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News at HUC-JIR
The Professor Sara S. Lee Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Education
Established in loving tribute by alumni of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, the leadership of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and leading donors to Jewish education across the country, the Professor Sara S. Lee Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Education acknowledges her lifetime of achievement in raising the level of leadership in Jewish education among the generations of students she has taught. Professor Lee's name is synonymous with excellence in Jewish education. Rabbi Tali E. Zelkowicz, Ph.D., was installed as the inaugural recipient of the Professor Sara S. Lee Chair in a ceremony on March 22, 2010. This chair has secured the resources necessary for the Rhea Hirsch School of Education to advance in its efforts to provide exemplary educators for the future for our Jewish community. Please click here for the video of the ceremony. More...
Dr. Ellis Rivkin, z''l, Passed Away on April 7
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's beloved teacher, Dr. Ellis Rivkin, died at 6:20 p.m. on Wednesday evening, April 7, at Cincinnati Jewish Hospital. The funeral service will be held this Sunday, April 11, in the Scheuer Chapel on the HUC-JIR/Cincinnati campus. The service will begin at noon; the Rivkin family will receive visitors beginning at 11:00 a.m. Dr. Rivkin was the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. He published five books, including What Crucified Jesus (UAHC Press, 1997), and The Unity Principle: The Shaping of Jewish History (Behrman House, 2003) and he wrote more than one hundred articles and reviews on Jewish history and early Christianity. Dr. Rivkin lectured widely in the US and abroad and was especially active in Christian-Jewish dialogue. Dr. Rivkin touched and enriched thousands of lives. His memory will always be a blessing. More...
Rabbi Richard Hirsch Honored by State of Israel
Rabbi Richard Hirsch is the first Reform rabbi to receive the honor of lighting a torch during Israel's official Independence Day ceremony. HUC-JIR is proud that Rabbi Hirsch, founder of the Reform Movement in Israel, has been chosen for this national honor. Rabbi Hirsch served as Executive Director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism from 1973 until 1999. Upon his retirement, he was elected Honorary Life President of the WUPJ. He was the Founding Director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center in Washington DC, which he served from 1962-1973. In 1973, he moved to Israel to assume his position at the WUPJ. Rabbi Hirsch served as the Co-Chair of the FSU & Eastern Europe Committee. He has been a member of the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors since 1972. Now he serves as the President of the Zionist General Council. For more information, please click here. To read about his accomplishments at the World Union for Progressive Judaism, please click here. More...
Rabbi Lisa Delson and Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen present the first ever web-based Rabbinic Capstone entitled "Thinking Outside of the Tzedakah Box: A Resource on Fundraising and Philanthropy for Rabbis and Jewish Professionals"
In 2009, two rabbinical students, Rabbi Lisa Delson and Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen, from HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, submitted the first ever web-based Rabbinic Capstone entitled "Thinking Outside of the Tzedakah Box: A Resource on Fundraising and Philanthropy for Rabbis and Jewish Professionals." provides a myriad of resources to engage in discussions on fundraising and philanthropy in a congregational setting. The project is comprised of three parts; online video interviews with some of the most successful rabbis and fundraising professionals from coast to coast, an intense look at traditional Jewish sources on tzedakah and issues of economic justice, and a resource for Jewish professionals seeking advice and teaching tools surrounding fundraising. More...
News from HUC-JIR's Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health
Right now, all across the country, Jewish families are struggling to find matching stem-cell or marrow donors as their only hope for fighting blood cancers and diseases such as Leukemia and Lymphoma. The best chance of finding a match for a patient is from within the same ethnic community... and Jewish patients need more Jewish donors to find a match. Look for BE THE MATCH during the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles Celebration for Israeli Independence Day on April 25th at Woodley Park to join the registry and help save a life! Please contact Michelle Wolf at for more information. More...
Rebekah Stern and Lev Metz Present Paper on "The Redemptive Power of Praise: Psalm 96 Sings a New Song"
Rebekah Stern and Lev Metz, both 2009 Rhea Hirsch MA graduates, had the distinction of presenting a paper in the regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (Pacific Coast Region). The students presented their paper on "The Redemptive Power of Praise: Psalm 96 Sings a New Song." The meeting was held in Tempe Arizona, March 15-16. More...
The Frances-Henry Library Presents "Banned Books & Censorship" at HUC-JIR/LA
Banned Books Week presents an opportunity to discuss an issue that constantly engages us as Jewish and academic librarians: should we practice a limited form of self-censorship when it comes to publications that make us or our readers uncomfortable? Why should we buy and make accessible books that defame, deny, question and offend what we hold to be true and enduring? Are there shared and value-driven guidelines that enable us to allow certain books an honorable re-entry into the Jewish cultural matrix? More...
Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
On April 9-11, Temple Shaari Emeth, Manalapan, NJ, invites Dr. Michael J. Cook to address this summer's 100 performances of Oberammergau's Bavarian Passion Play (produced in years ending in zero). The version in 1930 was used by Hitler to indoctrinate the SS as to why Jews required extermination. In 2003, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops selected Dr. Cook as one of seven scholars to assess the advance text of Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," a Report that triggered the international controversy. He will be recounting his detailed reflections as an insider to that fourteen month ordeal.
Rabbi Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor for Liturgy and Midrash at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, was invited to be a guest speaker at the Ecumenical Kirchentag (Church conference) in Munich. The conference will host more than 100,000 people and Rabbi Marx was invited to take part in some sessions and to give voice to Jewish perspectives. For more information, please click here.
Dr. Gary P. Zola, Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will be speaking at the Jewish Museum in New York on April 22 at 6:30 pm. His lecture, "He Was Like One of Us: American Jewry and the Idealization of Abraham Lincoln," explores the personal and professional characteristics that have persistently inspired American Jews to embrace the 16th President as a man with a "Jewish soul." For more information, please click here.
HUC-JIR in the News
The Past, Present and Future of Jewish Education - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
Ruth Abusch-Magder, HUC-JIR's Director of Continuing Alumni Education on Sustaining Rabbinic Education, writes, "From the time of its founding, Hebrew Union College has led the way in Jewish education in the United States. The founding of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education in 1969 signaled a new phase in the professionalization and professionalism of Jewish education. Today, RHSOE graduates are to be found in synagogues, schools, camps, and organizations across the globe. In addition to training teachers and administrators to work in formal and informal Jewish settings, the school is also a hub of scholarly research about Jewish education. This week, the school entered a new phase. With the dedication of the Sara S. Lee Chair of Jewish Education, the school of education has cemented another important foundation stone on which to build the future of Jewish education. In a moving ceremony, Rabbi David Ellenson inaugurated the Sara S. Lee Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Education at the Los Angeles Campus of HUC-JIR." To watch the ceremony, please click here. More...
Rebecca Tauber Raises Funds for National Health Forum - National Health Forum's HealthBeat Newsletter
Rebecca Tauber, a sixth-grade student at the Robert Saligman Middle School in Philadelphia, PA, writes, "My mother, Dr. Andrea Weiss, is a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion that teaches graduate students studying to become rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators. Every year there is a retreat at the start of the school year for students and teachers. Over the years, we have raised money for Alex's Lemonade Stand (which helps kids with pediatric cancer), the hungry in Niger, refugees in Darfur, global warming, and Nothing But Nets (which purchases mosquito nets for families in Africa). This year, we raised money to help pregnant Pakistani women through an organization called the National Health Forum." To view this article, please visit More...
The Disappearing Congregation - The Record
Evan Schultz (HUC-JIR/New York) flies from New York once a month to his congregation at B'nai Israel Synagogue in High Point, NC. When he's back at HUC-JIR the rest of the month, the third-year seminary student hired as the congregation's part-time pastor comes mostly through e-mail. "That can be difficult for a congregation used to having a full-time rabbi," said Schultz, of his routine since being hired part-time last year. Although some other small Jewish congregations in the South are disbanding under similar circumstances, the Triad's oldest Jewish congregation is determined to survive. "It really shows that we have maybe not a large community, but a strong community," said Betsy Feldman, the synagogue's director of religious education. More...
Holocaust Day of Remembrance Observance - April 11 at Mountain State University - The Register Herald
Since 1995, the ringing of the Lewin Bell Tower at Mountain State University has marked the beginning of Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Day of Remembrance. The 2010 Holocaust Day of Remembrance will be observed at 1 p.m. on April 11. The event will include music, art and poetry from the Holocaust. Meredith Kahan Flowers, second-year student in the rabbinical studies program at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati and student rabbi of Temple Beth El, will be the guest speaker and master of ceremonies. Originally from Cincinnati, she received her bachelor's degree in social work from Ohio State University, where she also directed and performed in the MeshugaNotes, a Jewish a capella group on campus. Flowers is a classically trained vocalist and works as a cantorial soloist at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati. More...
Upcoming Events
National Leadership Symposium to Honor Dr. Norman J. Cohen, Provost Emeritus, HUC-JIR
"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 visit or 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...
Student Services, Sermons, Practica, Recitals, Thesis Presentations, and more!
Cincinnati - at 10:50 am unless otherwise noted:
Apr. 12: Leading Services: Jason Levine and Anne Strauss
Apr. 13 at 10:30 am: Leading Services: Jessica Rosenthal
Apr. 14: Leading Services: Meredith Kahan
Apr. 15: Leading Services: Michal Loving and Brent Guttman

