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Best wishes for a joyful Shavuot!
HUC-JIR News will be published monthly during the summer.
The next issue will appear on July 1, 2011.
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR Inducts Three New Members to Western Region Board of Overseers at Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles

Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, inducted three new members to the Western Region Board of Overseers during its meeting on May 16, 2011. These individuals were presented by Hal Reichwald, Chair of the Nominating Committee, and include:

Rabbi Lawrence Goldmark, Executive Vice President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis (PARR). Goldmark served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Ohr of La Mirada, CA, for more than 25 years and is now Rabbi Emeritus there.
Alan Zeichick, co-founder of BZ Media LLC, publisher of SD Times, the leading magazine for software developers. He also operates the consulting company Camden Associates. Zeichick is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Board of Trustees and is First Vice President at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, CA.
Marcie Zelikow, Board Member at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. A former executive recruiter who spent most of her career in sales management for an industrial publisher, she is chair of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Advisory Board at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus.

Simeon Zigler Art Exhibition to Open at the Skirball Museum in Cincinnati

The Skirball Museum of HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will host the gala opening reception of a showing of the work of 20th-century artist Simeon Zigler on Sunday, June 26, 2011 from 4:00-7:30 pm. The Zigler exhibition will include up to 40 of the artist's works from the early 1930s to the 1960s. Earlier works include pen and India ink drawings and later works include watercolor paintings, which the artist began producing in the 1950s with a unique technique and style. This show is the first of a series of planned special exhibitions to amplify the Skirball's existing collections. "The Skirball is the only museum of Jewish art, history, and ritual in the region," says Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Director of Outreach at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. "Its collection is a testament to the significance of Jewish art to the life of the greater community. Jewish artists, artisans, and collectors were profoundly influenced by their environment and experience. Their work, displayed in our museum, has graced Cincinnati for nearly a century."

The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism Celebrate their 20th Anniversary

The Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism in Tel Aviv-Jaffa are proud to celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. In 1991, Beit Daniel, the first ever Reform synagogue, opened its doors with HUC-JIR/Jerusalem graduate Rabbi Meir Azari ('92). In honor of this occasion and to celebrate the 95th birthday of Gerry Daniel, the founder of Beit Daniel, the Daniel Centers are hosting a reception on July 1, 2011. Joining the celebration at Beit Daniel will be leading figures in Israeli society, congregation members, and overseas supporters. "I'm so proud of the Daniel Centers' achievements in the past 20 years," said Daniel. "They have grown from a small Reform temple that had no government support and, in some cases, active opposition, to a major force in Israeli society." This year, the Daniel Centers reached a critical milestone. Their Judaic education work in Tel Aviv's elementary schools has been recognized by Israel's Ministry of Education in the most concrete and tangible way, with a $30,000 renewable grant. Joining the Daniel Centers in receiving a first ever government grant to a Reform organization involved in Judaic education is the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.

"Midrash and a Meal" to Increase Interest in Reform Judaism

"Midrash and a Meal" is a program designed to give students studying abroad from American and Canadian universities at the Hebrew University Rothberg International School easy access to Reform Judaism on their campus while living in Jerusalem. The program consists of a meal and then discussion on a topic of interest with a rabbi or rabbinical student. A semester-long film series addressed issues at the heart of Reform Jewish thought through a combination of Jewish text study and film clips from popular movies, which exposed students to elements of Israeli culture. The hope of the program is that by providing exciting, relevant Jewish text study from a Reform perspective, students will continue to deepen their connection to Reform Judaism while in Israel.

Many thanks to Men of Reform Judaism's Reform on Campus Program for sharing this photograph and information. Click here for further information on the Men of Reform Judaism's Reform on Campus Program.

HUC-JIR in the News
HUC-JIR Re-establishes Its Place in National Reform Movement -

For 136 years, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati has been producing rabbis from Cincinnati, including the last 100 years from its current location overlooking Clifton Avenue. This year, the campus announced a five-year, $500,000 grant from a Boston-based foundation specifically focused on the Cincinnati campus. Nearly every rabbinical student here will receive scholarship through the grant from the Society for Classical Reform Judaism. "We felt this was a very important moment, to affirm the very important role Cincinnati plays in the life of the national Reform movement," said Rabbi Howard Berman, Executive Director of the Foundation. HUC-JIR enrolled about 105 students this year, including both rabbinical students and those in a separate graduate program. Rabbi Ken Ehrlich, Dean of the Cincinnati campus, said partnerships with other local schools will help HUC-JIR grow here. It already helps support Xavier University's Jewish Studies program and is talking to University of Cincinnati officials about a graduate certification program there.

