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News at HUC-JIR
Religious Action Center will Host Tu B'shevat Conference Call for HUC Students Interested in Social Action and Social Justice Advocacy
Next Tuesday, January 19th from 1-1:30 pm EST, the Religious Action Center will host a Tu B'shevat conference call for HUC students interested in social action and social justice advocacy. Learn how the RAC and URJ's resources can help you prepare sermons, develop programming, and engage in advocacy. Tu B'shevat's message of caring for the earth that sustains us makes this an ideal time to consider issues of climate change and energy. Hear from speakers including the RAC's Director, Rabbi David Saperstein, Rachel Cohen, the RAC's Senior Legislative Assistant for energy and environment issues, and Sybil Sanchez, the Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).
HUC-JIR is on Facebook!
HUC-JIR is proud to announce a new and improved Facebook page! Find us by searching for HUC JIR on Facebook, or clicking here:

By friending HUC JIR, you will have access to the most current news relating to HUC-JIR and the Reform Jewish community, information about upcoming events hosted by HUC-JIR, and photos of daily life at HUC-JIR.

If you have appropriate news stories, events, or photos related to HUC-JIR, please send a message to HUC JIR on Facebook or email and your story, event, or photo will appear on HUC JIR's Facebook page!
Read HUC-JIR Student Blogs on blogHUC!
Check out the real-life stories of students at HUC-JIR. blogHUC discusses everything from why we chose HUC-JIR, our particular programs, our courses and faculty, student life, the HUC-JIR community, Jewish life, and experiences that are significant in our lives, including student pulpits, internships, and much more.

blogHUC currently features six HUC-JIR students:
Josh, in the rabbinical school, currently participating in the Year-in-Israel program,
Ari, a student in the rabbinical school in Cincinnati,
Natalie, a student in DeLeT in Los Angeles,
Tracy, a student in the School of Sacred Music in New York,
Jenna, a student in the School of Jewish Communal Service in Los Angeles, and
Lauren, a student in the education program in Los Angeles.

Please click here to visit blogHUC and read about life at HUC-JIR!

If you have questions about our blogs, send an email to
Recent Faculty Publications
HUC-JIR is proud of our recently published faculty members:

Tamara C. Eskenazi wrote an article titled "Reading the Bible in Contemporary Settings: A Jewish Perspective," which was published in Swedish in a new graduate textbook edited by Hanna Stenstrom, titled, Interpreting the Bible and the Quran. Conflict and Negotiation. The Swedish titles of the article and the book are: "Atta lasa Bibeln I var egen tid: ett judiskt perspecktiv" in Att tolka Bibeln och Koranen. Konflikt och forhandling. Lund:Studentlitteratur (2009).

Haim O. Rechnitzer co-authored "Theological and Pedagogical Implications of the Role of Zionism in Reform Jewish Manifestos: A Bridge from Vision to Praxis" with Dr. Gabriella Minnes Brandes, published in the Journal of Jewish Education, 75 (2009) 329-349.

Dvora Weisberg wrote a chapter within the book Women and Judaism: New Insights and Scholarship, Frederick Greenspahn, ed. (NYU Press 2009). Her chapter is entitled "Women and Torah Study in Aggadah."
Upcoming Events
Services, Sermons, Recitals, and More!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Jan 16 at 10:30 am: Leading Services: Rabbi Kenneth Kanter
Jan. 19: Leading Services: Dena Shaffer
Jan. 20: Leading Services: Michal Loving
Jan. 21: Leading Services: Nicole Roberts; Torah Reader: Ari Lorge

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Jan. 19 - Jan. 21: Worship Festival
Jan. 21: Schlichai Tzibbur: Cantor Kent, Debbie Friedman; Reading Torah: Keren Klein; Sermon: Rebekah Stern; Gabbai: Jordi Schuster

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Jan. 20: Leading Services: Rabbi: Rachel Maimin; Cantor: Nancy Bach
Jan. 20 at 10:45 am: Practica: Tracy Fishbein, "T'filat Geshem" and Michelle Rubel, "Yom Kippur N'ilah"
Jan. 21: Leading Services: Rabbi: Rachel Maimin; Cantor: Nancy Bach; Sermon: Jonathan Prosnit; Reading Torah: Mary Thomas; Gabbai: Leslie Niren

Jan. 16 at 9:30 am: Leading Services: Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback
Jan. 18 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Avigail Eitam; Sermon: Or Zohar
Jan. 21 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Yoni Regev; Sermon: Rachel Levin
HUC-JIR Recruitment Staff Visiting Campuses in Your Area!
San Francisco, HUC-JIR Presents: Perspectives on Jewish Education - January 26, 2010
UC Berkeley - January 27, 2010
UC Santa Cruz - January 28, 2010 (tentative)
Stanford University - January 29, 2010
University of Pennsylvania - January 29, 2010 - Rabbi Dantowitz will be at Hillel Shabbat services and dinner from 5:30-8pm and will be available for individual meetings during the day.
Pardes Institute, Jerusalem - February 1, 2010
University of Miami - February 8-10, 2010
For more information, please contact:
Biblical Archaeology Lecture Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
David Ussishkin will present a lecture, in Hebrew, on "Canaanite Megiddo in Light of New Findings" as part of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology's "News In Archaeology Lecture Series," designed to present the results of recent archaeological research to the general public in Israel. Admission is free. This series is supported by the Fellner Foundation and its Trustee, Frederick L. Simmons.
Second Annual Greatest Cantorial Concert in South Florida History
The best of Jewish music will be presented on Saturday evening, January 23, 2010, at 8:00pm, in the Second Annual Greatest Cantorial Concert in South Florida History.

