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October 27, 2011
Next Issue: November 10
Spotlight | News | In the Media | Faculty | Events | Photo of the Week | Judaica Gallery
BREAKING NEWS: President Obama to Address the 2011 URJ Biennial
President Barack Obama will speak at the URJ Biennial taking place outside Washington, DC, on December 14-18.
Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity, register now!
The Fall 2011 Chronicle: Reflections on Leadership

With this publication, The Chronicle expresses a new vision and format. Our aim is that each edition will now focus on a specific issue that displays to our international community how the faculty, alumni, students, and lay leaders of HUC-JIR are attempting to grapple both within and beyond the walls of the College-Institute with a matter of import for the Reform Movement, the Jewish People, and the larger world. In inaugurating this new approach, we have decided to focus on the topic of “Leadership.” We are excited and proud of our accomplishments and those of our alumni in the leadership arena—even as we recognize how much remains to be done. We believe that our outstanding faculty, our transcontinental reach, and our approach to learning can nurture new leaders willing and able to take on the dazzling opportunities of a new day. Click here to read the Chronicle in pdf form. Click here to read the Chronicle as a flip-book.

Cantor Ellen Dreskin Appointed Coordinator of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Certification Program

Cantor Ellen Dreskin (SSM ’86) has been appointed Coordinator of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Certification Program. Cantor Bruce Ruben, Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, stated, "Cantor Ellen Dreskin's energy, decades of experience, and proactive thinking are just what we need to make the Cantorial certification program a success." Cantor Dreskin is an innovative leader in today’s Reform Movement. Her expertise extends from music to synagogue transformation, from experiential education to enlivened liturgy and mysticism.

Rhea Hirsch School of Education Sponsors “A Special Needs Day of Learning”

Responding to the need for Jewish educators who are better prepared to work with children with special needs, HUC-JIR convened a panel of experts on October 3 at the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. The Rhea Hirsch School of Education’s (RHSOE) “Special Needs Day of Learning” allowed community educators to discuss the issue, share their insights, and respond to students who had requested more training in the area. “Serving children with special needs continues to be a challenge in Jewish and public education,” said Eve Fein, Coordinator of Clinical Education and Admissions Associate at the RHSOE. “We wanted our students to be exposed to the challenges and understand that there are experts out there that they can consult with.” The keynote addresses came from Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University, and his 19-year-old son, Jacob, who has autism.

First Cohort of New Certificate Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults Launches at HUC-JIR

If you are interested in a year long non-residential program focusing on adolescents and emerging adults, please check out the new Certificate in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR. This program, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, is perfect for those working with teens and young adults who want to enhance their knowledge and gain a professional edge. The cohort learns with faculty online and at three face-to-face events. The first course of the program launched online on Monday, October 24, 2011 and the first face-to-face intensive will take place on November 3-6, 2011 at the URJ Greene Family Camp.

In the Media
Shalit, Israel, and the Rabbinic Debate – JTA

Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR, writes, “Political sovereignty in the restored Jewish homeland often means making decisions with life-and-death implications. That reality was brought home with the agonizing decision to authorize the terribly imbalanced swap to gain the release of Gilad Shalit. The criticisms and concerns lodged by many supporters of Israel within and beyond its borders against the Netanyahu government for exchanging more than 1,000 prisoners for a lone Israeli soldier are legitimate and understandable. Undoubtedly some of the released prisoners will attempt again to wreak murder and mayhem against inhabitants of the Jewish state. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of Jews and people of good will throughout the world have rejoiced over a decision that will allow Shalit to return to the safety and love of his family and nation. Agreeing to the lopsided deal involved great pain for an Israeli government charged with balancing numerous and competing concerns in providing for the safety and security of its soldiers and citizens. The decision involved no easy or obvious choice.”

From Soldier to Rabbi, One Afghanistan War Veteran Takes Unusual Path - JTA

When West Point’s Jewish chaplain left the academy during Joshua Knobel’s freshman year, Knobel filled in for him, running Jewish prayer services at the military school’s chapel. In the years following his 2001 graduation, Knobel led services more than 6,000 miles east while deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. His career choice crystallized there. Knobel decided to become a rabbi and is now midway through the five-year rabbinical program at HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. “As I was making the decision of who I wanted to be,” Knobel said, “I realized that my path in life is to help people build communities based on the dynamic of a people and its sacred tradition.”

Take On Me: What is Your Jewish “Aha Moment?” – The Jewish Week

Rabbi Marci Bellows (HUC-JIR/NY ’04) writes, “If I were to ask you, what would your Jewish 'Aha Moment' be? Was there a significant event or experience in which you realized the importance of Judaism in your life? If you asked your family members or friends, what do you think they might say?”

Five Ways Your Bible Translation Distorts the Original Meaning of the Text – Huffington Post

Dr. Joel Hoffman, Lecturer at HUC-JIR, writes, “From the Ten Commandments to the Psalms to the Gospels, English translations of the Bible distort the original meaning of the text: The Ten Commandments don't forbid coveting. Psalm 23 is not primarily about sheep or a shepherd. And God didn't give his only begotten son because he loved the world so much. The problems stem from flawed translation techniques that haven't been updated in hundreds of years.”

