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News at HUC-JIR
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Announces 2010 Ordination, Investiture, Graduate, and Honorary Degree Recipients
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) has announced the class of 2010, who will be ordained, invested, and graduated this spring in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York. Rabbi Ellenson said, "The Class of 2010 emerges from the College-Institute imbued with leadership skills, steeped in knowledge, strengthened by a commitment to service, and dedicated to bringing hope and healing to our troubled world. As they touch the lives of others through their sacred work as rabbis, cantors, educators, communal professionals, scholars, and pastoral care-givers throughout North America and around the world, they will be a source of inspiration and guidance." Click here to view the national invitation for event details. More...
Professor Martin Sherman Reevaluates the "Peace Process"
Recently, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), working with Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), hosted Dr. Martin Sherman for a Capitol Hill briefing reevaluating the Arab-Israel "Peace Process." Dr. Martin Sherman, currently the Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Southern California and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, delivered a robust and detailed power-point presentation which argued that the current international approach to resolving the Middle East conflict is simply impossible. Dr. Sherman's compelling talk cited a mountain of evidence and quoted various Arab leaders and Left-leaning Israeli politicians to demonstrate that the unworkable nature of the current approach to the conflict has actually been widely recognized by Arab leaders and by left-leaning Israeli politicians, many of whom who still advocate the policies that have led to the current dangerous morass. Indeed, many of these quotes help illustrate that the proponents of the process once clearly understood that Israel cannot afford to live with a hostile entity established in Judea and Samaria, and that many of the Arab leaders who have been involved in various stages of the conflict and of the "peace process" see Palestinian nationalist aspirations as merely a tactical maneuver designed to lead to the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. More...
Marking the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen
Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director of the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, has been invited by the government of Lower Saxony in Germany to attend the memorial ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen on Sunday, April 18, 2010. British troops liberated the concentration camp on April 15, 1945. Today, the Gedenkstatte Bergen-Belsen maintains the memorial site of the camp, including the mass graves in which thousands of victims were buried, among them Anne Frank and her sister Margot. Rosensaft is an advisor to the director and curators of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Museum and Archive. The Museum, which depicts the tragic history of Bergen-Belsen during the Holocaust, also includes a wing permanently installed with Rosensaft's exhibition on the return to life of the survivors after their liberation in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp. The traveling photo-documentary exhibition "Rebirth After the Holocaust: The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950" that is the basis for the Museum's permanent installation continues to travel to museums throughout North America under the auspices of the HUC-JIR Museum. It is currently on view at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson, Arizona, through June 6: More...
New Torah Ark in Honor of Rabbi Richard N. Levy
The Los Angeles campus of HUC-JIR is proud to dedicate a new Aron Kodesh, an Ark, for our Torah Scrolls in the worship space of the Mercaz, in honor of Rabbi Richard N. Levy on the occasion of his transition from Director of the Los Angeles School of Rabbinic Studies to Rabbi of the Synagogue and Director of Spiritual Growth. This Ark will be an integral component of the daily worship program for students and faculty. Funded by friends, rabbinical colleagues in the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, students and family, the Ark acknowledges Rabbi Levy's contributions as teacher and visionary Reform movement leader, who, during his ten years as Rabbinical School Director, brought our dream of a fully ordaining Rabbinical Program on the West Coast into reality. Designed by noted stained-glass artists David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback, who also designed the Ner Tamid, Eternal Light, which was a gift of the 2007 Ordination Class, the Ark is constructed of a beautiful wood base and stained glass inset doors inscribed with the words, "God created me (Torah) as the beginning of God's way." The HUC-JIR Community expresses special thanks to the L.A. Enhancement Committee Co-Chairs - Peachy Levy and Jean Abarbanel - and Buff Given for conceiving of this gift and for their dedicated work with the artists to bring this gift to fruition. More...
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman's Who By Fire, Who By Water - Un'taneh Tokef
The recitation of Un'taneh Tokef -one of the most beloved, prominent and controversial pieces in the Ashkenazi High Holy Day liturgy-defies easy understanding for many people. To be fully engaged when reciting this awesome and fearful prayer, you must first understand the meaning behind it and how it came to be. Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, writes, "If it is the High Holy Days, we are to leave with the conviction that we are indeed mortal beings; that we do balance good and evil sometimes giving in to the latter at the expense of the former; that there is indeed a divine presence before whom we stand; and that we can, with proper repentance and resolve, wipe the slate clean and begin anew with all the promise of a world re-created, a child reborn, a mind reformed, and a conscience reawakened." Who By Fire, Who By Water-Un'taneh Tokef is the first volume in the Prayers of Awe series that will explore High Holy Day liturgy. It is designed to enrich the praying experience for everyone-whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time. More...
