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News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR is Bringing the Experience to You!
HUC-JIR is proud to offer a variety of recruitment opportunities to learn about beginning an extraordinary life as a Jewish leader. Please note that February 3 is the last call for applications! From March 21st to 22nd in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR is hosting an "Open House: A 24 Hour Taste of HUC-JIR." Enjoy a day in the life of the HUC-JIR campus of your choice and explore your career opportunities. Registration is free; home hospitality and generous travel subsidies are available. From March 19th to 20th in Cincinnati, HUC-JIR is hosting "College Colloquium: New. Jewish. Horizons." Join Jewish college students from across North America and share the pursuit of personal, spiritual, and academic growth. On February 25th, HUC-JIR in Jerusalem is hosting "This Year in Jerusalem: Open House." Sit in on classes and meet HUC-JIR students. From April 23rd to 24th in Jerusalem, HUC-JIR is hosting the Spring Shabbaton at Kibbutz Yahel. More...
HUC-JIR is on Twitter!
HUC-JIR is proud to announce a new Twitter page! Find us by searching for HUCJIR on Twitter, or clicking here: By following HUCJIR, you will have access to the most current news and events relating to HUC-JIR and the Reform Jewish community. If you have appropriate information regarding news or events related to HUC-JIR, please send a message to HUCJIR on Twitter or email and your story will be tweeted on HUCJIR's Twitter page! More...
Day of Learning at HUC-JIR/LA
The Sustaining Alumni Education Group is pleased to present a Day of Learning on the HUC-JIR/LA Campus, Thursday February 18, 2010. Dr. Isa Aron will share her most recent research on change. The theme for the day is "Visionary Leadership in a Time of Change," focusing on Visionary Synagogues, a soon-to-be published (Alban Press in 2010) study of the long-term effects of congregational change initiatives, conducted by Isa Aron, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence Hoffman, and Ari Y. Kelman. Please visit the following link and register for this important day (ASAP!): More...
It's Not Too Late to Learn About the Religious Action Center's Tu B'shevat Resources!
In case you missed HUC-JIR students' Tu B'shevat conference call with Rabbi David Saperstein and advocates highlighting the Religious Action Center's resources for programming and advocacy around the environment, please visit the RAC's Tu B'Shevat holiday page. You can listen to a complete recording of the call, learn about the RAC's wealth of social justice materials, and how the Center can help you serve your congregation for religious and secular holidays year round. Please contact RAC Legislative Assistant Juliana Schnur, 202-387-2800, with any questions. More...
Gathering the Waters: Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh and Education Center Conference
Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh and Education Center is hosting the international Mikveh Conference, "Gathering the Waters" to be held in Boston, October 10-12, 2010. The conference will provide an in-depth exploration of the contemporary mikveh in theory and practice. Internationally renowned scholars, clergy, and educators will teach about immersion as a powerful tool for spiritual renewal, marking life transitions, and observing mitzvot. Get more information here or contact Amy Chartock, National Programs Director, at or 617-244-1836 x 203. More...
Joseph A. Skloot to Present on "Blood and Guts in Jewish Law" at the Paris-Sorbonne University
HUC-JIR is proud to announce that Joseph A. Skloot, a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University and Rabbinical Student at HUC-JIR/NY, was accepted to present a paper at a conference on "Norms and Normativity in History" at the Paris-Sorbonne University. Skloot's paper is titled "Blood and Guts in Jewish Law: The Laws of the Forbidden and the Permitted and Religious Norms in Rabbi Moses Isserles' Glosses on the Shulchan Aruch." The paper was based on research compiled for Skloot's senior thesis at HUC-JIR advised by Rabbi David Ellenson. The conference is jointly sponsored by the History Departments of Columbia and the Sorbonne and was organized by faculty and graduate students in the field. More...
Upcoming Events
Second Annual HUC Composers Showcase at HUC-JIR/NY
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! More...
Concert Featuring Cantor Azi Schwartz of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Cantorial Faculty - Jan. 31 at 4 pm
Cantor Azi Schwartz, a member of the cantorial faculty at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, will be performing in a concert entitled "Cantors in Song: A Concert to Honor Shabbat Shirah" on Sunday, January 31 at 4 pm at Park Avenue Synagogue, Madison Avenue at 87th Street, New York City. Cantor Schwartz will perform traditional hazzanut, Broadway ballads, and contemporary liturgical compositions, including his own. This concert, featuring Park Avenue Synagogue's three cantors, will also feature Cantor Nancy Abramson and Cantor Elana Rozenfeld. Admission is free. More...
Student Services, Sermons, Recitals, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Jan. 30 at 10:30 am: NFTY Study Kallah; Leading Services: Chaim Rechnitzer
Feb. 1: Leading Services: Daniel Bogard; Reading Torah: Daniel Bogard
Feb. 2: Leading Services: David Gerber
Feb. 3: Leading Services: Erin Boxt
Feb. 4: Leading Services: David Spinrad; Reading Torah: Jon Kleinman

