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Moses and the Journey to Leadership: Visions for the 21st Century" -- A National Symposium Honoring Dr. Norman J. Cohen
"Moses and the Journey to Leadership: Visions for the 21st Century" -- A National Symposium Honoring Dr. Norman J. Cohen" will take place across HUC-JIR's stateside campuses on Sunday, April 18, 2010. The program will take place at 1 pm on the New York and Cincinnati campuses, and at 10 am on the Los Angeles campus - with the presentations and discussion nationally linked through HUC-JIR's e-classroom technology. Organized in tribute to Dr. Norman Cohen, Provost Emeritus and Professor of Midrash, the symposium will feature a keynote address by Dr. Cohen on Moses and leadership. Distinguished faculty scholars will respond in a national dialogue, live from their campuses in New York, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles, on leadership in the American Jewish community and preparing HUC-JIR's students for their leadership roles. The participants include Rabbi David Ellenson, President; I.H. and Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought; Rabbi Jerome Davidson, National Coordinator of Leadership Initiatives, New York; Rabbi Sam Joseph, Professor of Jewish Education and Leadership Development, Cincinnati; and Professor Sara Lee, Director Emerita, Rhea Hirsch School of Education, Los Angeles. A special reception for alumni, students, and friends will take place at 2:30 pm in New York at the conclusion of the symposium. At 2:45 pm in Cincinnati, there will be a panel discussion with leaders of the Cincinnati Jewish Community on "Cincinnati's Jewish Community: Past, Present, Future." To register for the symposium, please contact: Cincinnati:; Los Angeles:; New York: If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Dr. Norman J. Cohen Chair, please send your check to: Dr. Norman J. Cohen Chair, HUC-JIR, One West 4th Street, Room 418, New York, NY 10012. For questions, please call Eve Starkman at 212-824-2285. More...
Live Broadcast: Representative Henry Waxman (CA-D) honored at HUC-JIR - Jewish Journal
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. will broadcast LIVE from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on Sunday, March 14 at 11:00 am. Tune in to this page to watch Honor a Distinguished Democratic Legislator and Public Servant: Representative Henry A. Waxman. This event is part of the Focus on our Future for Los Angeles communal leaders. More...
Founders' Day at HUC-JIR
Each year, Founders' Day programs commemorate the vision of HUC-JIR's founders: Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. New York: Rabbi Lance Sussman will present a lecture at services on March 18 at 10:05 a.m. on "New York State of Mind: Stephen S. Wise and the Founding of the Jewish Institute of Religion" Rabbi Sussman, Ph.D., is Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA. Cincinnati: Founders' Day Services on March 24 at 10:50 a.m. will honor the memory of Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, z"l, Chancellor Emeritus of HUC-JIR. Dr. Gottschalk's writings and speeches will be featured as the readings and creative liturgy in the service. Members of his family and friends in the Cincinnati area will be invited as special guests to attend this tribute. Los Angeles: Students and faculty gathered in the Hilborn Synagogue on February 9 for a Shacharit (morning) service in memory and honor of those who created this institution and the Reform Movement. The community prayed from Isaac Mayer Wise's prayer book Minhag America, offering prayers in his elegant English and a Hebrew which he revised considerably from the traditional text. More...
ASSAF: Judaism, Health and Healing for Clinicians in Review
Kalsman Institute's ten week ASSAF: Judaism, Health and Healing for Clinicians program is coming to a close. Our Closing Retreat is fast approaching March 14-15 in Phoenix, Arizona. The ten-week course was designed for healthcare professionals hungry for exposure to learning on Judaism and health. The final retreat will physically bring this close-knit community together once again to study, pray, talk, and renew. ASSAF continues to fulfill its mission: to provide a strong entry point to physicians, therapists, nurses, and other clinicians eager to explore areas where they can infuse Judaism into daily life and clinical practice. More...