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Apr. 8: Schaliach Tzibbur: Cantor Kent and Rabbi Ken Chasen; Reading Torah: Jessy Gross; Sermon: Arlene Bernstein; Gabbai: Heath Watenmaker
Apr. 12: Schaliach Tzibbur: Joshua Knobel; Reading Torah: Rabbi Levy; D'var Torah: Sara Abrams; Gabbai: Rachel Ackerman
Apr. 15: Schaliach Tzibbur: Joshua Knobel and Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Jaclyn Fromer; Gabbai: Keren Klein

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Apr. 12: Rabbi: Lyle Rothman; Cantor: Alicia Stillman; Reading Torah: Rachel Grant Meyer; Gabbai: Sydney Henning
Apr. 14 at 10:45 am: School of Sacred Music Senior Cantorial Recital: Tifani Coyot Katof presents "Hoshanah Rabbah: A Reform Ritual," about experiencing worship through music, movement, and meditation.
Apr. 15: Reading Torah: Jamie Marx; Gabbai: Josh Breitzer

Apr. 8 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Andy Dubin; Dvar Torah: Sara Lauing
Apr. 12 at 9 am: Drasha: Merav Kalush; Shaliah zibur: Naama Dafni-Kelen
Apr. 15 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Matt Zerwekh; Dvar Torah: Jordan Ottenstein More...
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery in New York
This superbly crafted glass vase comes from the studio of prominent glass artist, Steve Resnick. Known as the Woman of Valor vase, on one side there are shallow etchings of two beautiful women before menorahs, and on the other, a Hebrew phrase engraved deeply with gold leaf that translates to say "We are blessed that you are part of this world". Share this thoughtful sentiment with the gift of this vase. $300, 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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