Access' History of Cincinnati with Dr. Gary Zola - The American Israelite

On May 16, 2011, Dr. Gary Zola, Director of the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, showcased Cincinnati's proud legacy and the numerous Jewish people, places, and events that have played a prominent role in making Cincinnati great. Participants enjoyed learning about the fascinating history of Jewish Cincinnati, which featured dinner, drinks, and an interactive discussion. This program, part of the America Jewish Heritage events, was sponsored by Access, a program of The Mayerson Foundation for Jewish young professionals.

The event was also featured in Cincinnati's David's Voice. Click here to read the article.

Reform Movement Building Demo for e-Prayer Book - The Jewish Chronicle

As Daniel Medwin received his ordination in 2010 at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, the newly minted Reform rabbi knew he wasn't bound for a pulpit position. Instead, Medwin took a job with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the professional organization for the Reform rabbinate, working on a project that might someday change the way Jews pray. "My focus is on enhancing the prayer experience and on education," he said. "Most Jews know something about prayer, but they are always interested in learning more. This could be an incredible learning experience." How Medwin, and his colleagues at the CCAR, hope to accomplish this feat is to take the siddur, apply it to wireless technology, and make it interactive. In other words, if you're ready to pray, there's an app for that.

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

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Jewish Studies, will participate in an international symposium, "Legal Scholar - Preacher - Spiritual Adviser: Changing Roles of Rabbis, Pastors, and Priests" in Regensburg, Germany on September 19-22, 2011. Click here for further information. Rabbi Firestone presented a lecture series on Muslims at Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles. Click here to read more.
Dr. Lisa Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Education, will be part of a plenary session highlighting the groundbreaking International Handbook of Jewish Education at the Network for Research in Jewish Education, which will take place at York University in Toronto from June 12-14. Click here for further information.
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual, will participate in an international symposium, "Legal Scholar - Preacher - Spiritual Adviser: Changing Roles of Rabbis, Pastors, and Priests" in Regensburg, Germany on September 19-22, 2011. Click here for further information.
Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Midrash, was invited to attend the 33rd German Protestant Church Rally (Kirchentag) in Dresden on June 1-5, 2011. She will deliver two workshops on Jewish liturgy and take part in a Bible study panel with Pastor Martina Severin-Keiser, a Protestant theologian. Click here for further information.
Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, will present a paper at the 27th Annual International Conference of the Association for Israel Studies at Brandeis University on June 13-15, 2011. The paper title is "From Honolulu via Mt. Gilboa to Tel-Aviv: the Rise and Fall of Shlonsky's Messianic Halutz." Click here to read the conference program. Click here to read Rechnitzer's abstract.

Rabbi David Ellenson at Tikkun Leil Shavuot at the JCC in Manhattan: June 7 at the JCC

Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR, will participate in the JCC in Manhattan's Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an updated version of the ancient festival of Shavuot, when the ancient Israelites stayed awake all night at Sinai anticipating the revelation. Rabbi Ellenson will host A Responsum on Conversion on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 from 10:00-11:00 pm at the third floor south gym at the JCC.

An Immigrant Comes to Jewish Cincinnati - The Art and Life of Simeon Zigler: June 26 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

The Skirball Museum at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati presents "An Immigrant Comes to Jewish Cincinnati: The Art and Life of Simeon Zigler" at the gala opening of the new fourth floor of the Skirball Museum on Sunday, June 26, 2011. Join HUC-JIR/Cincinnati at 4:00 pm for a Jewish Chamber concert at Scheuer Chapel, followed by an opening and reception at Mayerson Hall at 5:30 pm. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP to

Photo of the Week

Members of the HUC-JIR community, including students, faculty, and Board members, are currently travelling throughout Germany as part of the Germany Close Up program. The group visited the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin just before their morning meeting with Hans-Ulrich Klose, a representative from the SPD, Germany's Social Democrat Party, and a former exchange student to Clinton, IA. To read on-the-spot updates, visit

Please click here for a larger image.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Jim Cohen, an outstanding silversmith from New Mexico, has turned to natural forms for inspiration in his newest works. This handmade Kiddush cup in sterling silver is inspired by native Calla lilies. 3.5 x 2 x 2 in.

$900 plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Please click here for a larger image.

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