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News at HUC-JIR
Dr. Leah Hochman Appointed Director of the Jerome H. Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), has announced the appointment of Dr. Leah Hochman as the incoming director of the Jerome H. Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles as of July 1, 2010. Dr. Hochman is Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and succeeds Dr. Joshua Holo, who will become Dean of the LA campus. Dr. Hochman's areas of specialization include religion and literature, medieval and modern Jewish thought, modern and contemporary Judaisms, ethics and identity, German-Jewish studies, Judaism in the U.S and the Americas, and food and religion.

In announcing her appointment, Rabbi David Ellenson stated, "The scope of Dr. Leah Hochman's expertise will provide scholarly depth and breadth to her leadership of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies. As its Director, she will oversee HUC-JIR's broad range of courses that engage the participation of over 600 undergraduate students at the University of Southern California each year. We look forward to her role in strengthening our unique relationship with USC."
HUC Black Tie Soup Kitchen Gala
All Students, Faculty, Staff and Guests are invited to the

HUC Black Tie Soup Kitchen Gala

Live Auction, Drinks, Food, Music, Dancing

Thursday, January 28th, 7pm-9m
Hebrew Union College, 1 West 4th St, NY, NY

Suggested Donation is $6 (the cost to feed one meal to one guest at the Soup Kitchen)

Please contact Dena at with any questions.

To view the invitation, please click here: Soup Kitchen Gala!
From Generation to Generation: Changing Behavioral Perceptions & Expectations in the Jewish Nonprofits
Wednesday, January 27 at Noon EST

Lori Klein, Assistant Director of the School of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, and Shira Liff-Grieff, Volunteer with the American Jewish World Service Volunteer Corps in Cambodia, will be participating in a webinar titled Here Come the Millenials. It will provide insights into the behavior and expectations of the generation just entering or about to enter the workforce. Examples will be presented of work habits and patterns and how other generational groups may best interact and understand each other. The conference call will reference a selection of articles from the SUMMER/FALL, 2009 issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service, which celebrated the research and accomplishments of the HUC-JIR School of Jewish Communal Service on its 40th Anniversary. In particular, the authors of "From Generation to Generation: Changing Behavioral Perceptions and Expectations in Jewish Nonprofits" will discuss and be interviewed on the research and findings presented in their article. Maggie Bar-Tura will moderate.

To register, please visit

This webinar is co-sponsored with the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America.
Jewish Heritage Museum to Exhibit Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Historical Memorabilia
The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County (JHMOMC) is pleased to announce the premiere of an exhibit featuring a collection of unique and historically significant items of Ocean Township resident Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, the first female rabbi to be ordained in America. Among the memorabilia on display will be letters and photographs, newspaper clippings, paintings, mementos, gifts and other special possessions gathered during her 37 years in the rabbinate.

"A Few of My Favorite Things: The Historical Memorabilia of Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, America's First Female Rabbi" will open with an Invitational Evening Reception on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 from 6-9pm.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Rabbi Priesand will offer an hour-long presentation titled "Reflections on My Life as a Rabbi" on Sunday, February 21 at 2pm, which will be open to the public.
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff Delivers Address As Part Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Observance
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, Vice President for Special Projects at HUC-JIR and Rabbi emeritus at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, NJ, delivered an address on Monday, January 18, 2010, as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Observance in Westfield, NJ.

Rabbi Kroloff said, "Dr. King's extraordinary life and tragic death have taught me four lessons which I will share with you today.

"First: He has taught me the power of faith. When you strip away King's political genius and his organizational acumen, when you cut through his oratorical brilliance and personal charisma, what you are left with is simply this: he was -- a man of faith. When he was disappointed by the failure of the federal government to act and rejected by the black clergy establishment of Birmingham, when his life was threatened on a daily basis and the FBI sought to entrap him, it was the power of his Christian faith that sustained him. The central pillar of that faith was the Biblical teaching that we are all created in the image of God. That meant that we must all be treated with the same dignity and accorded the same basic human rights.
Upcoming Events
2nd Annual HUC Composers Showcase
On Wednesday, February 3 at 10:45 AM, HUC is hosting the 2nd Annual HUC Composers Showcase. This concert will feature original compositions by current students and faculty, for use in both congregational and concert settings. These new works combine the composers' musical talents with their knowledge of our texts and liturgy, honoring our musical heritage while expanding the canon of worship music.

