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November 04, 2010
Photo of the Week
Spotlight On
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
Faculty News
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.
Photo of the Week
Israel President Shimon Peres Welcomes the Board of Governors Israel Committee Mission to Israel

Members of the Board of Governors Israel Committee traveled to Israel for four days of intensive meetings with governmental leaders of the State of Israel, heads of Israel's academic institutions, and leaders of Israel's Progressive Movement, culminating in the Jerusalem School's Ordination and Academic Convocation on October 28, 2010. Led by Israel Committee Co-Chairs John Golden and David Harman, the delegation included Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President; Irwin Engelman, Chairman, Board of Governors, and Rosalyn Engelman; Dr. Jane Karlin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Governors Burton Lehman, Frederic Lane, and Martin Cohen; and New York Overseer Sam Simon and Susan Simon.

Please click here for a larger photograph.

Spotlight On
Dr. Jason Kalman Presented with the Dr. Alfred Gottschalk - John and Marianne Slade Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Intellectual History at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

Dr. Jason Kalman, Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Texts and Interpretation at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, was presented with the Dr. Alfred Gottschalk - John and Marianne Slade Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Intellectual History at a public lecture and reception at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati on Sunday, October 18, 2010. "Dr. Kalman exemplifies the commitment to scholarship, teaching, and mentorship that marked Dr. Alfred Gottschalk's dedicated years of leadership of the College-Institute," said Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President.

Dr. Jonathan Cohen Granted Tenure at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Associate Professor of Talmud and Halachic Literature, has been granted tenure at HUC-JIR. Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, said, "An emerging major figure in the academic study of Jewish Law, Dr. Jonathan Cohen brings the best of Israeli and European intellectual traditions in his academic fields to bear on his study and teaching, and has found a way to communicate them brilliantly in a North American context."

Dr. David Levine Granted Tenure at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Dr. David Levine, Associate Professor of Talmud and Halachah, has been granted tenure at HUC-JIR. Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, said, "Dr. David Levine's qualities as a teacher and scholar have earned him his outstanding reputation among colleagues and students alike. The College-Institute is indeed fortunate to have a person of his intellect and talents on our faculty, where he can contribute to a culture of learning and teaching for Liberal Judaism in North America, Israel, and beyond."

News at HUC-JIR
URJ Presidential Search Committee Status Report

When Rabbi Eric Yoffie announced last June that he will be retiring from his position as Union for Reform Judaism President in June 2012, Board Chair Peter Weidhorn appointed a Presidential Search Committee to begin the difficult task of finding and recommending a successor to the Board. The Committee has been reaching out to members of the Reform community in an effort to get input. Many of those with whom the Committee has spoken have emphasized that this is a difficult but exciting moment in our history. They found an overwhelming consensus that the next President should be an appropriate leader for the 21st Century, one who will work in collaboration with volunteer and professional leaders across our Movement and seize the opportunity to shape the future of progressive Judaism in North America.

Upcoming Public Lectures by Rabbi David Ellenson

Rabbi David Ellenson in Panel Discussion on "On Leadership" at The 92nd Street Y in New York: Rabbi David Ellenson will participate in a panel discussion on "On Leadership" with Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University, Dr. Arnie Eisen, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and moderator Dr. Yitz Greenberg as part of the Global Day of Jewish Learning on Sunday, November 7th at 10:35 a.m. at the 92nd Street Y in New York. This event, one of 650 simultaneous programs planned by over 360 independent communities in 45 different countries on 6 continents, marks the completion of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz's monumental 45 volume translation and commentary on the Talmud, the central text of Judaism. "Torah is the shared inheritance of all the Jewish people. It does not belong [to an elite group]. We have a responsibility to share our common heritage with all Jews. We each get an equal share," says Rabbi Steinsaltz. Rabbi Steinsaltz will speak live from Jerusalem (9:00 PM Israel time, 2:00 PM Eastern, 11:00 AM Pacific) on Please click here for the complete list of events.

Rabbi David Ellenson in Panel Discussion on "The Ground Zero Mosque: to Build or Not to Build" at CUNY/Baruch College School of Public Affairs: Rabbi David Ellenson will participate in a panel discussion on "The Ground Zero Mosque: To Build or Not to Build," as part of the Lillie & Nathan Ackerman Lecture Series in Equality and Justice in America at the City University of New York's Baruch College School of Public Affairs on Tuesday, November 9th at 6 p.m. The program will explore, from multiple perspectives, the various symbolic, cultural, religious, and policy issues that are raised by the proposed construction, and will include Rev. Chloe Bryer, Director, Interfaith Center of New York; Jonathan S. Tobin, Executive Director, Commentary Magazine; and moderator Kenneth L. Marcus, Lillie & Nathan Ackerman Visiting Professor of Equality & Justice in America at CUNY/Baruch. Click here for further information.