Vadim Putzu Receives Targum Shlishi Dissertation Grant
HUC-JIR is proud to announce that Vadim Putzu, a Ph.D. Candidate at HUC-JIR Cincinnati, has received the Targum Shlishi Dissertation grant. Putzu writes, "Wine has always had a prominent place in many different realms of Judaism and Jewish history: in the ritual and in the economy, as an identity marker and as a drug. Nonetheless, no study on its symbolic and instrumental dimensions in the post-Rabbinic period has ever been published so far." Putzu's dissertation project explores the ways in which two groups of Jewish mystics-the kabbalists operating in Safed around mid-16th century, and the first three generations of east European Hasidim-dealt with wine. In particular, it analyzes their use of wine as a symbol and as a technical element in mystical techniques and in magical practices. More...
David Mintz Featured in the 6th Annual Minsk Cantorial Festival
First-year School of Sacred Music student David Mintz was featured in the 6th Annual Minsk Cantorial Festival, while participating in the FSU Pesach Project. David performed selections from the Pesach Haggadah, Song of Songs, and the film, The Prince of Egypt for the 450-person Belarussian audience. David was also featured in a segment on the ONT Belarussian National News Network promoting the Cantorial Festival. Festival co-founder, Rabbi Grisha Abramovich served as the host of this year's program and noted, "the participation of HUC students - adding a presence from the United States and from Israel - has helped the Cantorial Festival to gain recognition far outside of Minsk." Click here to view the concert. More...
Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Dr. Michael J. Cook addressed "The Jewish Bible in Christian Renaissance Art: Why It's There / What It Means," with visuals, to audiences of three art museums and four interfaith organizations, on April 14 (Skirball Museum, Cincinnati campus). On the evening of April 22, the Anti-Defamation League's 22nd Catholic-Jewish Colloquium (Cleveland) is built on Dr. Cook's new book, Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish-Welling in a Christian Environment (Jewish Lights). His keynote unveils his invented term: "'Gospel Dynamics': a Breakthrough in Christian-Jewish Understanding" (held at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah).
Reuven Firestone will present his own experiences in a panel titled "Classroom teaching experiences" at Educating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Leaders for Service in a Multi-Religious World: The American Seminary Context. The conference will take place April 14-16, 2010 on the adjoining campuses of Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC). The gathering is co-sponsored by CIRCLE (Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education), the interfaith center of ANTS and HC, and the Boston Theological Institute (BTI).
HUC-JIR in the News
Rabbi David Ellenson Speaks at Jewish Funders Network - Jewish News of Greater Phoenix Online
Rabbi David Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR, was a guest speaker at the Jewish Funders Network's international summit in Phoenix on Sunday, April 11. This was the second time that this small but influential group has come to the Valley. The three-day conference, whose theme was "Today's Realities, Tomorrow's Possibilities," tackled such issues as Jewish continuity and how it affects funders, leadership development, the impact of a $50 million fund established by the White House for community service, Jewish life in Europe and changing technology, among others. More...
Torah that survived the Nazis to be displayed in Riverside as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day - The Press Enterprise
Rabbi Suzanne Singer (HUC-JIR/Los Angeles '03) said she got the chills Friday when she first touched the Yanov Torah. The Jewish holy book gave spiritual solace to inmates of the Yanov labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and survived against the greatest odds. As Jewish prisoners read from the Torah in Yanov and afterward hid pieces of it under floorboards and inside bedposts to protect it from the Nazis, Singer's mother was in Auschwitz, in another part of Poland. Like all Jews in concentration camps, she was marked for extermination. She lived. "My mother survived the way the Torah survived," Singer said. Rabbi Richard Levy, director of spiritual growth at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, where the Torah is now housed, said the holy book is an illustration of the inmates' unshakable devotion to Jewish law and tradition, despite the horrific, dehumanizing conditions in which they lived. "It serves as a powerful reminder of how powerful faith is," he said. More...
Archeology in Israel with Dr. David Ilan - ABC Radio National
Per square inch, Israel would have to be one of the most archaeologically rich countries in the world, due to its layers of occupation stretching back more than three thousand years. Archaeologist Dr. David Ilan, Director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem has excavated Tel Dan, the site of the Biblical city of Dan. He has some radical ideas for the future of archaeology in Israel. More...
