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November 12, 2010
Video of the Week
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
Spotlight On
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.
Video of the Week
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. Please click here to view Dr. Kalman's lecture, "Excavating the Dark Places of the University: The Johns Hopkins University Admisions Quota and the Jewish Community."

News at HUC-JIR
Reform Think Tank with the URJ, CCAR, and HUC-JIR: November 21 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and Online!

The future of the North American Jewish community is being shaped by divergent forces unlike those we have confronted in the past. The URJ, CCAR, and HUC-JIR are convening a Think Tank to provide creative leadership in addressing these trends and they need your input! Congregations and individuals are invited to participate in several public forums that will impact the work of the Think Tank and the future of Reform Judaism. The first Think Tank public forum will take place on November 21, 2010 at 7:00-8:30 pm ET (4:00 - 5:30 pm PT) at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and streamed live over the internet. Please click here to participate.

Rabbi David Ellenson's Blessing to the Rabbinical Students Being Ordained at Abraham Geiger College

Dr. Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Midrash at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, attended the Ordination ceremony in Berlin on November 4, 2010. Marx read Rabbi David Ellenson's blessing to Abraham Geiger College in the presence of President Wulff, the President of Germany, members of the government, distinguished guests, and ordainees. Rabbi Ellenson wrote, "Our Torah portion this week begins with the words, Eleh Toldot, 'These are the generations.' The rabbis who will be ordained today represent the latest link in a chain of tradition that reaches back to the rabbis of antiquity, to the great Jewish luminaries of medieval Europe and more recently to the innovators of the modern period, whose accomplishments over the past two hundred years we acknowledge at today's ceremony. At the same time, these new rabbis will be our link to the future, as they teach and serve and shape a new generation of Jews, as well as the broader community. May they be blessed in their work and may they be a source of blessing to all whom they encounter."
Please click here to read Rabbi Ellenson's blessing.
Please click here to read Rabbi Ellenson's message in the service booklet.

Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals Awards at the General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) is the premier annual North American Jewish conference, attracting Federation lay leaders and professionals as well as the leadership of UJC/Federations of North America's partner organizations and other important national Jewish organizations. At the 2010 GA in New Orleans, Louis Solomon (HUC-JIR '72) and Anna Shabtay (HUC-JIR '09) received awards from the Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals (AJCOP), the major professional association in the field, at the AJCOP/JCSA/WCJCS Seminar and Reception. Solomon is from the third graduating class and Shabtay is from last year's class, showing that our most senior alumni are still actively engaged and our newest alumni are already making waves.

Conference for DeLeT Alumni

The DeLeT Alumni Network (DAN) of over 100 graduates from HUC-JIR and Brandeis University held its second conference for DeLeT alumni from October 28-31 in Reisterstown, MD. Bob Tornberg, the new Education Director of DeLeT at HUC-JIR summarized the program: "Our four days together could be characterized as a celebration of Jewish education at its best. We learned from and with each other as we studied and shared Jewish and educational texts, pedagogic and religious ideas, classroom experiences and personal journeys. Workshops and sessions were conducted by faculty and their former students alike as we took down some of the traditional barriers of student and teacher."

The Academy of Adult Interfaith Studies at HUC-JIR

Join the Academy of Adult Interfaith Studies for a fascinating exploration of religious connection and diversity in its many forms. For 13 years, this popular community outreach program has offered non-credit religious education courses for adults, building a loyal following of participants and earning praise from religious leaders throughout greater Cincinnati. Instructors include members of HUC-JIR's world-renowned faculty and professors from other area colleges, leading clergy from many religious backgrounds and talented graduate and rabbinical students. For information about the Spring 2011 semester, please contact the Academy of Adult Interfaith Studies at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati at 513-487-3053 or

HUC-JIR in the News
First Female Rabbi Ordained in Germany Since 1935 - JTA

Germany's Reform rabbinical seminary ordained three new rabbis, including the first woman to become a rabbi in Germany since before the Holocaust. The ordinations reflect the new makeup of Germany's Jewish community, which has grown to about 220,000 in the last 20 years, in large part due to the influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union. Rabbi Alina Treiger, born in Ukraine, is the first woman ordained in Germany since Regina Jonas, who was ordained in 1935 and was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. Treiger is set to serve in the Jewish community of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.

Dr. Steven Windmueller Responds to Georgia Election - Atlanta Journal Constitution

With only the smallest notation of the fact, Republican Sam Olens broke through one of the oldest barriers in Georgia politics last week. The man who will be our next attorney general is also the first Jewish candidate to win a statewide, partisan race in Georgia. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Chair in Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and a specialist in Jewish voting trends, said, "You're beginning to see a core of mostly men - and mostly in their 30s to 40s - who are emerging as the new Jewish voices of Republican conservatism."

