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HUC-JIR News is published monthly throughout the summer.
The next issue of HUC-JIR News will appear on September 1, 2011.
August 04, 2011
Spotlight On
HUC-JIR Faculty and Administration Appointments
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
Faculty News
Photo of the Week
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery
Quick Links
HUC-JIR News is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.
Spotlight On
The Rabbi Richard S. Sternberger Endowed Scholarship Fund for Military Chaplaincy

The Rabbi Richard S. Sternberger Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established at HUC-JIR to support the studies of a rabbinical or cantorial student preparing for military chaplaincy. This scholarship fund was created by a bequest from Rabbi Sternberger, z"l, a 1952 ordinee of HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, and was formally announced at a meeting of HUC-JIR Board of Governors on June 13, 2011 by Rabbi Laszlo Berkowits, Founding Rabbi of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, where Rabbi Sternberger served for many years as Adjunct Rabbi, and Sam Simon, a congregant and friend of Rabbi Sternberger and member of HUC-JIR's Eastern Region Board of Overseers.

Rabbi Ellenson stated, "Rabbi Sternberger was an esteemed alumnus of the College-Institute, whose life and career were dedicated to the Reform Movement, the Jewish people, and the larger world. His staunch advocacy on behalf of civil rights took him to Mississippi during the summer of 1964 to register African-American voters, and his commitment to equality and social justice remained a significant cause for the duration of his life. As a Navy Chaplain for thirty years, serving in Korea and as Jewish chaplain at the Pentagon and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, he brought counseling and comfort to enlisted men and women of all faiths. His leadership of the Union for Reform Judaism's New Jersey Council, New York Federation of Reform Synagogues, Mid-Atlantic Council, and Department of Small Congregations strengthened the vitality of congregations and communities in those regions and throughout North America, while his pulpit rabbinate was imbued with devotion to his congregants. Rabbi Sternberger's exemplary rabbinate will endure as a source of inspiration to our students for generations to come."

HUC-JIR Faculty and Administration Appointments
Dr. Joshua Garroway Named to the Rabbi Michael Matuson Professorship for an Emerging Scholar at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Dr. Joshua Garroway, Assistant Professor of Early Christianity and Second Commonwealth at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, has been named to the Rabbi Michael Matuson Professorship for an Emerging Scholar. Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated, "Joshua Garroway exemplifies the promise and excellence of our emerging faculty. His promise was already in excellence when he came to the College-Institute as a rabbinical student, and his excellence has already positioned him as a significant scholar of early Christianity. He is a fitting successor in the Matuson Chair to Dr. Jonathan Cohen, the newly appointed Dean of our Cincinnati campus. We are fortunate and privileged to have men and women of the quality of Josh Garroway serving on our faculty."

Rabbi Samuel K. Joseph Named to Eleanor Sinsheimer Distinguished Service Professorship in Jewish Religious Education at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

Rabbi Samuel K. Joseph, Professor of Jewish Education and Leadership Development at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, where he teaches in the Rabbinical School, has been named to the Eleanor Sinsheimer Distinguished Service Professorship in Jewish Religious Education. Rabbi Joseph's special interest is how Jewish institutions and organizations, from schools to synagogues to national groups, can be most excellent as they seek to fulfill their mission and vision. Toward this end, Rabbi Joseph works with such groups throughout the world. Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated, "For decades Rabbi Samuel Joseph has occupied a central place in the life of Reform Judaism in North American and worldwide. Surely fewer individuals in our times can have had as much experience or as profound an impact on congregations, Jewish professional organizations, and entire communities as Sam Joseph. He is most certainly an appropriate holder of a chair recognizing distinguished service. This is what he has always given and continues to demonstrate. He will sustain the values and commitment of the chair's previous distinguished holder, Dr. Paul M. Steinberg, z"l, and it is a great encouragement and consolation to see the tradition of leadership and distinguished service continued in this way. In honoring Sam Joseph, we are honored."

Dr. Sharon Koren Named to Dr. Norman Cohen Chair for an Emerging Scholar at HUC-JIR/New York

Dr. Sharon Koren, Associate Professor of Medieval Jewish Culture at HUC-JIR/New York, has been named to the Dr. Norman J. Cohen Chair for an Emerging Scholar. Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated, "Dr. Koren is a versatile scholar and devoted teacher who has done much to promote the study of the Medieval Jewish experience and the Jewish esoteric tradition at the College-Institute. As an expert in kabbalah and gender studies who brings the perspective of modern Orthodox Judaism, she has created a unique place for herself on our pluralistic faculty. A beloved teacher who demonstrates great devotion to her students, Sharon Koren is a worthy inaugural holder of the Dr. Norman J. Cohen Chair. Norman Cohen has done more than anyone in recent decades to recruit and nurture a new generation of scholars and teachers. I can think of no better way of demonstrating our abiding love and respect for Norman than to honor a wonderful example of this emerging generation.

