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News at HUC-JIR
Rabbi David Ellenson Announces Retirement of Dr. Steven F. Windmueller as Dean of HUC-JIR/Los Angeles as of July 1, 2010
Appointed Dean in June 2006, Dr. Windmueller was named to the Dr. Alfred Gottschalk Chair in Jewish Communal Service in March 2009. He will be succeeded by Dr. Joshua Holo, currently the Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles. "He has advanced the Los Angeles campus's academic programs, including our rabbinical program, Rhea Hirsch School of Education, and School of Jewish Communal Service, our innovative research institutes, including the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation, and our unique relationship with the University of Southern California through our Louchheim School's instruction of over 600 USC undergraduates each her and our partnership with USC and Omar Ibn al-Khattab Foundation in the creation of the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement," said Rabbi Ellenson. "His expertise in Jewish public affairs, community relations, public policy, and leadership has been imbued into our students' training, as they prepare for careers of leadership for the Reform Movement and the Jewish people worldwide. Furthermore, he has nurtured the growth of the Los Angeles campus's Board of Overseers by developing a cohort of distinguished communal leaders and philanthropists dedicated to supporting HUC-JIR's mission. Upon his retirement, he will continue to serve as a valued member of our faculty."
Rabbi David Ellenson Announces the Appointment of Dr. Joshua Holo as Dean of HUC-JIR/Los Angeles as of July 1, 2010
Dr. Holo came to the College-Institute in the Fall of 2005 as Associate Professor of Jewish History and Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies, which functions as the undergraduate Judaic Studies program for HUC-JIR's partner, the University of Southern California (USC). "Dr. Joshua Holo brings superb academic and administrative talents to his new role as Dean of our Los Angeles campus," said Rabbi Ellenson. "He has stewarded our unique relationship with the University of Southern California, in which HUC-JIR provides instruction in Jewish Studies to over 600 undergraduates each year. His scholarship on the Cairo Genizah and the Jews of Byzantium and Spain enriches the studies of our rabbinical, education, and Jewish communal service students. We look forward to his expertise, wisdom, and guidance, as he advances our mission in preparing men and women as leaders of vision for the Reform Movement and the Jewish people worldwide." Dr. Holo chaired the Los Angeles campus Executive Committee on Academic and Student Affairs from 2007 to 2009. He teaches at both HUC-JIR and USC, and his scholarship focuses primarily on the social and intellectual life of medieval Jewry in the Christian Mediterranean. He is the author of Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy (Cambridge, 2009) and co-author of The Jews: A History (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2009).
Ordination and Academic Convocation at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
Six new rabbis for Israel's Progressive Movement will be ordained by Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), at the Ordination and Academic Convocation at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 11 a.m.

The ordinees are Judith Edelman-Green, Chen Ester Ben-Or Tsfoni, Jehiel Benjamin Gruber, Zipora Livneh, Oded Mazor, and Dalia Tibon Lagziel. These four women and two men join the 59 alumni of the Israel Rabbinical Program, established in 1975, which, with this new cohort, will have ordained 65 Israeli rabbis to date to serve Progressive congregations, schools, and communities throughout Israel.

The academic convocation will also feature the inaugural cohort of seven graduates receiving certificates in Specialization in Pluralistic Jewish Education, the HUC-JIR program that is part of the M.A. in Jewish Education from the Melton Centre for Jewish Education of the Hebrew University. The graduates receiving their certificates are Michal Burstein-Azrieli, Maital Cohen-Sabag, Nitza Harel-Attias, Oded Mazor, Lior Nevo, Israela Ravid, and Rinat Safania.

Rabbi Michael Melchior, former Deputy Foreign Minister, Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's office and one of Israel's leading legislators, will be presented with the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa; Rabbi Edward Rettig will receive the Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree; and Larry Tishkoff will receive the Doctor of Jewish Religious Education, honoris causa.
Eulogy for Dr. Alfred Gottschalk by Dr. Steven Sample, President, USC
On behalf of the entire USC community, I am honored to pay tribute to an extraordinary leader, an esteemed scholar, and a beloved teacher - Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk. I'm proud to have counted Fred as a friend and a colleague. He inspired me. I admired him for his love of teaching, his warmth, his conviviality, and his strong sense of purpose. Through his words and actions, he exemplified the attributes of the ideal Trojan, those being faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, and ambitious.

