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September 08, 2011
Spotlight On
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
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HUC-JIR News is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.
Spotlight On
New Faculty Publications for the High Holy Days:

"All These Vows-Kol Nidre" Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., Published by Jewish Lights Publishing
All These Vows–Kol Nidre (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011), edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., Professor of Liturgy at HUC-JIR, is the second volume in the Prayers of Awe series designed to explore the High Holy Day liturgy and enrich the praying experience for everyone-whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time. Like the other volumes in the series, it contains introductory essays on the history and significance of Kol Nidre along with contributions discussing the personal meaning of the prayer to some 40 commentators: rabbis and laypeople, artists and thinkers of all sorts. HUC-JIR faculty represented in the book include Mark Kligman, Dalia Marx, Aaron Panken, Margaret Wenig, and Wendy Zierler.

"On Wings of Awe: A Fully Translated Machzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur" Edited by Rabbi Richard Levy
When Rabbi Richard Levy's On Wings of Awe debuted 25 years ago, it was a radical prayer book used for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that provided occasional transliterations of Hebrew text, included Jewish matriarchs in prayer along with the patriarchs, and dealt sensitively with gender issues in providing translations. It may seem commonplace now, but these were innovations for a machzor then, and it felt right at home at Hillel foundations nationwide. Now, as the book celebrates a quarter-century, KTAV Publishing House asked Levy, a former Director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at HUC-JIR and a past President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), to revise it for a new generation of Jews. As a result, every Hebrew prayer in the book has been transliterated, a testament to the expanded desire of worshippers to pray in Hebrew even if they cannot read or understand it.

News at HUC-JIR
Cincinnati Campus to Celebrate 100 Years in Clifton at 28th Annual Associates Tribute Dinner

The Cincinnati Associates of HUC-JIR will host the 28th Annual Tribute Dinner on Sunday, November 6, 2011. The event will pay tribute to Ralph S. (Mike) Michael, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati. "Mike exemplifies the unwavering commitment of Greater Cincinnati's corporate community to HUC-JIR," noted Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Dean of the Cincinnati campus. "Their devotion has helped to propel this school from humble beginnings to international stature and acclaim. As the dedication of generations past sustained the College-Institute, so will the community's ongoing support help drive HUC-JIR's bold plans for the future." The event will also mark the formal celebration of the 100th anniversary of HUC-JIR's Cincinnati campus. Dinner Co-chairs are Andrew R. Berger and Karen M. Hoguet. Corporate Council Dinner Co-chairs are James A. Miller and Joseph A. Pichler.

Commemoration of September 11 at the New York Campus of HUC-JIR

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, the New York campus of HUC-JIR commemorated the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 as a community with a short period of reflection and remembrance during the daily Shacharit service led by Jodie Gordon, R '14, and Leslie Niren, DFSSM '13. Students, faculty, and staff reflected on the meaning of this anniversary while Rachel Grant Meyer, R '12, and Dr. Aaron Panken, Assistant Professor of Rabbinic and Second Temple Literature, shared their personal reflections of that day. Kaddish was recited by the entire community in honor of all of the lives lost that day.

HUC-JIR Offers Six Cross-Campus Courses for Fall 2011

As the new academic year begins, HUC-JIR's Department of eLearning is pleased to announce the following cross-campus courses for Fall 2011:

• Rabbis as Holy Men, Charismatics and Wonderworkers: An Exploration of Legends of Rabbis in Medieval and Ancient Periods; Dr. Lewis Barth
• Religious Literatures of Exclusion; Dr. Reuven Firestone
• Thinking About Religion: Theories, Applications, Meanings; Dr. Rick Sarason
• Hassidism; Dr. Haim Rechnitzer
• Introduction to Ugaritic; Dr. David Sperling
• Tzedakah: Halakhah and History; Dr. Alyssa Gray

News from the HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Outreach Center

As well as taking part in HUC-JIR's overall mission of preparing Jewish leaders, the Jerusalem campus plays a particular outreach role in providing a warm Reform home to young Jews who are spending time in Israel on a long term program. As we begin the new academic year, which for many young Jews means the possibility of an extended visit to Israel, we would be delighted to offer young people the opportunity to take part in the range of programming that we offer at the outreach center in Jerusalem. In the coming year, we will host regular Shabbat morning services and occasional Friday night services at the Murstein Synagogue, host a monthly Shabbat meal; organize High Holy Day services, organize home hospitality, run a monthly Beit Midrash program at Hebrew University, and more.

Jerusalem's Murstein Synagogue Service Schedule 5772 (2011-2011)

Visitors from abroad and Israelis from the Jerusalem community are invited to join HUC-JIR's students, faculty, and friends at Shabbat morning and Holiday services. Click here to view the 5772 (2011-2012) calendar.