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Feb. 1: Schlicha Tzibbur: Sara Abrams; Reading Torah: Adam Wright; Dvar Torah: Deanna Sussman; Gabbai: Rachel Ackerman
Feb. 4: Schlichai Tzibbur: Sara Abrams, Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Luann Tyzzer; Sermon: Beau Shapiro; Gabbai: Tamara Wheatley

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Feb. 1: Rabbi: Anne Laurent; Cantor: Lauren Furman; Reading Torah: Nicole DeBlosi; Gabbai: Rachel Van Thyn; Dvar Torah: Tifani Coyot
Feb. 2 at 11 am: Rachel Petroff will present her Senior Education Practicum on "The Eternal is My...Exploring Our Relationship with God through Torah and Midrash"
Feb. 3 at 10:45 am: HUC Composers Showcase
Feb. 4: Rabbi: Anne Laurent; Cantor: Lauren Furman; Reading Torah: Melanie Cooperman; Gabbai: Nancy Bach; Semon: Diana Fersko

Jerusalem - at 8:30 am:
Jan. 29: Leading Services: Brandon Bernstein; Sermon: Jodie Gordon
Feb. 4: Leading Services: Jonah Zinn; Sermon: Bess Wohlner More...
HUC-JIR Recruitment Staff Visiting Campuses in Your Area!
HUC-JIR Is Coming to You!

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: More...
Tu B'ShTop Chef at HUC-JIR/NY
Sharpen your knives and celebrate Tu B'Shvat, the Jewish "New Year for Trees," with a cooking competition! MONDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2010 at 11:15 in the CL at HUC-JIR/NY. Chefs, assemble teams of 2-5 people and we will provide the Tu B'Shvat inspired ingredients. Entries will be assessed on taste, presentation, and Tu B'Shvatiness. Salad lunch will be served for all who attend!! Questions? Ask Hannah Goldstein at More...
Master Class with Cantor Ida Rae Cahana at HUC-JIR/NY
On February 8, 2010, we will welcome Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, class of 1993. She will present a Master Class and share with us her insights from her illustrious and varied career – including Toledo, Providence and Central Synagogue in New York.

11:00 -11:45: Cantor Cahana will sing and speak about her career and recordings.
11:50 – 12:20: Cantor Cahana will join us for a discussion. More...
Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Dr. Michael J. Cook is serving as scholar-in-residence for the "Blackman Memorial Lecture Weekend," Temple Sinai in New Orleans, January 28-31; before that as Scholar-in-Residence, January 15-17, for the convocation of three Ohio synagogues: Temple Israel (Columbus), Congregation Beth Tikvah (Worthington) and Temple Beth Shalom (New Albany).