More than two dozen cantors and soloists will perform a diverse concert of Jewish song, presented in the beautiful and historic Bertha Abess Sanctuary at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, located in Miami's Performing Arts district.

HUC-JIR is proud to announce that Alicia Stillman, a cantorial student at New York's School of Sacred Music, will be performing in the concert.

For more information (and to view a video of last year's concert), go to
HUC-JIR in the News
Roundtable: Three Movements, One Future - Shefa Network
A public roundtable discussion was held between the major leaders of the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements. Rabbi David Ellenson participated with Richard Joel, the President of Yeshiva University, and Dr. Arnold Eisen, the Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. The discussion was held immediately following the presidential election to discuss economic challenges facing the United States through a spiritual viewpoint. The roundtable addressed the issue that all American Jews need to seek a common ground and common unity. Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El moderated the conversation.
Jews and the Civil Rights Community: There's more to it than You Might Think - eLearning at Hebrew Union College
Julia Philips Berger, a graduate of HUC-JIR's Rhea Hirsch School of Education, has been working with the Jewish Women's Archive to develop new approaches for teaching the history of civil rights. She writes, "As Reform Jews, we are proud of our legacy of social justice. The many Jews who participated in the pivotal events of the Civil Rights Movement are an example of this. In addition to the general Jewish participation and the work of individual Reform activists, there was official Reform involvement in this social movement. While we are proud of the large percentage of white civil rights activists who were Jewish, the actual percentage of Jews who participated in the Civil Rights Movement is relatively small and the majority of these lived in the North. Many Southern Jews did not actively support the Civil Rights Movement. It was not that they didn't believe that segregation was wrong, but that they knew that actively supporting desegregation could be dangerous. This month, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, I hope we can have pride in the fact that our people could be found in the Civil Rights Movement."
Murray Saltzman: Former rabbi of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation was a national force in the fight for civil rights and social justice - The Baltimore Sun
Rabbi Murray Saltzman, former senior rabbi of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation who had served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and was one of the most notable Reform rabbis in the United States, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer at Hope Hospice Center in Fort Myers, Fla. In 1956, Rabbi Saltzman was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he also received a bachelor's degree in Hebrew Letters and a master's degree in Hebrew Letters. In 1975, he was awarded a doctorate in divinity from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. In 1978, Rabbi Saltzman was appointed senior rabbi at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. "When I came here in 1978, I wanted to respond to the disappearance of the Jewish community in America through assimilation. To do that, I had to build a congregation for the education of Jews," he told The Baltimore Sun when he retired in 1996.
Kashrut and Community - Sh'ma
Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D., director of continuing alumni education at HUC-JIR and a scholar of the Jewish food history, writes: "The Latin root of the word companion ("com" – with, and "panis" – bread), literally means, the one with whom we share bread. This reminds us that connection comes when we break bread together. Much of the value of eating together comes not from the food itself but from the common humanity that emerges when we talk with others and acknowledge their faces around the table. I am not foolish enough to think that sharing a pizza will paper over the vast ideological differences that have molded the plurality of Jewish expressions; nor do I desire it. However, if we do not sit with each other, we lose opportunities to learn from each other, to broaden our experiences, and to stretch our understanding of what it means to be Jewish. Historically, kashrut was one means by which Jews connected to each other and were distanced from the non-Jewish world. For example, Jewish travelers in the pre-modern era often relied on the hospitality of Jews to feed them – a sign of trust and relationship with the other. Not being able to share a meal, then, means that we forfeit opportunities of companionship with other Jews, opportunities that are essential for maintaining community.
Blankets of Love - TribStar
Children are learning the meaning of tzedekah, the Hebrew word for charity, at United Hebrew Congregation by participating in a blanket-making project for newborn babies at Terre Haute Regional Hospital. This is the second year the congregation's religious school children made blankets for those in need. Student rabbi Matt Cohen of HUC-JIR/Cincinnati taught a dozen children two Hebrew songs while playing an acoustic guitar. The first, "Betzelem Elohim," means "created in God's image." The lyrics explain that since humans are made in God's image, they are obligated to make the world a better place. Acts of charity are one way to do that. "Judaism stresses the concept of tzedekah, or charity," he said. The second song, "Vahavta," means "You Shall Love," and the lyrics instruct people to love their neighbors as they do themselves. "It's wonderful to see that the kids are partaking in such a worthwhile cause," Cohen said.
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
Celebrate Shabbat with the art glass candlesticks by contemporary Venezuelan artists Alicia and Beatriz Kelemen, whose work is in the permanent collection of The White House. $180 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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