It was while Fred was working on his Ph.D. at USC that he began shaping the Los Angeles branch of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion into one of the world's best Jewish colleges and into one of USC's closest partners...Indeed, a crucial part of his legacy was his dedication to developing innovative partnerships, to building HUC-JIR and its four campuses into a truly international university, and to cultivating the next generation of Jewish spiritual and professional leaders. A passage from the citation USC gave him for one of his honorary doctorates reads, "The greatness of the man is clear in the profundity of his thought, in the innovation of his scholarly research, in the brilliance of his writings, in the inspiration of his lectures, in the wisdom of his reason, in the compassion of his counsel, and in the depth of his love for his fellow man." For full speech, please click here (PDF)
Learn With and From HUC-JIR Alumni
Recent posts on the Tzeh U'limad: the Continuing Alumni Education blog include a teaching by Talmud scholar Judith Abrams on the negative effects of gossip, a piece Jewish Educator Ira Wise on how technology can aid us as we imagine new frontiers in Jewish education, and a piece by HUC-JIR's own Ruth Abusch-Magder answering the questions what is Jewish food? Come and learn, add your voice and continue the conversation at
Dr. Reuven Firestone to Present at Interfaith Conference in Amman, Jordan
Dr. Reuven Firestone will present a paper on "Choosing One's Religion: Conversion, Apostasy, and Related Issues" at a conference in Amman, Jordan, sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the European Abrahamic Forum, and the Jordanian Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies. The Conference title is "We All are Minorities - a Plea for Pluralism: Challenges and Chances of Religious, Ethnic-Cultural, and Political Diversification in Contemporary Societies" and he is speaking at the panel he organized, entitled "Re-Thinking Principles and Practices: Challenges and Chances of Pluralism." The conference will take place on Nov.15-17 at the Royal Scientific Society of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Amman.
Spotlight on HUC-JIR's Programs and
Research Resources
URJ Day at HUC-JIR/New York
Rabbi Daniel Freelander, Senior Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism will address students at Services on November 19 at 10 am. His topic is "Redigging the Wells: Moving Towards URJ 3.0". Services will be followed by the URJ Press Exhibit and Lunch with Michael Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief of URJ Books and Music.
HUC-JIR in the News
L.A. Branch Safe in Reform University's Long-Range Plan - Jewish Journal
An outline of the five-year plan, labeled "A New Way Forward," emerged from a Nov. 2 board of governors meeting on the Cincinnati mother campus. In a statement, Ellenson, 62, emphasized, "This plan provides a vision of our role as the preeminent progressive seminary of the 21st century, addressing contemporary Jewish demographic, societal and educational trends and responding to the challenges and needs of a changing Jewish world."
On the Bookshelf - Tablet
Judah Cohen, an ethnomusicologist, spent two years watching and listening to the cantors-in-training at Hebrew Union College's School of Sacred Music to produce The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor: Musical Authority, Cultural Investment (Indiana, November), which reveals exactly how a regular Jew with a good singing voice can be transformed, institutionally and personally, into a bearer of Jewish musical tradition.
Rabbinic intern goes the distance for social action in Marin -
Call it a long-distance relationship in the name of social justice. For the next year, Ethan Bair will fly every two weeks from Los Angeles to San Francisco to be the rabbinical intern for Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael. During his one-year stint at Rodef Sholom, Bair will coordinate the congregation's Jewish Funds for Justice excursion to the Gulf Coast in February 2010, in addition to helping with text studies, assisting the rabbis on Shabbat and educating families during the Kol HaMishpacha (Hebrew for "all family") social justice class on Sunday mornings. Because the class is a mixture of adults and children from kindergarten to fourth grade, Bair has devised a curriculum that presents paradigms of Judaism in an accessible way for families to learn together. Bair hopes to inspire his students "to get deeper into Judaism and also become more engaged with local action on a social justice level," he said.
Shalom Y'all: New Rabbi Lights Up Southern Town
The only synagogue in Greenville, N.C., sits on the outskirts of this old tobacco town in a converted funeral home. Inside, on a recent Friday, people milled, kibitzed and greeted one another: "Good Shabbos." "How y'all doing?" Nametags were distributed to make everyone feel comfortable. The bright strum of a guitar coaxed the guests - congregants, community faith leaders, politicians and children - to the sanctuary from the foyer. All eyes were on the musician, an African-American woman swaying on the bimah of Congregation Bayt Shalom, singing in Hebrew, beckoning her guests to join her in song. Alysa Stanton made history when she was ordained at Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in June.
The Unity Trip - Jewish Journal
Israeli Consul General of Los Angeles Jacob Dayan personally invited the 18 L.A. rabbis from Orthodox, Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism to come to Israel for 58 hours last week, but the consulate's mission to transmit a message of solidarity with Israel had other results too. By the end of the short trip, many of the rabbis expressed a deeper understanding of the important social problems facing Israel today, as well as a renewed hope for peace and a rejuvenated passion for the thriving Zionist dream. Rabbi Eli Herscher, senior rabbi of Stephen S. Wise Temple, said, "We know that official recognition and dialogue among the movements are rather rare here in Israel, which is unfortunate. The idea of this trip is to show a model with rabbis from Los Angeles who can in fact sit down together and talk about anything, possibly disagree on issues of importance to them, and yet when it comes to a passion for Israel and the centrality of Israel to the Jewish people, can put aside those differences. It's a trip about leading by example," Herscher said.
On Campus, a Divide Over 'Pro-Israel' - The Forward
"There's a decline in Israel engagement, but there's a huge decline in calling yourself pro-Israel" between older and younger Jews, said Steven M. Cohen, research professor of Jewish social policy at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. "For young people, [pro-Israel means] the reality of Israel; for older people, it's the ideal. Young people are more politically progressive than their elders, less inclined to see Israel through rose-colored Zionist glasses, more inclined to be critical."
Temple Kol Ami founder fought for civil rights
Rabbi Ernst J. Conrad, a Holocaust survivor who became known as a peace activist in metro Detroit, died Friday. Born and raised in Berlin during the rise of Nazi power, Conrad survived through Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), an anti-Semitic rampage in 1938. That same year, at the age of 17, his mother sent him to the U.S. to escape anti-Jewish persecution. Conrad was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1947, according to his temple. Conrad served with congregations in Maryland, North Carolina, and then moved to Michigan. In 1966, he founded Temple Kol Ami with eight families.
It takes a retirement village for an Israel bar mitzvah - JTA
It was a bar mitzvah for the ages -- or, rather, the aged. A handful of residents from an Ohio retirement community visited Israel for a 12-day mission culminating in a group bar mitzvah in Jerusalem's Old City. For some of the octogenarians at Cedar Village in Mason, near Cincinnati, it was their first bar/bat mitzvah. Two rabbis who traveled with the group, Ruth Alpers of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Gerry Walter of Cedar Village, put together a special service for the b'nai mitzvah celebration with a prayer booklet that included the d'var Torah written by each bar or bat mitzvah.
Upcoming Events at HUC-JIR
Dr. Jacob Neusner to Present the 2009 Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture at HUC-JIR/NY -- December 1 at 6 pm
Dr. Jacob Neusner, the renowned historian and theologian, will present the 2009 Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 6 pm at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, One West 4th Street, New York City. Dr. Neusner will lecture on "Reform Judaism for Our Day: Why It Is Necessary." This lecture is sponsored by the Bamberger Family in memory of their father, Dr. Fritz Bamberger, z"l, who served as Assistant to the President and Professor of Jewish Intellectual History at HUC-JIR/New York. Dr. Neusner is Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism and Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theology, at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He also is a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, and Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, England. He has published more than 1000 books and unnumbered articles, both scholarly and academic and popular and journalistic, and is the most published humanities scholar in the world. Photo ID and RSVP required: 212-824-2278 or