HUC-JIR in the News
Facebook Page for Jesus, With Highly Active Fans - The New York Times

While it's too early to say that social media have transformed the way people practice religion, the number of people discussing faith on Facebook has significantly increased in the last year. Since making a focused effort to use social media three years ago, Rabbi Laura Baum (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati '08) of the Congregation Beth Adam in Cincinnati, said the synagogue had reached thousands of people around the world and significantly expanded the number of people participating in Shabbat services on Friday evenings. They offer readings and services via live videos on Facebook, allowing Jews from all over the world to join in prayer and in conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or Livestream. "There are some people who will always prefer the in-person, face-to-face experience, who love being in a room with other Jews and smelling the freshly baked challah. And some people will prefer being online," said Rabbi Baum, 31, who is one of the leaders of "There are those people who prefer to check out our tweets on their phone or listen to our podcast. I don't think the use of technology needs to be for everybody. But we have found a community online. Many of them have never felt a connection to Judaism before."

The Binding of Isaac or His Sacrifice? Christian and Jewish Perspectives - Sh'ma

Dr. Josh Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, writes, "The dense, taut style of the Akedah's narration seems to reflect the religious tension of its content. Perhaps unsurprisingly, each of the three monotheistic faiths picks up on and plays into that tension to make very pointed religious claims. Judaism and Christianity, in particular, interpret the story in such a way as to expose the irreconcilability of their respective underpinnings. To be sure, both Christian and Jewish thinkers grapple with some of the same, more or less obvious, difficulties: God's apparent cruelty, the suffering of the protagonists, the complexity of faith, etc. Ultimately, however, Jewish and Christian thought diverge on how to read the crux of the story, namely, the struggle with and promise of child sacrifice."

What Not To Say About Israel This Year - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

There is a great deal in the news this season about Israel. Most of the alumni of HUC-JIR feel close to Israel but live at a physical remove. Spanning two continents, the College-Institute is aware of how that divide can feel. And so they are reaching out from our Jerusalem campus to help us think about what we hear and choose to say about current events. This guest post in HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning features reflections by Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Celebrating a Piece of Boyle Heights History - Los Angeles Times

From the late 1930s through the 1980s, Phillips Music Co., owned by Bill Phillips, father of Dr. Bruce Phillips, Professor of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR, wasn't simply a place to buy instruments and check out the latest vinyl offerings in Latin jazz, classical, rock, Cuban mambo and Yiddish swing. It also was a kind of community living room. Bill Phillips, the beloved founder-owner of the legendary emporium, lived a screenplay-worthy life and died in 1995 at 85.

September 11 Commemorative Events - September 11 in Cincinnati

As we come upon the 10th anniversary of September 11, the Cincinnati community is invited to attend free commemorative events being held at the Cincinnati Museum Center from 3:00-4:30pm on Sunday, September 11th. HUC-JIR and The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives are among sixteen Cincinnati institutions that are sponsoring the event. The program will include remarks by Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Fire Chief Richard Braun. An interfaith prayer service will also be held as part of the commemoration. Although the event is free, seating is limited so please arrive early. For more information, please call 513-381-4660 or email

Opening Reception for "Janet Shafner: Dark Prophecies" - September 14 at HUC-JIR/New York

The New York campus of HUC-JIR will host the opening reception of "Janet Shafner: Dark Prophecies" on Wednesday, September 14, from 5:00 - 7:30 pm. Turning to the Torah for the original sources of human relationships, Janet Shafner engaged with moral issues, ethics, and the unremitting arc of life and death. The monumental scale of her work encompasses dramatic scenes and places biblical actors on a cosmic stage. The exhibition is presented by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture, with the support of George, z"l, and Mildred Weissman, and Cantor Mimi Frishman and Rabbi Louis Frishman. "Janet Shafner: Dark Prophecies" is on view through March 30, 2012. RSVP required: 212-824-2298 or

The New Asylums: Mental Health and Ohio Prisons - September 15 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

The HUC-JIR-UC Ethics Center presents a series on Leaders in Social Engagement: "The New Asylums: Mental Health and Ohio Prisons" on Thursday, September 15 at 1:00 pm at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, featuring David Singleton, Executive Director of Ohio Justice and Policy Center.

"In the Thou Business" Open History Seminar with Dr. Walter Brueggemann - September 19 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

On Monday, September 19 at 12:30 pm, the American Jewish Archives will host "In the Thou Business," an open history seminar with Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. Dr. Brueggemann is known throughout the world for his brilliant method of combining literary and sociological modes when reading Bible.

Fields of Engagement: Debating Key Questions of Research and Jewish Education - September 19 in New York

The Berman Jewish Policy Archive presents "Fields of Engagement: Debating Key Questions of Research and Jewish Education," a symposium featuring Dr. Lisa Grant and Dr. Alex Pomson and moderated by Professor Steven M. Cohen. The symposium, celebrating the publication of the International Handbook of Jewish Education, edited by Lisa Grant, Helena Miller, and Alex Pomson, will take place on Monday, September 19 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at NYU Wagner. RSVP required.