Lecture Series Explores Artistic Expression in Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Hindu Religious Traditions: The Search for the Spiritual through Art Welcomes Hindu Community
On four Wednesdays in April, experts will explore ways in which the sacred finds expression in the symbolism of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Hindu works of art. The series offers the opportunity to view profound artistic expressions at some of the region's most important museums and places of worship. Each evening offers informal tours of each venue's collection either before or after the lecture. The Search for the Spiritual Through Art lecture series originated in 1995 under the title Artistic Expressions of Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to enhance interfaith relations by examining the connections between spirituality and art. On Wednesday, April 14, there will be informal tours at 6 pm of the Skirball Museum Cincinnati at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, followed by a lecture at 7 pm: "The Jewish Bible in Christian Renaissance Art: Why It's There and What It Means" presented by Michael J. Cook, Sol and Adele Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, HUC-JIR, Cincinnati More...
Upcoming Events
A Historic Evening at the Marcus Center to feature
Civil War Artifacts and Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer -

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) will present "A Historic Evening at the Marcus Center" on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at the AJA, 3101 Clifton Avenue, on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. This one-of-a-kind event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a one-night-only display of Civil War artifacts from the vast collections of the American Jewish Archives. Items that will be exhibited include the diary kept by Edward Rosewater, the Jewish Civil War veteran who, as a telegraph operator, transmitted the text of the Emancipation Proclamation; the Congressional medal of Honor received by Union soldier David Urbansky; and Confederate currency bearing the likeness of Confederate statesman Judah Benjamin. More...
Student Services, Sermons, Practica, Recitals, Thesis Presentations, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Mar. 13 at 10:30 am: Leading Services: Scott Segal
Mar. 15: Leading Services: PJ Schwartz and Ariel Boxman
Mar. 16: Leading Services: Stephanie Clark
Mar. 17: Leading Services: Courtney Berman
Mar. 18: Leading Services: Erin Boxt and Samuel Rose-Carmack

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Mar. 15: Schaliach Tzibbur: Leah Jordan; Reading Torah: Lisa Berney; D'var Torah: Brad Cohen; Gabbai: Keren Klein
Mar. 18: Schaliach Tzibbur: Leah Jordan and Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Sara Abrams; Sermon: Rachel Ackerman; Gabbai: Aron Klein

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Mar. 15: Rabbi: Brian Immerman; Cantor: Andrea Rae Markowicz; Educator: Dena Wachtel; Reading Torah: Adena Kemper; Gabbai: Daniel Geffen
Mar. 16 at 10:45 am: School of Education Practica: Yael Gamon presents "Connections Between Personal Stories of Midrash."
Mar. 16 at 10:45 am: School of Education Practica: Josh Franklin presents "The Reforming of Rabbinic Identity: The Adaptation of Jewish Identity from the Second Temple Period to the Rabbinic Period."
Mar. 17 at 10:45 am: School of Sacred Music Senior Cantorial Recital: Jason Kaufman presents "Songs of Love and Prayer: Melodies and Tales written and Inspired by Shlomo Carlebach." The melodies and stories of Shlomo Carlebach penetrate the hearts and souls of Jews around the world. Join Jason and friends as they recreate some of Carlebach's most beloved pieces of music, share just a few of his most precious of stories as well as showcase some of his lesser known musical gems. Be prepared to open your hearts, and sing out in joy.
Mar. 18: Reading Torah: Lauren Furman; Gabbai: Sarah Krevsky

Mar. 16 at 2 pm: Dvar Torah: Monica Meyer
Mar. 18 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Rene Pfertzel; Dvar Torah: Natalie Davidowitz More...
HUC-JIR and JTS Joint Choral Concert
The American Society for Jewish Music and The American Jewish Historical Society present a free performance titled "Glories on Glories" on Sunday, March 14th at 4 pm at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th Street, NYC). The concert will be directed by Joyce Rosenzweig and Hazzan Joann Rice by the combined choirs of HUC-JIR's School of Sacred Music and the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. More...
Ruth Weisberg: Drawings from The Open Door Haggadah
Please join us at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles on Sunday, March 14 from 3:30 to 5 pm for an artist's Reception with Ruth Weisberg in conjunction with her exhibit titled "Ruth Weisberg: Drawings from The Open Door Haggadah." The program will also include a dialogue with Rabbi Laura Geller, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel, Beverly Hills. RSVP online or call Delicia Sauerwald at 213.765.2106 or via email to The exhibition is organized by the Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California and is on view from January 28 - May 31, 2010. More...
