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News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR Honors Democratic Legislator and Public Servant: Representative Henry A. Waxman
HUC-JIR cordially invites you to honor Representative Henry A. Waxman (CA-D), Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa and a Distinguished Democratic Legislator and Public Servant. Please join us at the Los Angeles campus on Sunday, March 14 from 11am to 12pm for a presentation and remarks. In January 2009, Rep. Waxman became the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. From 1979 to 1994, he chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, and served as the Subcommittee's Ranking Member in 1995 and 1996. The event is open to the public. For more information, please contact Adam M. Greenwald, Assistant Director of Development at (213) 765-2105 or at More...
Senior Rabbinical Students' Placement Program at HUC-JIR
Senior rabbinical students from across HUC-JIR's stateside campuses convened for placement interviews at HUC-JIR/New York, under the auspices of the CCAR/URJ/HUC-JIR Joint Rabbinical Placement Commission on February 20-23. Twenty-five students (4 from Los Angeles, 7 from Cincinnati, and 14 from New York) seeking assistantship positions in congregational pulpits were interviewed by clergy and lay leaders representing 18 synagogues (16 synagogues interviewed onsite and 2 synagogues did so over the phone). The 25 students represent more than half of the graduating class of 44 students to be ordained; some seniors have already been placed, others are deferring placement for a year for family reasons, and those seeking employment in Hillels, organizations, educational institutions, and other venues interview separately for these opportunities. Placement was organized by the three Directors of Rabbinical Studies: Rabbi Renni Altman of New York, who chaired this year's program, Rabbi Dvora Weisberg of Los Angeles, and Rabbi Kenneth Kanter of Cincinnati. "Integrated placement, whereby all senior rabbinical students interview with congregations on one campus, began about eight years ago," explained Dr. Aaron Panken, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, HUC-JIR. More...
Recruitment Open House: A 24-Hour Taste of HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR is excited to welcome students to the Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York campuses on March 21st and 22nd. Enjoy a day in the life of the HUC-JIR campus of your choice and explore your career opportunities. It's your turn to learn about an extraordinary life at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Registration is free. We offer home hospitality and generous travel subsidies for interested students. Please note that the REGISTRATION DEADLINE is MARCH 11. There are only two weeks left to register for this event! More...
Kalsman Institute is Founding Member of the Academic Coalition of Jewish Bioethics
HUC-JIR's Kalsman Institute is a founding member of the Academic Coalition of Jewish Bioethics (ACJB). The group recently completed a strategic decision to become a Working Group of the Society of Jewish Ethics (SJE), which meets annually in January. Highlights of the most recent gathering, Jan. 7-10, in San Jose, CA, included papers on empathy, shame, and gender roles. More information is available at More...
Upcoming Events
Dr. David Ellenson Lecture on Progressive Judaism and Israel at Columbia University
The Current presents "Dr. David Ellenson on Progressive Judaism and Israel" on Monday, March 1 at 8pm. The event will be held at Earl Hall Auditorium at Columbia University, 2980 Broadway in Manhattan. Tickets cost $5 for students and $10 for the community. Additional donations are appreciated. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Avi Foundation. The event is being co-sponsored by the Columbia/Barnard Hillel. More...
Student Services, Recitals, Sermons, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Feb. 27 at 10:30: Leading Services: Dr. Richard Sarason
Mar. 1: Leading Services: David Gerber
Mar. 3: Leading Services: Jessica Rosenthal
Mar. 4: Leading Services: PJ Schwartz

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Mar. 1: Schaliach Tzibbur: Luann Tyzzer; Reading Torah: Suzy Stone; D'var Torah: Joel Abramowitz; Gabbai: Jordi Schuster
Mar. 4: Schaliach Tzibbur: Luann Tyzzer and Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Leah Jordan; D'var Torah: Sarah Bassin; Gabbai: Beau Shapiro

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Mar. 1: Rabbi: Joshua Stanton; Cantor: Faryn Kates; Reading Torah: Lisa Kingston; Gabbai: Nicole Deblosi
Mar. 2 at 10:45am: School of Education Practica: Philip Bazeley presents "From Where Does My Help Come? A Spiritual Approach to Our Unpredictable Bodies and Souls." It is a curriculum designed to help community members build up their spiritual endurance when confronted with chronic and terminal illness, as well as the development of physical and mental difficulties.
Mar. 2 at 11am: School of Education Practica: David Levy: "Kiddush Levana; Creating Holy Space for Men" is designed to reach out to young men in there 20's and 30's, and invite them to consider the place of Judaism, friendship, and the Jewish community in their lives. Through a series of educational programs, the participants will interact with Judaism through the ritual of Kiddush Levana, Jewish texts and principles, as well as filtered through their own life experiences.
Mar. 3 at 10:45 am: School of Sacred Music Senior Cantorial Recital: Star Trompeter
Mar. 4: Reading Torah: Alicia Stillman; Gabbai: Luke Hawley; Sermon: Carole Gould