Opening Reception for "Nathan Hilu's Journal: Word, Image, Memory" - September 21 at HUC-JIR/New York

The New York campus of HUC-JIR will host the opening reception of "Nathan Hilu's Journal: Word, Image, Memory" on Wednesday, September 21 from 3:30 - 5:30 pm. Nathan Hilu's imaginative works evoke memories of his long, multi-faceted life. The phrase art brut, coined by Jean Dubuffet in 1922, best describes Hilu's style - naif, or outsider art that does not adhere to the mainstream. Boldly drawn with passion and intensity, Hilu's art captures the essence of his early days on the Lower East Side, imagined scenes from Jewish midrash, and his experiences as a U.S. Army guard at the Nuremberg Prison and the subsequent International War Crimes Trials. The exhibition is presented by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture, with the support of George, z"l, and Mildred Weissman, and Cantor Mimi Frishman and Rabbi Louis Frishman. "Nathan Hilu's Journal: Word, Image, Memory" is on view through March 30, 2012. RSVP required: 212-824-2298 or

Sotto Voce Jazz and Hip-Hop Fusion Concert - September 24 in Cincinnati

HUC-JIR/Cincinnati is hosting a free jazz and hip-hop fusion concert on Saturday, September 24 at 7 pm. Sotto Voce is the new group from the extraordinarily gifted saxophonist/composer/songwriter Roy Nathanson. The group features his fellow Jazz Passengers Curtis Fowlkes and Sam Bardfeld, along with singing bassist Tim Kiah and human beat-box/singer Napoleon Maddox of the Cincinnati hip-hop/jazz outfit Iswhat?!

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

Dr. Michael J. Cook, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, made three presentations at the Limmud-Fest Labor Day Weekend Conference at Tumbling Waters (Ramah Darom), north of Atlanta. Before that, he was Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Adath B'nai Israel in Evansville, IN from August 26-28.
Galeet Dardashti, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, is performing her Selihot-inspired Monajat, touring in September in Miami, New York City, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Click here for further information.
Dr. Susan Einbinder, Professor of Hebrew Literature, is participating in the workshop, "Latin and Vernacular Translations of Hebrew Texts in the 12th and 13th Century," on September 20 in Bochum, Germany, at the Ruhruniversitaet Bochum. Click here for further information.
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam, edited "Learned Ignorance: An Investigation into Humility in Interreligious Dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews" (NY: Oxford University Press), with James L. Heft and Omid Safi. It includes an article by Firestone: "Chosenness and the Exclusivity of Truth," and also one by Michael Signer, z"l, an esteemed rabbinical alumnus of HUC-JIR who served for almost two decades as Professor of Medieval History and Commentaries: "'Seeing the Sounds': Intellectual Humility and the Process of Dialogue." Click here for further information. Firestone will be speaking at the Judische liberale Gemeinde, "Or Chadasch," on September 16 in Zurich. Click here for further information.
Christopher Eli Kraus, JD, MTS, Visiting Instructor in Jewish Education, was appointed Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Sholom in Cincinnati, OH, as a complement to his part-time teaching position at HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Midrash, will attend the international conference "Legal Scholar - Preacher - Spiritual Adviser: Changing Roles of Rabbis, Pastors, and Priests" in Regensburg, Germany on September 19-22. Click here for further information.
Dr. Michael Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History, will be lecturing on "Leo Baeck and Silesia" at a conference on Jewish History in Silesia to be held in Wroclaw, Poland, on September 25-27. The conference is sponsored by the International Leo Baeck Institute, the Hamburg Institute for the History of the Jews in Deutschland, the Willy Brandt Center of the Wroclaw University, and the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute.
Michele Prince, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health, served on the panel of the CCAR teleconference call, "Sacred Healing: Echoes of 9/11," on September 8. She reflected on Jewish teachings, values, insights, and experiences that help us find healing as we consider the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the several natural disasters of the past year, and economic challenges so many have faced recently. Prince will give the Dr. Robert L. Austin Adult Education Memorial Lecture, "Jewish Wisdom and Wellness: Building a Caring Community" at Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada, CA, on September 18 at 4:00 pm. As Temple Beth Ohr considers how to best serve the "sandwich generation," Prince will lead an interactive discussion about what Judaism teaches about taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our community.
Dr. Richard Sarason, Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought and the Associate Editor of the Hebrew Union College Annual, participated in an international conference of scholars held in Jerusalem in June on the topic of "Midrashim of the Land of Israel and their Dissemination," where he was a respondent to two papers. In early July, Sarason taught at the URJ's Summer Learning Institute in Princeton, NJ. The topic of the Kallah program was "Living a Reform Jewish Life" and his course was "Living Out a Reform Jewish Piety: Personal Prayer and Communal Worship." He also taught a session for the Hadrakah Seminar for Lay Leadership in Jewish Life, which was part of the Institute. In late July, Sarason taught at Mifgash Musicale, a week-long program for synagogue musicians held annually on the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR and sponsored jointly by the Guild of Temple Musicians, HUC-JIR, and the URJ. This year's sessions dealt with High Holy Day liturgy and musical repertoire.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Czechoslovakian ceramicist Barbara Krohn creates hand-made ritual objects to celebrate the Jewish holidays. Ring in a sweet New Year with Krohn's unique black and yellow Rosh Hashanah plate, complete with a friendly bee atop the one-of-a-kind honey jar. $250, plus shipping and handling.

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

Please click here for a larger image.

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