HUC-JIR in the News
Reforming Reform Judaism in Israel - Tablet Magazine
As Apartheid Week swept campuses across America this past week, a group of 70 Columbia University and HUC-JIR students gathered Monday night to hear about a different topic: Reform Judaism in Israel. Dr. David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, at an event sponsored by the Columbia Current, predicted that Reform Judaism would be able to grow in Israel despite stifling political and economic structures. Specifically, Ellenson predicted that in the next decade, the number of Israeli Reform rabbis will increase from 60 to 130 or more. "What an Israeli expression is going to require is Israelis who are alive to the culture of what Israeli society is," Ellenson said: a future brand of Israeli Progressive Judaism will not "progress very far at all" if the movement consists solely of Americans. More...
On Absence - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
Rabbi Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs at HUC-JIR, writes his thoughts on absence from the Jerusalem campus. He writes, "How do we cope with the lack of presence? Learning to deal with the pain, guilt, and longing which often accompanies the loss of someone close is an age-old challenge which never loses its sting, or its relevance. But our tradition offers other dimensions to loss and absence. The festival of Purim is, among other things, a reflection on these themes. The fact that God is not mentioned explicitly in the Megillah has given rise to all manner of acrobatic attempts to find hints of the Divine in the text. But we might do better acknowledging this lack rather than denying it. More...
Gay, Lesbian Rabbis Share Hurdles, Triumphs - Jewish Journal
When Denise Eger (HUC-JIR/New York '88) was in rabbinic school in the mid-1980s, she couldn't talk about being a lesbian because that might have gotten her thrown out of the seminary. When Jocee Hudson (HUC-JIR/Los Angeles '07) was at the same rabbinic school two decades later, she also didn't talk much about being a lesbian - because it was such a nonissue. Everyone knew, and it was no big deal. What a difference a couple of decades make. Eger and Hudson, along with rabbis Zachary Shapiro (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati '97), Lisa Edwards (HUC-JIR/New York '94) and J.B. Sacks, shared the stage at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills last week at "Out on the Bimah," a panel of gay and lesbian rabbis sponsored by Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary and The Jewish Journal. Susan Freudenheim, managing editor of The Journal, moderated. The panel offered a personal lens into the sea changes in the gay community over the last 25 years, from the move out of the closet to the fight for marriage equality and the milestones in between. More...
Bring Intermarried Couples Closer to Jewish Community - Jerusalem Post
While affirming "the importance of encouraging in-marriage," that is marriage between Jews, the Reform rabbinate in the United States called this week for a new focus on engaging intermarried couples to bring them closer to the Jewish community. "Intermarriage is a given" in American Jewish life, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which represents some 2,000 Reform rabbis, declared at its 121st annual convention in San Francisco. Therefore, the issue "should be approached with the goal of engaging intermarried families in Jewish life and living," the CCAR said in a statement released to the press on Monday. "We recognize there is a diversity of carefully considered views and practices among Reform rabbis when it comes to officiation," according to Rabbi Charles Kroloff, HUC-JIR's Vice President for Special Projects and chairman of the umbrella body's Task Force on the Challenges of Intermarriage for the Reform Rabbi, from Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, New Jersey. "It is a deeply personal matter of conscience for rabbis. The CCAR is here to help rabbis develop and articulate their approach to embracing and bringing people into Jewish life," Kroloff said. More...
Rethinking Palestine: A Paradigm Shift From the Political to the Humanitarian - Jewish Journal
Dr. Martin Sherman, the visiting Israeli Schusterman scholar at USC/HUC-JIR and the academic director of the Jerusalem Summit, writes in an OpEd to the Jewish Journal, "It is time for the proponents of the two-state solution to admit that the Palestinians have failed the test of history in staking their claim for statehood. A dispassionate evaluation of the events of the past two decades inexorably compels one toward an increasingly evident conclusion: The Palestinians seem far more focused on annulling Jewish political independence than attaining Palestinian political independence, far more committed to deconstruction of the Jewish state than to construction of a Palestinian one. Accordingly, further pursuit of a Palestinian state is likely to prove both futile and detrimental. For as past precedents strongly suggest, it will advance neither peace nor prosperity, but only serve as a platform for further violence against Israel." More...
