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G'mar Hatima Tova and best wishes for a joyful Sukkot and Simchat Torah!
The next issue of HUC-JIR News will appear on October 27, 2011.
October 06, 2011
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HUC-JIR News is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.
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New Year's Video Greeting from Rabbi David Ellenson

Thank you for your support for Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's mission: preparing the next generation of leaders for the Jewish people. May the New Year be blessed with health, peace, and joy for you and your loved ones.

News at HUC-JIR
American Jewish Archives Fall 2011 Journal

The American Jewish Archives Journal (AJAJ) provides readers with informative articles, interesting documentary analyses, and helpful review essays. In Volume 63, No. 1 (the Fall 2011 issue), Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg, Ph.D., Director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, published, with Jonathan D. Sarna, "A Writ of Release from Levirate Marriage (Shtar Halitzah) in 1807 Charleston." Also included is a preface from Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, "For Our Readers," and reviews by HUC-JIR faculty and doctoral students.

HUC-JIR Faculty Featured in The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture

The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, edited by Judith R. Baskin, has just been published and features key articles by HUC-JIR faculty, including articles on North American Adult Education by Lisa Grant; the Jerusalem Talmud by Alyssa Gray; Nachman Krochmal, Salomon Maimon, and Moses Mendelssohn by Leah Hochman; Folk Music and Religious Music by Mark Kligman; Women and Mysticism and Shekhinah by Sharon Koren; Reform Judaism: Germany by Michael Meyer; North America: Supplemental Schools by Evie Rotstein; Aggadah, Amoraim, Rabbinic Hermeneutics by Dvora Weisberg; Poetry-Bible by Andrea Weiss; and Summer Camping by Gary Zola. This volume is an authoritative and accessible reference work with entries written by eminent scholars that defines spiritual and intellectual concepts and the religious movements that distinguish Judaism and the Jewish experience.

Administrative Promotions at the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles

Dr. Madelyn Katz assumed the position of Associate Dean of the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles in September. An alumna of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education and the Los Angeles campus Director of Student Life for 14 years, she brings to the position both her long experience at HUC-JIR but also her applied scholarship in the field as a synagogue educator and director of Reform day schools.
Lori Klein was promoted to Associate Director of the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management in July. Director Richard Siegel describes Klein as the "heart" of the School, serving as the students' fieldwork supervisor and professional advisor.

"How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything" by HUC-JIR President's Council Member Dov Seidman

Dov Seidman, Member of the HUC-JIR President's Council, recently released a new, expanded edition of his book, "How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything," with a foreword by President Bill Clinton. In HOW, Dov Seidman argues that how you do what you do has become today's greatest source of competitive advantage. In this interconnected, globally interdependent world it is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others. The book's main thesis is that that how you behave, how you consume, how you build trust in your relationships, and how you relate to others now matters more than ever and in ways it never has before.

Mel Gibson's Antisemitic "Judah" a Jesus Figure?

Rabbi Michael J. Cook, Ph.D., Sol & Arlene Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies at HUC-JIR and Professor of Intertestamental & Early Christian Literatures, writes, "I believe we're are skirting the problem of what Mel Gibson is likely to do with his Judah Maccabee film. Drawing on the experiences of those of us who 'got to know Mel and his lawyers personally' during 2003-2004, and who may be called upon by the press for advance reactions - as I already have - should we not be doing more by way of serious anticipation?"

Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Course Offered to Cincinnati Community

The Adult Interfaith Academy is pleased to offer Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, a course taught by HUC-JIR graduate student Will Dilbeck, throughout Fall 2011. Members of the Cincinnati community are invited to join this introductory class to learn Biblical Hebrew, starting with the alphabet. The course is offered on Thursdays from 7:00-8:00 pm at the Klau Library at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

HUC-JIR in the News
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman and the Message of Kol Nidre - Haaretz

Yom Kippur continues to maintain its great power over people; if any day can draw Jews to the synagogue, it is the Day of Atonement, when tradition says we are judged for our deeds. Kol Nidre, the prayer service that begins the fast day even before the sun has set, may be the most dramatic moment in the Hebrew year, yet the Aramaic formula from which it takes its name, and which is recited three times at the start of the service, has long troubled the rabbis and many lay people as well. What are we to think of a statement declaring that we can not be held responsible for any and all vows that we may undertake but not fulfill during the coming year? How does that sit with a holy day meant to encourage us to take responsibility for our words and actions? Kol Nidre is the topic of the new book edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Professor of Liturgy at HUC-JIR: "All These Vows: Kol Nidre" (Jewish Lights, 250 pages, $25).

The Emerging Debate about "the Jewish Vote" - eJewish Philanthropy

Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR, writes, "Over the past few days, in light of recent polling results, the election outcome in New York's 9th Congressional District and a myriad of articles in such publications as New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, a national discussion has resurfaced related to the status of the Jewish vote. Are Jews likely to vote Republican in the 2012 election? One can track predictions of such a voting shift since the 1950s. In past presidential elections, including the Carter-Reagan contest of 1980 and the Bush-Kerry race of 2004 as well as the 2008 Obama-McCain election, we were regularly introduced to this question. Five elements ought to be considered in making any forecasts or projections about voter behavior within the Jewish community." Read more from Dr. Windmueller at The Wind Report.

Fostering International Jewish Connections Through Travel - eJewish Philanthropy

Sarah Bunin Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at HUC-JIR, writes, "I just returned from a month of volunteering and touring with my husband and three children in Peru. We had a wonderful experience - ogling at beautiful nature, tasting local foods, and learning about local history and contemporary society. There was just one thing missing: Jews."