Leonard Everett Fisher's Challenge – The Jewish Press

Leonard Everett Fisher is one of the master American illustrators of the last 50 years. His current exhaustive exhibition at the HUC-JIR Museum, beautifully curated by Laura Kruger, exploits both aspects of his 70-year career. In the spacious three interior exhibition rooms his mind-boggling exploits as a book illustrator and more recent creative works are explored.

HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:

Rabbi Dr. Martin A. Cohen, Professor of Jewish History, will present the Rabbi A. Stanley Dreyfus Memorial Lecture at Union Temple of Brooklyn on Friday, October 28. His lecture, “Marketing Judaism for the 21st Century, will take place at 9:00 pm. Click here for further information.
Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy, conducted a survey of Jewish Theological Seminary-ordained rabbis and current rabbinical students, showing continued strong attachment to Israel among both the students and their older colleagues.
Dr. Michael J. Cook, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, will conduct an institute for Christian clergy and then serve as Scholar-in-Residence for Congregation Achduth Vesholom, Fort Wayne, IN, from November 3-6, 2011. Click here for further information.
Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Professor of Bible, has recently had her new commentary on the Book of Ruth published by The Jewish Publication Society (JPS Bible Commentary: Ruth). The commentary was written with Dr. Tikva Frymer-Kensky, z"l.
Dr. Yifat Thareani, Researcher at the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archeology, was published in the monthly magazine "Eretz Acheret.” Click here to read an introduction to the article (Hebrew).
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR, participated as a guest on Radio Times, a program sponsored by WHYY, an NPR affiliate in Philadelphia (91FM), on October 11. The one hour broadcast was devoted to a discussion of the Jewish vote and the 2012 elections. The focus of this conversation was designed to help listeners better understand Jewish political behavior—what issues are most important to Jews and what are the changing demographic trends that may impact Jewish voting. Click here to listen. Dr. Windmueller is quoted in a recent article about Jewish demographics in Nevada regarding Jews are holding High Holy Day services in casinos. Click here to read the article.
Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives, was noted in the Forward’s recent article, “Washington's First Letter to Jews Is Lost.” Click here to read the article.

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, 2011. 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.

The Motýl String Quartet Presents Music for String Quartet in Commemoration of Kristallnacht: November 9 at HUC-JIR/New York

The Motýl String Quartet presents Music for String Quartet in Commemoration of Kristallnacht with works by Laurence Dresner, Hans Gal, Leonard Lehrman, Julie Mandel, Joel Mandelbaum, George Cork Maul, Herbert Rothgarber, on Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00 pm at HUC-JIR/New York. Presented by the Long Island Composers Alliance in collaboration with The Puffin Foundation, The Professor Edgar H. Lehrman Memorial Foundation, The Maldeb Foundation, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Dr. Michael A. Meyer Presents the 2011 Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture: November 10 at HUC-JIR/New York

Dr. Michael A. Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will present the 2011 Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture. His lecture, "Scholarship and Worldliness: The Life and Work of Fritz Bamberger," will take place on Thursday, November 10 at 6:00 pm at HUC-JIR/New York.

"Jewish Ritual: Rethinking, Renewed" Artists’ Reception: November 16 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles is hosting an artists’ reception on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, for its newest exhibition, “Jewish Ritual: Rethinking, Renewed.” Organized in collaboration with the Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI) of Southern California and curated by Georgia Freedman-Harvey, the display features the work of 16 Jewish artists. At the heart of the exhibit is this question: How can art add more relevance to rituals that play an important role in the personal lives of artists and their communities? It is based on the idea that rethinking and/or renewing how one engages in rituals allows one to reconnect with Judaism.

Meet the Composer/Master Class with Ben Steinberg: November 30 at HUC-JIR/New York

During our second Meet the Composer/Master Class on Wednesday, November 30 at 10:45 am at the HUC-JIR/New York campus, distinguished Jewish composer, conductor, and teacher Ben Steinberg will discuss his career and music with the students of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, who will perform his works.

“Women’s Participation in Torah and Mitzvot: Surprising Views from Sephardic Sources” with Professor Zvi Zohar: November 30 at HUC-JIR/New York

Professor Zvi Zohar, Professor and Founding Director of the Program for Hermeneutic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Israel and Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, will present “Women’s Participation in Torah and Mitzvot: Surprising Views from Sephardic Sources” on Wednesday, November 30 at 6:00 pm at HUC-JIR/New York.

Photo of the Week

HUC-JIR’s Interfaith Doctor of Ministry for Clinical Education for Pastoral Ministry launched its second year on September 12, 2011, welcoming the returning class of 9 and a new class of 6. The new class includes two Nigerian Catholic priests, a cantor, two Seventh Day Adventists, and a Presbyterian. Classes are held all day Mondays and courses include psychodynamic and developmental theory, clinical practicum, case supervision, theology courses, and experiential professional development group. The faculty are seasoned practitioners and educators in their respective disciplines of clinical practice and congregational ministry. This is an exciting program and any who are interested in learning more are welcome to contact Ann Akers at or by phone at 917-612-8950.

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Judaica Gallery

Pennsylvania metal artist Joy Stember established the Metal Arts Studio where she creates fine modern Judaica. Her work is included in national competitions and publications and sold in galleries all over the country.

  • Large pair pewter and brass candle holder with sanded texture with Shabbat and standard holder inserts: $250, plus shipping and handling
  • Square sanded kiddush cup, pewter and brass: $185, plus shipping and handling
To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Please click here for a larger image.

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