Kapitulnik to Join Palm Beach Gardens Temple - TCPalm
Rabbinic intern Yaron Kapitulnik will join the staff at Temple Judea in Palm Beach Gardens after his ordainment at HUC-JIR/New York. Kapitulnik, a Tisch Fellow, will work alongside Rabbi Joel Levine as a pulpit rabbi and director of education. A graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Kapitulnik was a paratrooper and paramedic in the Israeli armed forces and an environmental guide in Israel. He worked as shaliach or intermediary in the West Palm Beach Jewish Community Center as Judaic enrichment director and founded "Shalom Baby" and "Six Million Pennies for Six Million Jews." More...
Military Career Helped Him Be A Better Rabbi - Toledo Blade
After Sam Weinstein was ordained a rabbi at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1982, the military services came calling. There was a shortage of Jewish chaplains then, as now, and Rabbi Weinstein said he was glad to serve his country. "I figured I would be in the Air Force for a couple of years," he said. Those "couple of years" stretched into nearly 28, until he retired in December at the rank of colonel. "It was a marvelous career," Rabbi Weinstein told a crowd of about 70 people Wednesday at a "lunch and learn" event at The Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunin in Sylvania, where he has served since 1992. In his entertaining hour-long presentation, he said he was "essentially clueless" about military life when he started out, but was determined to "learn about being an officer as well as a chaplain." The lessons learned in the military helped him become a better rabbi to his congregation at home as he balanced both careers over the years. More...
Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Dr. Adriane Leveen, Visiting Associate Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/New York, will lecture on "Milton Steinberg's Literary Imagination and The Prophet's Wife," as one of the panelists in a symposium on Sunday, March 21 at 4 pm at Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 East 87th Street, in Manhattan. The symposium launches the publication of The Prophet's Wife, a stirring portrait of the prophet Hosea, his free-spirited wife Gomer, and a people seduced by power and idolatry to betray their faith, written by Rabbi Milton Steinberg, author of As A Driven Leaf. Joining Dr. Leveen are Rabbi Harold Kushner, Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College), Dr. Arnold Eisen (Jewish Theological Seminary), and Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter (Yeshiva University), with moderator Gary Rosenblatt of The Jewish Week of New York, the co-sponsor of this program. Admission is free. Please click here for further information.

Dr. Reuven Firestone's article "Banning the Burqa," which was originally published in the Jewish Journal, has been picked up by newspapers and magazines in the Middle East. Most recently, his article was published in the Qatar Morning Post. Please view the Qatar Morning Post article here. Please view the Arabic translation of Dr. Firestone's book here. Dr. Firestone is the Professor of Medieval Jewish Studies at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles.

Rabbi Stephen Passamaneck, Professor Emeritus of Rabbinic Literature at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, has rejoined the world of law enforcement where, in addition to his duties as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Field Division of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives), he is now part of an Intelligence Team for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in the area of Homeland Security. Further, he consults with the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review that reviews Internal Affairs investigations for the Sheriff's Department. He is also a member of the Ethics Committee of the International Conference of Police Chaplains, and regularly attends the ICPC yearly training seminars held throughout the country. Academically, he is working on a translation of a portion of the Shulhan 'Arukh Hoshen Mishpat. The research will take him to Oxford again where he will inspect all the earliest editions of the work housed at the Bodleian Library.
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
Renowned Judaic glass artist Steve Resnick has exquisitely designed and created modern Elijah and Miriam Cups to adorn the Passover Seder table. The blue Elijah Cup has etched scenes of Jerusalem and the red Miriam Cup is inscribed with "Miriam is Prophetess" and is enhanced with waves and seagulls that represent Miriam locating water in the desert. The Elijah Cup is balanced by the Miriam Cup, which represents the female presence at the Seder. The cups are available individually at a price of $350 each, 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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