"
Groups Plan Rally Against Neo-Nazis - Press Enterprise
Rabbi Suzanne Singer, L '03, whose mother survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, said it was jarring to see swastikas outside her synagogue. "It's totally sickening and really scary," said Singer. She worried that, as in an economically struggling Germany in the 1930s, people in the recession-plagued Inland area are looking for someone to blame for their economic difficulties -- whether illegal immigrants or Jews -- and might be attracted to Nazi ideology.
Rabbi reclaims religious roots - Granite Bay, CA
"I want the congregation to know what it means to be of the people of Israel, a life of learning and spiritual growth," Rabbi Alan Rabishaw, C '91 said. "But more than that, I want that for their children and grandchildren. I would love to have future generations carry a sense of identity and pride for their faith into their adult lives."
Rabbi Bram rushed to hospital on Yom Kippur morning - Cleveland Jewish News
On Monday, immediately before he was to lead the Yom Kippur morning service at Suburban Temple-Kol Ami, Rabbi Eric Bram, 51, C '85 was rushed to the hospital.
For the first 18 years of his life, Paul Caplan lived in Buffalo, NY - Southtown Star
Rabbi Paul Caplan, C '74, attempts to draw from the best of all branches of Judaism and said the synagogue logo from a temple where he served previously sums up his position in a phrase: "The Reform Synagogue that honors Tradition."
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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