The Ackerman Lecture Series was established in memory of the parents of Rosalyn Engelman, whose artwork is currently exhibited at the HUC-JIR Museum, by Rosalyn and Irwin Engelman, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Presented twice each year, the Ackerman Lectures are the most prestigious public lectures presented at the School of Public Affairs during the course of each semester and are telecast on CUNY's cable television network and posted on School's public web-site.

HUC-JIR/Los Angeles Students Convene for Second Spiritual Retreat

The Spiritual Retreat is a unique program sponsored by the Spiritual Growth department of the Los Angeles campus, and headed by Rabbi Richard N. Levy, Director of the Campus Synagogue and Spiritual Growth. Students from the rabbinic, education and Jewish nonprofit management (formerly Jewish communal service) schools spent the weekend of October 8-10 at the Steve Breuer Conference Center in Malibu (a short walk from the Pacific Ocean), praying, meditating, doing yoga, singing, walking by the ocean, doing art and exploring the relationship between spirituality and social justice. Students were divided into groups of three to process aspects of the weekend and to discuss ways of continuing its work once students returned to school. Please click here to view a slideshow of the event.

Fellowship Seminars at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives is pleased to announce the following in their series of fellowship seminars at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati:

  • Mr. Derek Miller, Ph.D. Candidate at the College of William and Mary, will present The Jewish Community of Barbados from the 17th to the 19th Century on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm.
  • Ms. Lara Rabinovitch, Ph.D. Candidate at New York University, will present Romanian Jewish Immigrants in New York City and Montreal, 1900-1939 on Thursday, November 11, 2010, at 4:00 pm.
  • Ms. Hannah Farmer, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Southampton, will present Philanthropy and Jewish Women's Identity in 1890s Chicago on Tuesday, November 16, 2010, at 4:00 pm.

HUC-JIR in the News
First Israeli-born Woman Reform Rabbi Laments Religious Divide - J. The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California

Rabbi Maya Leibovich (HUC-JIR/Jerusalem '93) doesn't "fear for the existence of Israel," in spite of the gas masks and sealed room in her home in the Judean Hills outside Jerusalem. But the first Israeli-born female rabbi to lead a congregation in the Jewish state is deeply troubled by the religious divide between the Orthodox and others in her homeland. She laments the shattering of Theodor Herzl's dream of a Jewish homeland in which "faith unites us, knowledge gives us freedom," and a modern constitution ensures that "priests and generals ... must not interfere in the administration of the state."

University of Southern California a Top Choice for Jewish Students - USC News

USC has been named among the leading U.S. higher education institutions chosen by Jewish students, according to a new ranking from Reform Judaism magazine. The fall issue of the publication ranked USC No. 11 among private colleges and universities, based on its undergraduate population, courses offered in Jewish studies, social and religious support and extracurricular opportunities. According to the magazine, about 12 percent of USC undergraduates are Jewish. The USC College has had a formal agreement in place for many years with HUC-JIR on shared academic programming, including a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion with an emphasis in Judaic Studies. Click here to see the complete rankings in Reform Judaism magazine.

"Eye of the Collector: Works on Paper from the Sigmund R. Balka Collection" at the University of Richmond - Richmond Times Dispatch

Laura Kruger, Curator of the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, refers to Sigmund R. Balka as "an irrepressible collector." Balka donated more than 200 works he collected to the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, including such leading 19th- and 20th-century artists as Marc Chagall, Max Beckmann, Lyonel Feininger, Larry Rivers, Robert Motherwell, and Isabel Bishop. His show at the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, "Eye of the Collector: Works on Paper from the Sigmund R. Balka Collection" has recently travelled to the Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond. The 38 prints in the Harnett array span the spectrum of printmaking processes.