The concert will be approximately one hour long, and will take place in the Minnie Petrie Chapel at HUC New York, 1 West Fourth Street. We hope you will show your support for the next generation of composers and songwriters of the Reform movement!
Student Services, Sermons, Recitals, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Jan. 25: Leading Services: Matt Cohen; Torah Reader: Jason Levine
Jan. 26: Leading Services: Jen Lader
Jan. 27: Leading Services: Stephanie Clark
Jan. 28: Leading Services: PJ Schwartz; Torah Reader: Jordan Helfman

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Jan. 25: Schlichai Tzibbur: Suzy Stone; Reading Torah: Matt Dreffin; Sermon: Reuben Zellman; Gabbai: Aron Klein
Jan 26: Schlichai Tzibbur: Suzy Stone
Jan. 27: Schlichai Tzibbur: Greg Weisman
Jan. 28: Schlichai Tzibbur: Greg Weisman, Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Rachel Joseph; Sermon: Julia Weisz; Gabbai: Rebecca Reice

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Jan. 25: Leading Services: Rabbi: Adena Kemper; Cantor: Aviva Kolet; Educator: Olga Zelzburg; Reading Torah: Daniel Crane; Gabbai: Joshua Stanton
Jan. 26: Leading Services: Rabbi: Adena Kemper; Cantor: Aviva Kolet
Jan. 27 at 10:45 am: Practica: Elana Rosen-Brown, "Yom Kippur Afternoon" and Amanda Winter, "Shabbat Eve"
Jan. 28: Leading Services: Rabbi: Adena Kemper; Cantor: Aviva Kolet; Sermon: Lauren Ben-Shoshan; Reading Torah: Luke Hawley; Gabbai: Amanda Winter

Jan. 28 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Jessica Lebovits; Sermon: Rene Pfertzel
Jan. 29 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Brandon Bernstein; Sermon: Jodie Gordon
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:
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
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.
Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our faculty
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi presented at the Association for Jewish Studies on Dr. Eugene Borowitz with Dr. Haim O. Rechnitzer.

Dr. Amira Meir is participating in the International Conference in Jewish Studies about "The Heritage of Italian Jewry." It will take place at the Gregorian University in Rome in February. The title of Dr. Meir's presentation is "And there are none to say Restore: Sforno's Commentary to the Pentateuchal Poetry."

Dvora Weisberg's "Levirate Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism" (Brandeis University Press) was a finalist for the Women's Studies Barbara Dobkin Award at the 2009 National Jewish Book Awards.

Dr. Gary P. Zola will be speaking at the Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago on Sunday, January 30, 2010. He will be serving as the scholar-in-residence for the "Brockey Rothschild Institute" which is held at The Temple in Atlanta over the weekend of February 5-7, 2010.
HUC-JIR in the News
Dallas-area Christians, Muslims and Jews will worship together - The Star-Telegram
Do Christians hate Muslims? Are all Muslims terrorists? Do Jews greedily control the banking and entertainment industries? Such negative stereotypes based on fear, suspicion and misinformation need to be dispelled, local religious leaders say.

"It's critical," said the Rev. Bob Roberts, pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller, whose Baptist congregation will be part of a multifaith worship exchange next weekend with an Irving mosque and a Dallas synagogue.

On Friday, Christians from NorthWood and Muslims from the Islamic Center of Irving will attend Jewish services at Temple Shalom in Dallas. On Jan. 23, the Islamic Center will host the exchange. And on Jan. 24, the service will be at NorthWood. After each service, Roberts, Imam Zia Sheikh of the Irving mosque and Jeremy Schneider, associate rabbi at Temple Shalom, will answer questions about the differences and similarities of the three Abrahamic religions. "The main thing is ignorance of each other's faiths," said Sheikh, who leads worship at one of the largest mosques in Dallas-Fort Worth. "People who know Muslims have a more favorable opinion of them."
Merrill Alpert: Inspiring Youth - The Jewish Journal
Merrill Alpert, a graduate of HUC-JIR and director of the Far West region of USY, was named a mensch by the Jewish Journal. Alpert received her degree in Jewish studies from UCLA and decided to go into youth work. She coordinated youth programming at several California synagogues, eventually returning to her old stomping ground to become youth director at VBS, where she stayed for 18 years. Alpert, then a mother of four teenage daughters, spent nine months in Israel as a Ziv Tzedakah Fund fellow, and when she returned, got her master's in Jewish communal service from HUC-JIR. When the regional USY director spot opened up, she took it. Alpert now helms a region that raises about $25,000 annually for Tikkun Olam, the organization's national tzedakah fund. And she is amazed anew every time she witnesses the devotion kids bring to USY. She considers it her mission to inspire a love of Judaism in each child that keeps them engaged in their faith throughout their lives. "I want to provide meaningful and spiritual experiences for kids that will make them want to keep being Jewish in the future," she said.
A Hands-On Approach to Torah - The Forward
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Director of Continuing Alumni Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, writes:

"San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum is taking a hands-on approach to learning Torah. Literally. Set to open on January 24, the exhibition From Verse to Universe: Reading the People's Torah provides a unique opportunity for individuals to put their personal stamp on a letter of a Torah for the digital age. Created by New York-based interactive studios Cabengo LLC and Studio Mobile, the exhibition is the concluding exhibit in part of a yearlong show that also involves a traditional scribe. A collaboration among Hillary Leone, Mirek Nisenbaum, Fred Fauquette and Juan Sarria, the People's Torah pushes the edge of technology while engaging tradition.
Kadin is Cantor at Beth Am Temple -
Township resident Marcy Kadin has become the newly invested cantor at Beth Am Temple in Pearl River, N.Y. In Beth Am Temple's 46-year history, close to 20 men and women have served in the position of cantor; Kadin is the first to be invested, which is similar to ordination for a rabbi. Kadin received a master's degree in sacred music as part of her five-year journey to the cantorate in May of 2008 from HUC-JIR and was invested as a cantor this past May. As an invested cantor, Kadin is able to officiate at all ceremonies for Jewish life cycle events including weddings, baby namings and funerals. "I am so excited to serve as cantor at Beth Am; it is such a warm environment that I instantly felt like part of the family. My goal as cantor is to use music, teaching and pastoral counseling, to enable the Beth Am community to experience all that Judaism has to offer," stated Kadin.
Interview with Susan Silas about Helmbrechts Walk at The HUC-JIR/NY Museum - Art on Air
Host Will Corwin had a sobering discussion with photographer, writer, and conceptual artist Susan Silas about her current show at The HUC-JIR/NY Museum titled "Susan Silas: Helmbrechts Walk, 1998-2003." Susan Silas's memorial testament to the Nazi forced death march of 580 female Jewish prisoners at the end of the World War II retraces the 22-day-long march that began on April 13th, 1945 in order to evacuate Helmbrechts, a small satellite unit of the Flossenburg concentration camp before American troops arrived. In visually representing the 225 mile journey from Germany into occupied Czechoslovakia on the 53rd anniversary of the march, Silas, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, presents the dialectics between visibility and invisibility by uncovering the past for those who did not survive to tell their story. The images, contextualized by Silas' commentary of her own experience, are paired with news clips from the same day in 1998, drawing a connection between witnessing to the past and the present. The interview lasts 36 minutes.
Har Sinai Elects New Rabbi - The Baltimore Sun
Har Sinai Congregation elected Rabbi Benjamin Sharff to become its 14th rabbi since its founding in 1842. He will assume the spiritual leadership of the Reform congregation in Owings Mills on July 1st. "One of the main goals of my rabbinate is to help others to understand the beauty and complexity of our religion, our people, and our tradition," Sharff said in a statement circulated by Har Sinai. Sharff comes to Baltimore from Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, Ariz., where he has been associate rabbi since 2005.The son of a Reform rabbi, he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and his rabbinic ordination and a master's degree in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 2004.
Nine Riverside Congregations Putting Up Banners to Promote Unity, Diversity - The Press-Enterprise
Banners are going up at Riverside religious congregations promoting love, unity and diversity. The banners came out of a November meeting that several local clergy held about protests and picketing by neo-Nazis. Several members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement group have picketed three times outside Temple Beth El during Friday night worship services, most recently on Dec. 18, the last night of Hanukkah. The neo-Nazis' demonstrations "certainly prompted us to do this," said Rabbi Suzanne Singer. "But it comes from work we've been doing together to promote unity and diversity....We want to put out a message that these are the values we stand for. This is not about responding to a hate group." Singer was ordained at HUC-JIR in 2003. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters and a Masters of Arts in Judaic Studies from HUC-JIR.
Concert to celebrate song through ages - The Press-Enterprise
A concert featuring vocal music from the Baroque to the contemporary, sung in five languages, will take place Jan. 23 at Congregation Emanu El in Redlands. The concert music will be mostly secular, a celebration of songs through the ages, beginning with the Baroque era. It will acknowledge the recent 200th birthday of composer Felix Mendelssohn, whose grandfather was the famous Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, sometimes referred to as the "father of Reform Judaism." Newly appointed to Congregation Emanu El, cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel began her career in secular music, singing opera and musical theater. She graduated from HUC-JIR's School of Sacred Music in New York. Bern-Vogel's parents, both musicians, survived the Holocaust while many of their family members perished. Her family's connection to the Holocaust also influenced her decision to study Hebrew prayer, which is central to Jewish rites and liturgy. "I have always felt a tremendous responsibility to carry on my Jewish heritage through music, to culturally preserve and revive so much of what was lost," she said.
Biblical archaeology class highlights evidence of the events that are written in the Scriptures - The Villages Daily Sun
The Villages Lifelong Learning College is offering a new two-day course called the Festival of Biblical Archaeology. The class will take the form of a series of seven video lectures from world-renowned biblical historians and archaeologists. Each video will be dedicated to one archeologist or historian. One of the lectures is titled "A Pilgrimage to Ancient Dan" featuring David Ilan, director of biblical archaeology at the Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR. Ilan has participated in many excavations, including Tel Dan, Tel Arad and Har Megiddo (Armageddon), and in this lecture, he will discuss discoveries made in Dan.
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
Jim Cohen, an outstanding silversmith from New Mexico, has turned to natural forms for inspiration in his newest works. This handmade Kiddush cup in sterling silver is inspired by native Calla lilies. 3.5 x 2 x 2 in. $900 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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