Kristi Garroway Appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Bible; Second Ever Husband-wife Set of Faculty Members

For the second time in its 136-year history as the oldest institution of higher Jewish learning in North America, HUC-JIR is preparing to have a husband and wife teaching at the same time. Kristi Garroway will join the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles as of July 1, when she becomes Visiting Assistant Professor of Bible. Her husband, Joshua Garroway, already teaches at the campus as Assistant Professor of Early Christianity and Second Commonwealth. Kristi, whose research focuses on the unsung lives of children in Biblical antiquity, received her doctorate in 2009 from HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

Clyde Parrish Appointed Registrar at HUC-JIR

Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced that Clyde Parrish has been appointed Registrar at HUC-JIR, commencing July 18, 2011. Parrish comes to HUC-JIR after serving as a member of the Registrar's staff at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and after serving for 19 years as Assistant Dean of the College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. "We look forward to Clyde Parrish's leadership and guidance, as he applies his expertise to the needs of the College-Institute," stated Dr. Marmur. "He brings to HUC-JIR his extensive experience in transcript credit evaluation; interpretation of academic policy; graduation certification; commencement convocations; editing college bulletins; maintenance of academic records; assistance to faculty committees; registration management; staff recruitment and supervision; and developing course schedules. Furthermore, he is well-versed with FERPA regulations, as well as various accreditation requirements and processes."

Yoram Bitton Appointed Librarian at the Klau Library at HUC-JIR/New York

Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Dean, HUC-JIR/New York, and Dr. David Gilner, Director of Libraries, are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Yoram Bitton to the position of Librarian, Klau Library, New York, commencing on July 25, 2011. Mr. Bitton is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a degree in Talmud and Jewish History and a Master of Library Science degree from Queens College. Mr. Bitton has held various library and faculty positions in the New York City area. He has served as Hebrew Manuscript Project Cataloger at Columbia University and as the Hebrew Cataloguer at Touro College. He has served on the faculty at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. Prior to his work in the U.S., Mr. Bitton worked at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a research assistant and instructor.

News at HUC-JIR
John Ruskay, UJA-Federation of New York President, Scholar-in-Residence at HUC-JIR

HUC-JIR's School of Jewish Nonprofit Management is proud to welcome John Ruskay, President and CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York as the Rabbi Louis Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence. On August 1, Ruskay joined Jay Sanderson, President of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, for a conversation about "The Role of the Professional in Today's Federation." Richard Siegel, SJNM Director, moderated this discussion about how professionals can guide their communities through the unprecedented challenges they face as a result of demographics, giving patterns, and communal priorities. On August 2, 2011, Ruskay spoke at SJNM Culmination Exercises for this year's class of 14 students receiving certificates. He spoke on the topic, "Embracing and Resisting Change: What's Abiding?" As head of the largest Federation in the United States, Ruskay is a prominent consultant to communal leaders and policy makers.

News from DeLeT, Day School Leadership Through Teaching

The Tekkes Siyyum Culminating Ceremony of DeLeT Fellows took place on July 22, 2011. The members of Cohort 9 received a certificate in Jewish Day School Teaching from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education: Carmela Blau, Orly Douek, Adeelee Bosmat Feldman, Jonathan Ferris, Ariela Leah Gross, Talia Aliza Kamenir, Shara Celeste Peters, Michelle Erin Rapport, Marilyn Elissa Spitz, Jill Ilene Toomin, and Bat-hen Zeron.

Following 5 years of successful classroom teaching at Milken Community High School, DeLeT alumnus Yechiel Hoffman was named Executive Director at LimmudLA. Since its first annual learning conference in 2008, LimmudLA has welcomed thousands of Jews of all ages, affiliations, and orientations in Southern California to explore their Jewish identity through cross-communal learning and meaningful volunteerism. Hoffman's journey to this role marks a step forward for the growth of LimmudLA, and for the inspiration of its volunteers. "As an individual, I have been transformed Jewishly by the conference experienced and personally enriched by volunteering with others. I am inspired to take on a greater leadership role, and to work with the volunteers and the Board on creating a new paradigm for the organization in the coming years," he said.

HUC-JIR in the News
Joshua Holo: Norway and Multiculturalism - The Jewish Journal

Joshua Holo, Dean, HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, writes, "In a recent New York Times article, Scott Shane describes how the violence in Norway emerged from a distinct rhetorical and ideological context, and perhaps the left appropriately will admonish the right for the vitriol of its tirades against multiculturalism. If so, however, it is also incumbent upon progressives - and Jewish progressives in particular - to take this moment to articulate a serious, affirmative vision for a successful multicultural future."

A Nation Unto Themselves - The Jewish Week

Michael Chernick, Deutsch Professor of Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice at HUC-JIR/New York, discusses how the "othering" of women has left its mark on contemporary Judaism. "The rabbinic tradition is of many voices about women, as it is about virtually every topic. Thankfully that diversity continues today, now with women's voices added to the tradition. Not unexpectedly some contemporary women sages have said things about men that are as hurtful as some dicta found in traditional rabbinic sources. But true to the tradition, other contemporary women sages have spoken about their relationship to men with Levinas' ethical loving concern. It is my hope that men and women Torah scholars with respect for the Other will in our time contribute to Torah study that will lead us to a 'community that includes men and women.'"