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

Dr. Michael Chernick, Deutsch Professor of Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice at HUC-JIR/New York, will be participating in the Global Day of Learning on November 7, 2010 in the San Francisco area. The event will take place at Pacifica Jewish Community Center, Foster City, CA.
Lori Klein, MSW, MAJCS, Assistant Director of the School of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, conducted a workshop on November 3, 2010, entitled, "L'Dor V'Dor: Bridging the Generation Gap" at The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance Women's Department Leadership Summit. The workshop addressed the challenges of, and recommendations for, working with multi-generation volunteers in Jewish communal institutions. It was part of a half day program for Los Angeles Jewish community volunteer leaders.
Christopher Eli Kraus, JD, MTS, Visiting Instructor in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, 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 on November 7, 2010.
Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will teach as part of the Global Day of Jewish Learning on Sunday, November 7th. He will lead a workshop entitled "Playing Hide & Seek with God in His Orchard: Modern Mystical Quests" from 2:30 -3:20 PM in one of the main floor classrooms at the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati. Click here for further information. Rechnitzer was asked to participate in "Establishment Debate: Rules of Civic Engagement," a scholars' panel from Xavier and Cincinnati Universities dedicated to the question of Church and State. The debate will take place on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm at the Mayerson JCC in Cincinnati.
Joyce Rosenzweig, Artist-in-Residence at HUC-JIR/New York's School of Sacred Music, has participated in the following music activities in 2009-2010:
  • Music Director, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, New York, NY
  • Instructor, I. Miller Cantorial School, Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Performing artist, Charlotte Yiddish Institute (North Carolina)
  • Workshop presenter, pianist, North American Jewish Choral Festival
  • Pianist for Cantors' Assembly National Convention
  • Merkin Concert Hall concert: Out of the Classical Closet (organizer and pianist)
  • Concerts: Congregation Beth Yeshurun, (Houston, Texas), Congregation Ansche Chesed (NYC), Congregation Tikvat Jacob (Manhattan Beach, California), Town and Village Synagogue (NYC), Brooklyn College, Center for Jewish History (NYC), Museum of Jewish Heritage (NYC)
Dr. Richard Sarason, Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought and the Associate Editor of the Hebrew Union College Annual, will be participating in a panel at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta on the soon-to-be-published book by Deborah A. Green (University of Oregon), The Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010).
Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/NY, will present "Preparing LGBTQ Couples for Marriage" as part of the series on Topics in LGBTQ Pastoral Care on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm at HUC-JIR/New York. The series is presented by Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Click here for further information.
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Professor in Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, will be speaking at Congregation Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 10:30 am as part of The Kaplan Institute on Jewish Ethics. The Institute's aim is to bring together the congregation and community with a Jewish academic who specializes in an area of ethics. Click here for further information.
Cantor Josee Wolff, D.Min., Director of Student Placement at HUC-JIR's School of Sacred Music in New York, was elected Spiritual Leader of Temple Sholom of Floral Park in February of 2010. Temple Sholom had been in search of new clergy for a year and a half, and first met Cantor Wolff at a Shabbat service in October 2009. After worshiping together for a few months, the congregation unanimously voted to appoint Cantor Wolff as their primary clergy. Temple Sholom is currently in the process of building a brand new synagogue and looks forward to revitalizing the congregation and Jewish life in the North East Queens community. Cantor Wolff was invited to teach at the Institute for the Cantorial Arts at Abraham Geiger College in Berlin, and will be spending two weeks there in January, offering sessions on cantillation as well as individual coachings and workshops on Shabbat repertoire.

Fall College Retreat: November 5-7 in Cincinnati

The topic of the Fall College Retreat in Cincinnati on November 5-7, 2010 is "The Book of Jon...Stewart: Judaism's Influence on American Culture and American Culture's Influence on Judaism." Now perhaps more than ever, what it means to be Jewish is being defined by highly visible Jews in American Culture. This weekend will explore this phenomenon. The Fall College Retreat is presented by the American Jewish Archives. For further information, please visit

Praise Befits You - An Evening of Study: November 8 at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem

On Monday, November 8, 2010 at 7 pm, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem will hold a festive evening of study to celebrate the publication of Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx's book, "When I Sleep and When I Wake," a study of the prayers marking the transitions between day and night. The evening, entitled "Praise Befits You," [Psalm 65:2], will include a conversation among Professor Galit Hazan Rokem, Hebrew University; Professor Avigdor Shinan, Hebrew University; Rabbi Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, HUC-JIR; and the author Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Midrash at HUC-JIR; and presentations of original liturgical writings by students of the College-Institute.

HUC on the Road in BOSTON: November 10 at Temple Israel of Boston

Join us in Boston at Temple Israel of Boston for a day of learning on Wednesday, November 10, 2010. Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Assistant Professor of the American Jewish Experience, will lead a special learning event for HUC-JIR alumni and Jewish professionals at 9:30 am on the topic "How Do We Teach Israel?" The greater Boston Jewish community is invited to participate in a presentation, discussion, and lunch from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm with Dr. Krasner on "American Jewish Identity in Film: Intermarriage, Spirituality, and Tradition." Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Master Class with Cantor Charles Davidson: November 10 at 10:45 am at HUC-JIR/New York

Until his recent retirement, Cantor Davidson was the Nathan Cummings Professor of Nusach at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School, where he taught since 1977 and earned a Doctorate in Sacred Music. Davidson also served as the cantor of Congregation Agudath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania from 1966 to 2004. Cantor Davidson has also been a prolific composer and arranger. His catalogue contains more than three hundred works, including of dozens of synagogue pieces., songs, choral cantatas, entire services, psalm settings, musical plays, theatrical presentations, instrumental works and a one-act opera based on Isaac B. Singer's story "Gimpel the Fool." His powerful holocaust cantata, "I Never Saw another Butterfly," a setting of children's poetry from Terezin, has been performed all over the world. HUC-JIR/New York's School of Sacred Music Choir will perform a selection of his works as Cantor Davidson discusses them. This Master Class is presented through the generous support of a fund established by Cantor Harold Orbach.