Torah Games? Bringing Torah to Life Through Game Design - Huffington Post

Joshua Stanton, a fourth-year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR/New York, writes, "For many Jews, the Torah seems inaccessible. It is distant historically, culturally, and linguistically. The Biblical figures seem far removed and unapproachable and the scenes and vignettes do not seem applicable to everyday life. It is increasingly becoming recognized that if the Torah is to guide the lives of young Jews, it must itself come alive, and be an experience rather than just another objective in an already long day of school and extracurricular activities. Rabbi Owen Gottlieb (HUC-JIR/NY 2010) founded ConverJent to be an oasis of "Seriously Fun Jewish Games for Learning." ConverJent provides workshops and training in Torah learning through game design and has organized a new Jewish Games Roundtable, as well as designs digital and offline games for Jewish learners."

Sources on Repentance and Forgiveness for Yom Kippur - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D., Editor of Tzeh U'llimad, HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning, writes, "Today I got a request from a listserve to which I subscribe, asking that I forgive them for any wrong they may have done in the last year. Clearly in this era of social media it was only a matter of time before repentance and forgiveness went online. But while the format of the request was somewhat surprising and sent me off to reflect on the nature of virtual community, it was the broad nature of the request that really caused me to think more generally about the nature of apologies and mehkilah. I neither know the manager of the listserv personally nor do I feel aggrieved by this individual, so in this case it is easy to be big hearted and forgiving. But most of the work we do during this season is more complex than that."

"A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles" - On View through October 31 in East Hampton, New York

"A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles," curated by Laura Kruger, Curator of the HUC-JIR/New York Museum, is currently on view at the Vered Gallery in East Hampton (68 Park Place Passage), New York, through Monday, October 31. In this important traveling exhibition, significant international textile artists explore Jewish history, culture, social justice, ritual, and sacred texts.

HUC-JIR/Jerusalem High Holy Day Services - October 7 and 8 in Jerusalem

The HUC-JIR/Jerusalem campus will hold Yom Kippur Services as follows: Erev Yom Kippur services will take place on Friday, October 7 at 5:00 pm. On Yom Kippur Morning, services will be held on Saturday, October 8 at 9:30 am. Study sessions will take place at 3:00 pm and Mincha/Yizkor/Ne'ilah will take place at 4:00 pm. These services will take place in Blaustein Hall at Merkaz Shimshon-Beit Shmuel. Prayers led by Rabbi Dr. Michael Marmur, Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, Rabbi Haim Shalom, Cantor Mikhal Shiff Matter, and HUC-JIR rabbinical, cantorial, and education students. No tickets needed for Yom Kippur Services.

Books of Note: The Wilderness Itineraries - October 10 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

Dr. Angela Roskop will discuss her book, "The Wilderness Itineraries: Genre, Geography, and the Growth of Torah," at the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati on Monday, October 10. As we read the wilderness narrative, we are confronted with a wide variety of cues that shape our sense of what kind of narrative it is, often in conflicting ways. It often appears to be history, but it also contains genres and content that are not historiographical. To explain this unique blend, Roskop charts a path through Akkadian and Egyptian administrative and historiographical texts, exploring the way the itinerary genre was used in innovative ways as scribes served new literary goals that arose in different historical and social situations.

Opening Reception for "Leonard Everett Fisher: 70 Years an Artist" - October 16 at HUC-JIR/New York

The HUC-JIR/New York Museum will host "Leonard Everett Fisher: Seventy Years an Artist" on Sunday, October 16 from 2:00-5:00 pm, with a conversation at 3:00 pm with Leonard Everett Fisher and curator, Laura Kruger. Pulitzer Prize-winner Leonard Everett Fisher's prolific career embraces contemporary painting, the illustration of more than 200 books, commissions by the U.S. government to design postage stamps, and work as a World War II map maker. Moving between his lucid visualization of texts to the emotional sphere of painting, his graphic work exemplifies masterful technique while his clarity and delicacy of line sharpens his drawing in works that encompass the Bible, American and Jewish history, and the trajectory of his own life. 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.

Dedication at Arlington National Cemetery for Jewish Chaplains - October 24 in Virginia

On Monday, October 24, the American Jewish Community will dedicate at Arlington National Cemetery a congressionally mandated memorial to Jewish Chaplains who died in service to our country, including ordained rabbis from HUC-JIR.

HUC-UC Ethics Center Luncheon: Leaders in Social Engagement - October 27 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

The HUC-UC Ethics Center presents Leaders in Social Engagement: Envisioning Cincinnati Without Health Disparities, featuring Dr. Victor Garcia, Director of Trauma Services at Cincinnati Medical Center, on Thursday, October 27 at 1:00 pm at the HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

Concerts on Clifton: The Bible on Broadway - October 30 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

On Sunday, October 30 at 4:00 pm at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, we will celebrate the great stories of the Bible as they have become inspiration for Broadway musicals. The afternoon will feature songs of Gershwin, Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwarts, Youmans, and many more.

Open History Seminar: Privacy Laws and the Internet - November 2 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

The American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will host "Privacy Laws and the Internet," an open history seminar with Dr. Mark Washofsky, Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice, on Wednesday, November 2 at 12:30 pm.

Cincinnati Campus to Celebrate 100 Years in Clifton at 28th Annual Associates Tribute Dinner: November 6 in Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Associates of HUC-JIR will host the 28th Annual Tribute Dinner on Sunday, November 6. The event will pay tribute to Ralph S. (Mike) Michael, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati. 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.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Known as the "Grapevine Bowl," this unique piece is from the workshop of renowned Judaic glass artist Steve Resnick. It features gently engraved grape leaves and vines, as well as the phrase "flowing with milk and honey" in Hebrew. This beautiful piece is available exclusively at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum. $590, plus shipping and handling.

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

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