Habonim Dror Celebrates 75 years of Joyful Jewish Camping - Jewish Journal

The camps associated with Habonim Dror North America - the progressive Labor Zionist youth movement - are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. The Habonim Dror camps bring together members with an intense love of Israel and collectivist attitudes. "One out of 10 volunteers from the United States in the '48 war were Habonim members," said Jonathan Krasner, Assistant Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR/New York. "A lot of Habonim alumni end up becoming involved in the leadership of the Jewish community in one way or another, and so I think the influence of Habonim is felt disproportionate to the actual numbers of kids who were involved."

Spotlight On
Reform Judaism Magazine's Winter 2010/5771 Issue Featuring Articles by Members of the HUC-JIR Community

The Union for Reform Judaism's Reform Judaism magazine's Winter 2010/5771 issue, with a focus on bullying, included articles by members of the HUC-JIR community:

  • Behind Bullying: A conversation with Rabbi Edythe Mencher (HUC-JIR/NY '99) and Dale Atkins on why some adults act aggressively toward others-and what to do when you think it's happening to you.
  • The Chamber of Treasures by Rabbi Mark Glickman (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati '90): A rabbi's quest to follow the trail of the largest trove of ancient and medieval Jewish manuscripts ever discovered.
  • Strategic Bedfellows by Martin Sherman (Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles): India-the world's most populous democracy-and Israel-the world's most beleaguered democracy-have developed a vibrant relationship that could well change the geopolitical landscape in one of the world's most volatile regions.
  • Transcending an "Artless Tradition" by Rabbi Lance J. Sussman (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati '80 and '87): The birth of a modern Jewish art movement.
  • Organic Conversion by Rabbi Ken Chasen (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati '98): Creating the conversion conditions to meet the potential convert's "moment."
Click here to read these and other Winter 2010 offerings.

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

Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, was invited to present in the Feminist Hermeneutics Section of the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting on November 19-23 in a panel on "The Politics and Practices of Commentary Writing."
Barry S. Kogan, the Clarence and Robert Efroymson Professor of Jewish Religious Thought and Philosophy at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, recently published "Two Gentlemen of Cordova: Averroes and Maimonides on the Transcendence and Immanence of God," in Adaptations and Innovations: Studies on the Interaction between Jewish and Islamic Thought and Literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Late Twentieth Century Dedicated to Professor Joel L. Kraemer, eds. Y. Tzvi Langermann & Josef Stern (Paris-Louvain-Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2007), pp. 157-227. Click here for further information. Kogan also published "Understanding Prophecy: Four Traditions and their Early Modern Reception" The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century, Steven Nadler & T. M. Rudavsky, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 481-523. Click here for further information. Kogan wrote a brief introduction to Halevi and his theological/philosophical project, "Halevi, Judah" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (on-line), 2008. Kogan was invited to speak at the Philosophy and the Religious Studies Department Colloquium at Marquette University in October, 2009 on the topic, "On Theophany and Philosophy: Judah Halevi's Account of the Origins of the Religion of Israel in the Kuzari (Kitab al-Khazari)." It allowed for both a re-union of old friends and a lively discussion. Most recently, Kogan was invited to teach and is currently teaching in the undergraduate program in history and Judaic Studies at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The course is entitled "Jewish Civilization III: The Modern Period (1492-the Present)." It is designed to conclude a three-course sequence in the intellectual history of Jews and Judaism and comprises one of the requirements for an undergraduate minor in Judaic Studies which was recently created at Xavier. It has proved to be both a very stimulating and worthwhile experience.
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.

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.

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.

Fellowship Seminars at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives: November 16 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

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 as part of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives series of fellowship seminars at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

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.

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Thursday, November 18 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

The twelfth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance will be observed on Thursday, November 18 at 7:00 pm at the Scheuer Chapel at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Renowned glass artist Michael Gore has crafted a collection of extraordinary torah pointers, yads, for the HUC-JIR Museum in New York. Each unique pointer measures approximately 7 1/2" and is composed of durable prismatic glass. Gore is a master of the Venetian glass technique who works on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon. Using the sfumato technique and twirling threads of colored glass within the length of the pointer, each is brilliant and exceptional. Choose from shades of cobalt blue, crystal and topaz, blue/green/amethyst, and fiery red. $120 each, plus shipping and handling.

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

Please click here for a larger photograph.

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