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October 07, 2010
Spotlight On
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
Faculty News
Photo of the Week
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery
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HUCNews is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.
Spotlight On
Fall Open House: A 24-Hour Taste of HUC-JIR

HUC-JIR is excited to welcome students to the Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York campuses on October 10 and 11, 2010. Over 40 participants will enjoy a day in the life of the HUC-JIR campus of their choice. They will meet students who share their vision for the future, discuss contemporary issues with faculty experts, and find a career that will transform their lives and make a difference for others. Please click here for Rabbi David Ellenson's greeting to prospective students at the Fall Open House.

News at HUC-JIR
Welcoming the New Academic Year with the Israel Rabbinic Program

The Israel Rabbinic Program at the Jerusalem campus will open its academic year on October 11, 2010, with a festive Shacharit service led by the faculty, followed by a lecture by Prof. Israel Levine on "Archaeology as a revolutionary factor in our understanding of Jewish life in antiquity; Case study: the synagogue." The day will continue with joint text study groups for students and rabbis who mentor student rabbis in the field. Students will then begin their semester's classes, while the mentoring rabbis will participate in an in-service workshop led by Dr. Michal Muszkat-Barkan and Elchanan Adler, "Active listening in rabbinic mentoring."

Spiritual Care Workshop for the High Holy Days

On September 2, 2010, 40 Israeli pioneers in the field of Spiritual Care gathered for a one-day workshop to prepare for the High Holy Days. Throughout Israel, there is a growing network of organizations and initiatives promoting professional and volunteer Spiritual Counseling. HUC-JIR's Mezorim program of the Blaustein Center for Spiritual Counseling has been at the forefront of this growing movement, which has been nurtured and supported by the UJA Federation of New York. The day was organized by Dr. Ruchama Weiss, who oversees all the programs at the Blaustein Center. This was a successful gathering for this emerging field that seeks the wisdom and insight from each others' efforts and experience.

What Are We Doing Here?

Galit Cohen Kedem, a third-year student in the Israeli Rabbinic Program, shares her reflections on her Yom Kippur experience. She writes, "The gathering was festive and moving, the prayer simple and beautiful. It was clear to me that most of the participants had never experienced an accessible, egalitarian service - led by a woman, yet! It was clear to me that it was not so easy for everyone. There were moments when people connected more; there were moments of awkwardness and even alienation - even for me. It was clear to me that not everyone who came will want to continue to participate in the activities of the new community. But I have no doubt that from here we can only grow - our leadership, our community - and that we can serve as a serious and sustainable alternative for those who don't yet feel at home in their Judaism."

HUC-JIR in the News
Hebrew Union College Bounces Back -

Nearly a year after the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR was rescued from a potential shuttering, there are nascent signs of recovery. "One year later, we're talking about not only maintaining this campus but using it to recruit the future rabbis and leaders of the Jewish people," said Rabbi Ken Ehrlich, Dean of the Cincinnati campus. "In a very real way the board said, 'Your future is in your hands.' I think the potential of this campus is limited only by our imagination."

The Politics Of Anger: Are Jews Becoming Republicans? - The Jewish Week

Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Professor of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, writes, "The national anger found among the electorate concerns the economy, jobs, health care reform and foreign policy. American Jews are angry as well. Many Jews are upset over how Israel has been depicted by governments, commentators and press reports. Others reflect the concerns that millions of Americans have over the domestic agenda and the economic crisis. Some within the Jewish community have directed their disappointment over these and other matters at President Obama. Still others remain angry over the Madoff affair and its impact in undermining the Jewish communal system and the economic well-being of thousands of families. Certainly, Jews are concerned over the rise of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities on college campuses, across Europe and throughout the Middle East."

Panel on Politics from the Pulpit - The Jewish Journal

As election season nears, the Reform movement is helping its rabbis navigate the fraught landscape of politics and the pulpit. The Central Conference of American Rabbis published a special issue of its quarterly journal with 13 essays delving into the moral, practical and historical implications of rabbis and congregations taking on political issues. "There seems to be a growing sense that anything labeled as political is somehow not appropriate for discussion in synagogues," said Rabbi Richard Levy, Rabbi of Campus Synagogue and Director of Spiritual Growth at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, who served as guest editor for the journal. "'Political' is that which deals with the 'polis' - the social community. Therefore, when there are moral or sometimes religions issues that the community is dealing with, its members and especially its leaders - for the synagogue, that means the rabbi - have to address those issues, and to address them out of the tradition."

Interfaith Rally in New York City - Odyssey Networks on

Joshua Stanton, third-year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR/New York, participated in an interfaith rally in New York City on September 12, 2010. More than 1,000 New Yorkers gathered at the Church of St. Peter for a march in support of the Park51 Center. Stanton said, "Today we are bringing together leaders from all different faith communities, philosophical communities, to gather and show support for the Park51 Community Center."