Mar. 4 at 8:30am: Leading Services: Emily Barth; Dvar Torah: Carmela Blau More...
Focus On Our Future: Sunday, March 14 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
Join the HUC-JIR/Los Angeles campus on Sunday, March 14 from 11am to 4pm for "Focus On Our Future," a day planned to introduce the southern California Jewish community to key congregational leaders and emerging new leaders at HUC-JIR. It will be a day devoted to studying with four of our faculty, meeting with a cross-section of students from our various graduate programs, and hearing from our incoming dean, Dr. Joshua Holo. As a special part of this day, we will have occasion to honor Congressman Henry Waxman for his years of service to our nation as he receives an honorary degree from the College-Institute. Space is limited so please register early at or contact Adam M. Greenwald at 213-765-2105 or More...
HUC-JIR in the News
Reform Jewish Leaders, Activists Urge Congress to Advance Health Reform Bill - Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement, including Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today sent a letter to Congress and the Administration in advance of President Obama's bipartisan summit on health insurance reform. The letter urges the adoption of a strong, comprehensive health insurance reform bill and comes at a critical time in consideration of reform. It is signed by leaders of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Commission on Social Action, Women of Reform Judaism, Men of Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the American Conference of Cantors, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the North American Federation of Temple Youth. More...
What Do We Know About Jewish Education? Not as Much as You May Think. - HUC-JIR Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
We all believe in the importance of Jewish education, but creating and maintaining experiences, opportunities and institutions of Jewish learning is not always simple. Rabbi Scott Aaron (HUC-JIR/NY '98), Community Scholar at the Agency for Jewish Learning of Greater Pittsburgh and a doctoral candidate in the Philosophy of Education at Loyola University Chicago, raises some questions about how much we know about Jewish learning and the reasons we need to know more. He writes, "Simply put, and with apologies to all of my sociologist colleagues for the generalization, what little was out there [regarding systematic information about Jewish college students] was mostly measuring what Jewish adults did or did not do, not what they did or did not know or believe. This has always perplexed me given the broad spectrum of credible data across the various fields of secular education that I was encountering as part of my studies. How could the most educated ethnic identity group in American history make such massive investments in Jewish education and identity development with so little reliable data to show for it? However, some recent perspectives from academics in the community have gone a long way to explaining this discrepancy for me. It all seems to boil down to a need for reflection." More...
Heart's Ordination: Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) - The Jewish Journal
Anne Brener, ordained at HUC-JIR in 2008 and now an LA-based psychotherapist and spiritual counselor who teaches at the Academy of Jewish Religion, writes, "I think of myself as a premature elder. I was initiated into an involuntary priesthood at a young age. Life presented me with a set of mandates that shaped my life in ways I would never have chosen. Twice before my 24th birthday, I sat shiva. Those seven-day periods initiated me in an unbidden understanding of life's fragility and preciousness. The wisdom of the elders fell upon me, like the blunt end of an ax, when I was still a relative girl. I would give my life not to have had those experiences. Yet what I know as a result of them has made my life worthwhile. This is one of the many paradoxes of the spiritual life, where we must hold, in one heart, vast dichotomies, which include joy and pain - sacred and profane - without that heart breaking." More...
St. Louisan Becomes Youngest Female Senior Rabbi - St. Louis Globe Democrat
Congregation Temple Israel named Rabbi Amy Feder its next Senior Rabbi Sunday. According to the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Feder will become the youngest female rabbi to serve as senior rabbi of a large congregation (1,000 or more families) in North America. After graduating from the University of Michigan with high honors, Feder attended HUC-JIR/New York where she was ordained and received a Master's degree in Hebrew Literature. "I am honored and thrilled with the congregation's decision," Feder said. "The support I have received at Temple Israel since I began working here has been incredible, and I feel so privileged to have the chance to bring this congregation into the next generation. Having been raised at TI, these people have been my community and my family throughout my entire life; there is no other place I would rather be a rabbi than here." More...
The Obligation at the Ballet Box - The Jewish News
Danny Burkeman, who was ordained at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles in 2009 and is now the rabbi of West London Synagogue, writes, "While Britain may not have a law that compels us to vote, our Jewish identity, history and experiences should. It is easy to forget how hard our ancestors fought to have the right to engage in the political process and to be fully accepted members of British society. They fought to give us a voice, so we must fight to use it. We may not always have the politicians we want, but if we don't use our "voices", not only do we lose the right to complain, but we also lose any influence we might have." More...
Unchain your Faith - Jewish Journal
Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes (HUC-JIR/LA '91 and NY '92) writes, "As Passover - our festival of liberation - again approaches, perhaps it is time for our generation of Jews to liberate ourselves from a new set of preconceptions about what Judaism really holds to be true." He lists in these preconceptions that "God lacks name recognition", explaining the various ways in which people refer to God. "According to Torah, our ultimate sourcebook for all things Jewish, God's name is a four-letter word: Yud-hey-vav-hey (known as the Tetragrammaton). Like most four-letter words, it is unpronounceable. Literally. Each of these letters is silent until combined with a vowel, but since the Torah was written without vowels, it is impossible to figure out exactly how to pronounce God's name. Some people pronounce Yahweh based on the vav being vocalized as the German "w." Others read the yud as the German "j" and get Jehovah. Lawrence Kushner [HUC-JIR/Cin '69], the Reform Jewish rabbi-mystic, notes that each of the letters represents the non-sound of air moving through the throat and mouth. He once wrote that God's name is the sound of breathing." More...
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
Bring some color to your Sabbath table with this detailed challah plate. Created by ceramic artist Gaia Smith from Jerusalem, Israel, this challah plate is porcelain with 14k gold and colored detailing. 13.5" x 10." $320 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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