NY Memorial Service for Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, z"l at HUC-JIR, One West 4th Street, New York City
Student Services, Sermons, Recitals, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Nov. 14 at 10:30 am: Leading Services: Barbara Block
Nov. 16: Leading Services: Stephanie Clark; Ba'al Korei: Jen Lader
Nov. 17: Leading Services: Samuel Rose-Carmack
Nov. 18: Leading Services: PJ Schwartz
Nov. 19: Leading Services: Erin Boxt; Ba'al Korei: Anne Strauss

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Nov. 16: Schlichai Tzibbur: Jordi Schuster, Cantor Bernstein; Reading Torah: Brad Cohen; Dvar Torah: Aron Klein; Gabbai: Keren Klein
Nov. 17: Schlichai Tzibbur: Jordi Schuster
Nov. 18: Schlichai Tzibbur: Keren Klein
Nov. 19: Schlichai Tzibbur: Keren Klein, Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Rachel Ackerman; Sermon: Josh Samuels; Gabbai: Tamara Wheatley

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Nov. 16-19: Leading Services: Rabbi: Nicole DeBlosi; Cantor: Jamie Marx;
Nov. 18 at 10:45 am: Practica: Lauren Furman, Lauren Philips
Nov. 19: Reading Torah: Vicky Glickin; Gabbai: Elana Rosen Brown

Jerusalem - at 8:30 am
Nov. 17: Sermon: Bethie Miller
Nov. 19: Leading Services: Monica Meyer; Sermon: Keara Cumming
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with the New York City skyline Hanukkah menorah created by renowned ceramic artist Barbara Krohn, $700 plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Please click the icon to the left for a larger image.
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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