My Faith: Why I Lead an Online Synagogue -

Rabbi Laura Baum (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati '08) writes, "We maintain so many of our personal and professional relationships online. So why would our religious involvement be any different? I don't see why it should be, and neither do the thousands of participants in our online congregation, Since 2008, we have been building a virtual congregation by streaming video of sermons, supporting each other with social media like Facebook and connecting face-to-face over Skype. Using computers and mobile devices, people connect to us (their rabbis), each other, and Judaism year-round."

Prayer for Difficult People - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

The holidays are the highest stress period for those of us working as professionals in the Jewish world. Some of the most difficult people in our communities only show up once a year, but then they come en masse. The people who are normally difficult show up more frequently. And throughout, the increased pressure and time commitments can deplete our patience. As the High Holy Days of 5771, fade into the regular rhythms, Rabbi Mark Sameth (HUC-JIR/New York '98) shares his thoughts on dealing with difficult people.

A Green Jewish World: Life At Kayam Farm - The Baltimore Jewish Times

Jessy Gross, a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, is deeply involved in the Jewish food movement, Jewish identity, tradition and how food plays into that tradition. Gross works at the Kayam farm, a working farm outside Baltimore with a strong educational component. It's not education in a traditional manner, because one does get his or her hands dirty. "You feel things, you touch and taste things, and you know the natural process and what it has to do with Jewish tradition, Jessy said. Kayam is such a unique thing. It's one of a kind. Most Jews don't know that we have a tradition that spans thousands of years of agricultural laws and values. Jews lived according to agricultural values. Our relationship to the land is inherent to being a Jew."

Have Faith in these Dynamic Leaders - The Charlotte Observer

Rabbi Judy Schindler (HUC-JIR/New York '95) of Temple Beth El, a Reform Jewish congregation in Charlotte, was listed as one of ten religious leaders who stand out these days in Charlotte's ever-changing spiritual landscape. She is now building an expanded synagogue, but her high public profile has more to do with her outspokenness and activism on social justice issues and interfaith outreach.

Gimme Shelter: The Sonic Sukkah Experience - The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

"Gimme Shelter: The Sonic Sukkah Experience" recruited eighteen artists, musicians, writers, and community leaders to lend their voices to an interactive, audio sukkah. Rabbi Elliot Kukla (HUC-JIR/Los Angeles '06) is a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco, providing spiritual care to those struggling with illness, grieving or dying. His articles on gender and Judaism are published in numerous magazines and anthologized widely; he has lectured on Jewish perspectives on mental illness, death and dying, and on gender and sexual diversity; and his blessings and prayers for new life cycle moments are used in synagogues across the country.

Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:

Professor Sarah Benor led a discussion at the University of Colorado at Boulder on September 28, 2010, titled "Movers: Speak Jewish?" The discussion asked questions such as: Is there such thing as "American Jewish English"? If so, how does it compare and relate to Jewish languages of the past? Benor's introductory lecture focused on the history of Jewish languages and some of their distinctive features. In the facilitated breakout groups that followed, participants were given quotes and questions for discussion. The concluding session examined American Jewish diversity, which is reflected and constructed in language.
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR, was the interlocutor for a presentation at Los Angeles' Central Library on September 28, 2010. Click here to view the podcast of the presentation. He will participate in the Progress Jewish Alliance's Valley Salon Series on October 10, 2010 on "Stigma: A Conversation on Islamophobia and Antisemitism." Click here for further information. On October 12, 2010, Firestone will lead a URJ Webinar: "Torah Alive: The Qur'an, Jihad, and Ground Zero - What do Islamic Sources Really Say About Jews and other non-Muslims?" Click here for further information. On October 20, 2010, Firestone will present a paper at the Eighth Doha Conference for Interfaith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar, entitled "The Need for Educational Reform in Religious Education that Teaches Honor and Respect for Other Religions."
Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual at HUC-JIR/New York, will present the Annual Cohon Memorial Lecture on October 29, 2010, at 7:30 pm at Temple Sinai of Brookline, MA. He will talk about "Builders, Baby Boomers and Beyond: Looking for American Jewish Identity," a nostaligic revisiting of baby boomers growing up.
Christopher Eli Kraus, JD, MTS, Visiting Instructor in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will present at a national conference on October 9, 2010, in Cincinnati on Contemporary Issues in Adolescent Medicine, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Adolescent Clinic/Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center titled "Teen Health Professional as Advocate: Building Bridges of Consent and Confidence Between Teens and Adults." On November 7, 2010, Kraus is leading a seminar for the World Day of Jewish Learning, co-sponsored by Jewish Education Society of North America and Jewish Community Centers around the world, including the one in Cincinnati, titled "Love and Relationships in Jewish Life", at the Mayerson JCC.
Rabbi Charles Kroloff will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination with an afternoon of study at Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, NJ, on October 16, 2010. Rabbi Kroloff, Vice President for Special Projects at HUC-JIR, said, "I believe Torah study and Jewish education are the core of Jewish life. From that flow knowledge and community and social justice and faith." Click here for more information.
Robert E. Tornberg, Education Director of HUC-JIR/Los Angeles DeLeT, had two papers accepted for presentation at the American Evaluation Association Conference in November in San Antonio. AEA brings together 2500 evaluation practitioners, academics, and students from around the world. The first paper, "The Essentials of a Quality Evaluation Capstone Project, Practicum or Internship: Students' Perspectives," Tornberg, together with two other graduate students, will describe and analyze our experiences "in the field" as a positive learning experience. In the second paper, entitled, "Study of the Process and Effects of the Evaluation Fellows Program," Tornberg and two other researchers will evaluate the impact of the Evaluation Fellows Program which was held under the auspices of the University of Minnesota. The program brought together educational practitioners, evaluators, funders, and policy-makers, to look at school reform in the light of the methods used to evaluate those reforms.
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Professor in Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, will address "Dedicating Synagogues and Building Community: Reflections on the Changing Realities Facing American Jews" on October 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm at Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino, CA. Click here for further information. On October 22, 2010 at 11 am, Windmueller will participate in the panel symposium at the AJC Board of Governors' Institute at the Tarrytown House Estate in Tarrytown, NY.

Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture with Dr. David B. Ruderman: October 12 at 6 pm at HUC-JIR/New York

Dr. David B. Ruderman, Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and Ella Darivoff Director of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, will present a keynote lecture on "The People and the Book: The Invention of Print and the Transformation of Jewish Culture" at HUC-JIR/New York. The Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Bamberger Family in memory of their father, Dr. Fritz Bamberger, z"l, who served as Assistant to the President and Professor of Jewish Intellectual History at HUC-JIR/New York. RSVP: or 212-824-2293. Free admission; photo ID required.

Opening Reception for A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles: October 13 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the HUC-JIR/New York Museum

The opening reception of A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles will take place on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm at the HUC-JIR/New York (One West 4th Street). Significant international textile artists explore issues of Jewish history, culture, social justice, ritual, and sacred texts. The exhibition is on view through June 30, 2011. RSVP: or 212-824-2293. Free admission; photo ID required. Click here to view the exhibition press release.

27th Annual Cincinnati Associates Tribute Dinner: October 24 at 5:30 pm in Cincinnati

HUC-JIR invites you to the 27th Annual Cincinnati Associates Tribute Dinner to benefit the students of the Cincinnati campus on Sunday, October 24, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency (151 West Fifth Street, Cincinnati). The event will honor Karen M. Hoguet, Chief Financial Officer at Macy's, and James A. Miller, Chairman at Bartlett & Company. The Dinner Chairman is Dick Weiland. The reception will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner at 6:00 pm. For more information, please contact (513) 487-3047 or Click here to view the invitation.

HUC on the Road in CHICAGO: October 25 at Temple Beth Israel in Skokie, IL

Join us in Chicago at Temple Beth Israel for a day of learning on Monday, October 25, 2010. The day will begin at 9:30 am with a special session led by Dr. Michael Zeldin, Director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, on "Mentoring: Beyond Supervision and Evaluation" for HUC-JIR alumni and CATE members. The Chicago Jewish community is invited to participate in a presentation, discussion, and lunch from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm with Dr. Samuel Joseph, Professor of Jewish Education and Leadership Development, on "Effective Leaders, Where Art Thou?" Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

"Israel, Civil Religion and the Sacred: Collective Memory in the Hills of Jerusalem" with Dr. David Mendelsson: October 25 at 4:00 pm in Los Angeles

Dr. David Mendelsson, 2010 Schusterman Fellow in Israel Studies, will present "Israel, Civil Religion and the Sacred: Collective Memory in the Hills of Jerusalem" on October 25 at 4:00 pm in Los Angeles. The 2010 Schusterman Fellow in Israel Studies is sponsored by USC College of Arts and Sciences and HUC-JIR Louchheim School for Judaic Studies. For further information, please contact 213-765-2113 or

HUC on the Road in ATLANTA: October 26 at Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University

Join us in Atlanta at Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University for a day of learning on Tuesday, October 26, 2010. Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Rabbinic and Second Temple Literature, will lead a special learning event for HUC-JIR alumni at 9:30 am on the topic "True Lies: Truth, Gossip, and the American-Jewish Way." The Atlanta Jewish community is invited to participate in a presentation, discussion, and lunch from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm with Rabbi Panken on "Holy War in Judaism and Islam: A Comparative Study." Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Photo of the Week

Debbie Friedman, world-renowned folk songwriter and performer and Instructor in Music at the School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR/New York, singing with students and faculty in the Sukkah at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Preeminent Judaic glass artist Steve Resnick's Jerusalem Decanter displays etchings of the Old City created with overlapping levels of clear and frosted glass. $400 plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218, Purchase with your American Express card and receive double Membership Rewards points!

Please click the icon to the left for a larger image.

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