CANDLES Crowd Observes Holocaust Remembrance Day -
The hopeful gathered Saturday afternoon inside the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center as a dozen people participated in the observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, to commemorate a tragedy no one wants repeated. But as speakers noted, what the crowd lacked in volume, it made up for in diversity. Matt Cohen, a student rabbi from Hebrew Union College currently serving Terre Haute's Temple Israel, described the community's support as "global." "It's a very moving ceremony," he said after the candle-lighting observance. "What amazes me is the amount of support from the non-Jewish community." More...
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Hosts Mirta Kupferminc: Wanderings - Art Knowledge News
Mirta Kupferminc, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1955, is a highly acclaimed artist who employs Magic Realism to illustrate loss and dislocation. Focusing on a personal micro cosmos with the intensity of a miniaturist, she fills her paintings with surprising juxtapositions of color, light, and perspective. The artist's Hungarian-born mother and Polish-born father emigrated as Holocaust survivors. There is a continuing reference in her work to their experiences of family loss, dislocation, and renewal. Kupferminc's work is on view through 25 June, 2010 at The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York. 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; Professor Sara Lee, Director Emerita, Rhea Hirsch School of Education, Los Angeles; and Dr. Steven Windmueller, Dean, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, moderator. 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. 19: Leading Services: Jon Kleinman and Jimmy Stoloff
Apr. 21 at 10:30 am: Leading Services: Ari Lorge
Apr. 22: Leading Services: Jordan Helfman and Jessica Rosenthal

Los Angeles - at 10 am:
Apr. 19: Schaliach Tzibbur: Deana Sussman; Reading Torah: Dr. Weisberg; Gabbai: Jordi Schuster
Apr. 22: Schaliach Tzibbur: Deana Sussman and Cantor Kent; Reading Torah: Jordi Schuster; Gabbai: Beau Shapiro

New York - at 10 am unless otherwise noted:
Apr. 19: Rabbi: Lisa Kingston; Cantor: Melanie Cooperman; Reading Torah: David Levin; Gabbai: Adena Kemper
Apr. 21 at 10:45 am: School of Sacred Music Senior Cantorial Recital: Rollin Simmons presents "Common Ground, Uncommon Sound: The Music of our Faith Journeys."
Apr. 22 at 10:45 am: Sermon: Molly Kane
Apr. 23: Reading Torah: Elana Rosen Brown; Gabbai: Lauren Furman

Apr. 17 at 9:30 am: Leading Services: Bethie Miller; Dvar Torah: Lauren Trexler
Apr. 22 at 8:30 am: Leading Services: Jonathan Rothstein-Fisch; Dvar Torah: Emily Barth More...
How am I a Jew? Reflections on Modern Jewish Art and Identity with Dr. Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig
Dr. Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig presents How am I a Jew? Reflections on Modern Jewish Art and Identity on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 3 pm in the Mezzanine Conference Room of the Jewish Foundation of the Cincinnati Library Pavilion at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. The Age of Enlightenment marked a change in Jewish existence in European society. The enormous impact of emancipation on questions of Jewish identity in 19th and 20th century Europe resonates, among other cultural forms, in the art that was produced by Jewish artists. This is the age in which the first Jewish artists, such as Oppenheim, Kaufman, Gottlieb, and Israels, flourished. Constantly probing their own identities through modernistic eyes, these artists laid the foundation for a new form of expression, reshaping and redefining Jewish art. More...
Desert Spirituality: Sand, Sun, & Stars - A Shabbaton at Reform Kibbutz Yahel - 4/23-4/24
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion presents Desert Spirituality: Sand, Sun, & Stars, a Shabbaton at Reform Kibbutz Yahel on April 23 and 24, 2010. Please RSVP to More...
Inside the IDF
Join cantorial student David Frommer for a presentation of his IDF service on Monday, April 19 at 11:15 at the HUC-JIR/New York campus - conference level. Army-style discussion to follow. More...
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery
From the studio of prominent Judaic textile artist, Reeva Shaffer, comes an elegant collection of hand-crocheted kippot for women. The variety of kippot are beautifully adorned with feminine touches that include beaded flowers, sequins and lace. To view the entire collection, please click on here. Each sold separately, $60 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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