"Israelis and Palestinians: Is Peace Still Possible" with Elliott Abrams: November 11 at HUC-JIR/New York

Join us at HUC-JIR/New York on Thursday, November 11, 2010 in the Chapel at 11:00 am for "Israelis and Palestinians: Is Peace Still Possible" with Elliott Abrams. Elliott Abrams currently serves as Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served in various capacities under two Presidents: he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for the Near East during the first term of President George W. Bush; he represented President Bush in working with Secretary of State Rice in Mid-East diplomacy during his second term; and, he served as Assistant Secretary of State under President Reagan.

We Jews on Broadway: November 14 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

"We Jews on Broadway" will take place on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at 4:00 pm at the Scheuer Chapel at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. A sing-along history of the American Musical from the "Gay 90's" operetta of Romberg and Friml, through the "Roaring 20's" music of Berlin, Kern, the Gershwins, and Rodgers and Hart. Share Oklahoma's "Beautiful Morning"; visit the West Side Story of Maria and Tony and the New York of Guys and Dolls. The event will conclude with Sondheim, Mel Brooks, Kander and Ebb - Broadway of today. Free and open to the public. Come at 3:00 pm for a tour of the Skirball Museum.

HUC-JIR's Information Session Webinars: November 15-19

From the comfort of your home computer, learn all about the graduate program of your choice during HUC-JIR's Information Session Webinars.
The webinars will take place on the following dates and times:

The Schools of Education: Monday, November 15, 2010, 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern
The School of Sacred Music: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern
The School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (formerly Jewish Communal Service): Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern
DeLeT Fellowship: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 4pm Pacific/7pm Eastern
The Rabbinical School: Thursday, November 18, 2010, 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Beit Tefilah Israeli - A Journey to New Forms of Israeli Prayer: November 16 at HUC-JIR/New York

Over the last 6 years, Beit Tefilah Israeli (BTI) has successfully created a community built around a new model of a synagogue. Services in BTI combine live music, modern Israeli poetry, literature and personal prayers with the traditional prayer book, striving to renew and revitalize the notion of prayer and to form a new indigenous Israeli liturgical language, rooted in the Israeli contemporary culture. On November 16 at 10:45 am at HUC-JIR/NY, the group will be joined by cantorial student Andrea Rae Markowitz. This program will be an exciting opportunity for the entire HUC-JIR community to explore this new phenomenal Israeli group.

Memory and Transformation Artists Reception: November 17 at 6:30 pm at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Memory and Transformation, a new art exhibition opening at the Los Angeles campus of HUC-JIR, in collaboration with the Jewish Artists Initiative, is a juried show of 33 artists who were asked to approach the themes of memory and transformation from their own perspective. Their works reflect the dynamic process of cultural change and their individual connections with religious or political ideas to link phenomena previously thought unconnected. The Artists Reception will take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2010, from 6:30-8:00 pm with remarks by Donna Stein, Guest Curator, at 7:00 pm. The exhibition is on view through December 31, 2010.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Arnold Schwarzbart, a Knoxville, TN artist, created the following Kiddush cups:

Ancient Sages at 60 Years - Red Kiddush cup (wine goblet) 3.5" tall. Kiddush is enamel and silver foil on copper. Inscription reads, "My intellect beholds visions from All-Mighty and I understand that the Lord is within me...He kindled a lamp, lit with His glory in my body; it shows me the ways of the ancient sages. And this is the light that grew brighter in youth and shines even more now that I am old." - Judah Halevi.
$420, plus shipping and handling.

Wedding cup - Blue Kiddush cup (wine goblet) 2.5" tall. Kiddush is enamel and silver foil on copper. Inscription reads, "And God created mankind in God's image, male and female God created them. God blessed them and said: 'Be fruitful and multiply.' Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall be one."
$380, plus shipping and handling.

Eshet Chayil (Woman of Valor) - Red Kiddush cup (wine goblet) 2.5" tall. Kiddush is enamel and silver foil on copper. Inscription is hymn that comes from Proverbs (31:10-31) in praise of the virtuous woman.
$380, plus shipping and handling.

To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Please click here to view a larger photograph.

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