Jewish Atheists Struggle to Find their Place in the Larger Community - Jewish Community Voice

Diane Schuster, a researcher and lecturer at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, is conducting a study on how non-believing Jews are seeking a way into spiritual life. She will interview Jews who are "in search of a spiritual experience that is deep, meaningful and transformative but that is not linked to religious liturgies or practices that rely on God language or reference to a Supreme Being."

In their 40s and 50s, Embarking on Second Careers as Rabbis - JTA

A small group of second-career rabbis are finding their place in the world of Jewish religious leadership in their 40s and 50s. Various factors are propelling these individuals into the rabbinate. Some long had harbored dreams of becoming a rabbi but wound up pursuing other careers for personal or financial reasons. Others became interested in the rabbinate later in life, prompted in some cases by something specific. At the New York campus of the Reform movement's HUC-JIR, two of the 12 rabbis who were ordained in this year's graduating class were second career rabbis in their late 40s or early 50s, according to HUC-JIR/New York's Associate Dean, Rabbi Renni Altman. She said the number of older students varies from year to year and HUC-JIR has always had some older students, but never large clusters.

Hindu Community Makes Its White House Debut - Huffington Post

Joshua Stanton, a fourth-year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR, spoke at the inaugural White House briefing for the Hindu-American community on July 29, 2011. He spoke on what can be done to reduce the incidence of hate crimes against Dharmic houses of worship. He writes, "One of the groups working to envision the future for Hindu Americans on a national scale is Hindu American Seva Charities, a not-for-profit organization working '[sic] to mobilize the Hindu American community around 'seva' (public service) to advance interfaith dialogue ... social justice, and healthy living.' While its work has already engaged the Hindu community on a national scale, it is about to orchestrate something more ambitious -- something that might best be understood as the debut of the Hindu community on the national stage. As part of its 2nd Annual Conference, 'Impacting Change in America and Abroad,' it is holding the first ever community briefing organized by Hindu Americans at the White House on July 29." Please click here to view the press release from Religious Freedom USA.

Jewish Community Needs a Jewish Cultural Policy - JTA

Professor Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor at HUC-JIR, and Stephen Hazan Arnoff, Executive Director of the 14th Street Y, write, "A society without a vibrant and respected creative class lacks the imagination and inspiration to innovate and grow. The last decade has offered indications of a Jewish renaissance, as new forms of Jewish cultural work have emerged in conjunction with simultaneous advances in Jewish learning, new digital media, social justice and Jewish spiritual communities. A Jewish cultural policy on the local, regional and continental levels that smartly and strategically fosters Jewish cultural endeavors will ensure the recent gains in Jewish cultural life, with benefits on many levels -- cultural, spiritual, educational, political and much more."

High Holiday Tickets, Video-Streaming, and Mission - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

As technology makes its way into every aspect of modern life, each community has to consider how to engage with the multitude of possibilities. This week's guest bloggers on HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning, Rabbi Robert B. Barr and Rabbi Laura Baum, are pioneers in working with technology on multiple fronts to connect and expand their community. Through their work on, they are creating models that can be used in many settings.

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

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, gathered with scholars at The University of Chicago to honor the memory and reflect upon the accomplishments (and shortcomings) of an often-overlooked, though significant contemporary Jewish thinker, the late Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits, at a conference, "A Theologian in Chicago: Themes in the Thought of Eliezer Berkovits." Rabbi Ellenson presented "Eliezer Berkovits on Conversion: An Inclusive Orthodox Approach." Click here for further information and to view the presentation.
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.
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.
Dr. Rabbi Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Midrash gave a lecture in German at the Summer Seminar at Humboldt University in Berlin on "Zion and Psalms as they Appear in the Prayerbook" on July 18, 2011. Please click here for further information.
Dr. Bruce A. Phillips, Professor of Sociology & Jewish Communal Studies, spoke to the Young Leadership division of the Los Angeles Federation on the topic of "Understanding Los Angeles Jews in the Larger Context of Los Angeles: Where We Fit In."

Photo of the Week

Jill Crimmings (left), a fourth-year rabbinical student, and Evan Schultz (right), a fifth-year rabbinical student, both at HUC-JIR/New York, participated in the New York City Schlep 2011, a 5K Run/Walk for Jewish Breast Cancer on July 17, 2011. Their team, the HUCstables, was named after the class football team in Israel. Also pictured is John Crimmings (center).

Please click here for a larger image.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Preeminent Judaica glass artist Steve Resnick's pair of wedding flutes display etchings of olive leaves with overlapping levels of clear and frosted glass. The Hebrew text on one flute states, "I am my beloved," and "My beloved is mine" on the other. $210, plus shipping and handling.

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

Please click here for a larger image.

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