Beatrice Lawrence was published in "Method Matters: Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David L. Petersen" (Edited by Joel M. LeMon and Kent Harold Richards). Her essay is titled "Gender Analysis: Gender and Method in Biblical Studies." More...
HUC-JIR in the News
My DNA is the Jewish people - The Jerusalem Post
The newly appointed dean of HUC-JIR - the stronghold of Reform Judaism in the city and in the country - is not an unknown person here, yet the prestigious appointment itself didn't make it into the headlines of the local press. In a way, this epitomizes the current position of this institution, as well as other Reform centers: It is not that they are totally unknown to the general public, but somehow they rarely make the news. Rabbi Naamah Kelman, the first woman to be appointed dean of HUC, explains, "My life is an ongoing love story with the Jewish people. Besides that, my passion is that I want to make a difference, in Israel and in Jerusalem. I've been very fortunate to be born in an era where Jewish women can make a difference, where the Jewish state and Jerusalem at its heart is a place where individuals can make a great deal of difference - that's what drives me. I have a vision for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. And as I say, it's overwhelming me. And on top of that, there is my love for the next generation. When you work in the academy, you're training the next generation, the next leadership. That's where you can make a difference." More...
The 'Evil Son' Has Evolved - The Jewish Week
Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, professor of liturgy at HUC-JIR/NY, is an expert in the field of Jewish ritual and spirituality. He writes, "This week's portion contains the very bedrock of Judaism: the charge to tell the story of the Exodus to every "next generation." Our challenge is not the message we are to tell – the insistence on freedom could not be more relevant. What should concern us is the particular "next generation" to whom we are supposed to be doing the telling." More...
Rabbinical Student Makes Cross Cultural Music - The Canadian Jewish News
Noam Katz, a fifth-year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR/LA, recently released his latest album titled A Drum in Hand, which blends traditional prayers with hand drumming and rhythms from around the world. Upon graduation, Katz hopes to help the Jewish community develop connections with other areas of the Diaspora through social justice and the arts. Katz was exposed to a cross-cultural musical experience when he met J.J. Keki, the leader of the Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda. "I was just blown away by the authenticity and diversity of their Jewish music. They had their own melodies, harmonies, blending Hebrew liturgy and East African rhythms together." More...
After A Life On The Run, This Refugee Is Studying In Israel - The Jewish Chronicle
A Christian from the Dinka tribe, G Thon Kuol is one of tens of thousands of Sudanese "lost boys" – children displaced or orphaned during the 1983-2005 civil war, in which two million people were killed. Threatened with capture by government troops bent on enslaving him and converting him to Islam, "I ran alone to the bush, joining other lost boys there," he recalled. "Many died from hunger, thirst, wild animals and tribal militias." "I was assaulted several times. Many people were disappearing. I decided that because I can't go back to Sudan, I can't go to Libya, that my only hope was Israel – that I'd have protection there." While working as a shepherd, he travelled to Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem twice a week to attend an ulpan, or intensive Hebrew studies. In his classes, Kuol leaves his own harrowing story aside. "My classmates treat me very well. Some wanted to know about my past but I am reluctant to tell them because we don't have enough time for that." More...
Oren Asks for Inquiry on Wall Arrest - The Forward
Andrea Rae Markowitz, a student at HUC-JIR/NY's School of Sacred Music, volunteered to lead the Torah service on Rosh Chodesh Tevet in support of Women of the Wall. Nofrat Frenkel was detained after she wore a tallit and carried a Torah in the women's section of the main plaza approaching the wall. According to her account, which was supported by independent observers, police forcefully pushed Frenkel, an Israeli medical student and observant Conservative Jew, into a nearby police station, where she was interrogated and detained for two-and-a-half hours. The police had her sign a statement saying she would not go near the wall for the next 15 days. More...
Trees as Models for Spiritual Growth - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
What is the difference between trees and vegetation more broadly that they have separate and distinct new years on the Jewish calendar? Animals, people and even water are all subject to divine judgment. Trees, however, disappear. Only their fruit remains to pass before God. Again, what are we to make of this distinction? Moreover, in Midrash Bereshit Rabba 13:2, we learn that trees have a special relationship to people. The trees "converse with mortals; all trees–created, as trees were, to provide fellowship for mortals." More...
Proportionality & Hypocrisy: NATO in Kosovo vs. IDF in Gaza - The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Professor Martin Sherman, the 2009-2010 HUC-JIR/University of Southern California Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor of Security Studies and International Policy, writes, "The international furor over the Goldstone Report and the ongoing censure of Israel over its conduct of "Operation Cast Lead" refuses to die down, even against the backdrop of the country's remarkable humanitarian efforts in earthquake-stricken Haiti. It is this unending maelstrom of condemnation that imparts particular pertinence to the words with which an official NATO representative chose to respond to criticism regarding the numerous civilian casualties incurred by the alliance's frequent air attacks during the war in Kosovo between March and June 1999. Jamie Shea, the NATE spokesman, insisted NATO planes bombed only "legitimate designated military targets" and if civilians had died it was because NATO had been forced into military action. Adamant that "we try to do our utmost to ensure that if there are civilians around we do not attack," he emphasized that "NATO does not target civilians...let's be perfectly clear about that." Hundreds of civilians were killed by a NATO air campaign, however, code named "Operation Allied Force"-which hit residential neighborhoods, old-aged sanitariums, hospitals, open markets, columns of fleeing refugees, civilian buses and trains on bridges, and even a foreign embassy. More...
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,

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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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