The next issue of HUC-JIR News will appear on January 19, 2012.
December 01, 2011
HUC-JIR’s School of Graduate Studies in Cincinnati Announces Ph.D. Fellowships in Jewish Intellectual History

HUC-JIR’s School of Graduate Studies in Cincinnati announces Ph.D. Fellowships in “Jewish Intellectual History.” Fellowships will be awarded to incoming students who have demonstrated high academic competence in an area of Jewish or Religious Studies. The fellowship program is designed to enable outstanding graduate students to pursue a Ph.D. in an area of Jewish Intellectual History at the School of Graduate Studies. Students will have the opportunity to study a variety of subject matter with a diverse team of HUC-JIR faculty. Subsequently, they will choose a specific concentration for specialized study. Ph.D. subject area concentrations include History of Biblical Interpretation; Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period; Rabbinic Literature, History and Thought; Medieval Literature; Jewish Thought and Philosophy; and Modern Jewish History.

HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Ordination and Academic Convocation 5772/2011

Three new rabbis for Israel’s Progressive Movement were ordained by Rabbi David Ellenson at the Ordination and Academic Convocation at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem on November 18, 2011. The ordinees were Shai Beloosesky, Ariella Graetz-Bartuv, and Gila Caine. The academic convocation featured the third cohort of graduates of the Blaustein Center for Pastoral Care and Counseling’s Mezorim Program and eleven graduates of the Life Texts – Talmudic Bibliotherapy Program received their certificates. Rabbi Uri Regev was presented with the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree and presented the Ordination Address. Sally Klein-Katz received the honorary Doctor of Education degree. Cantor Mikhal Shiff Mater received the honorary Doctor of Music degree. Lia Van Leer was presented with the President’s Medallion.

VIDEO: HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen Guest Shares His Story

John, a regular guest at the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen, is about to get back on his feet after three years of homelessness. He plans on returning to the Soup Kitchen as a volunteer in order to give back the kindness that was shown to him. For over 20 years, the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen at the New York campus has guaranteed a weekly meal for our homeless and hungry neighbors in the Washington Square area. The student-run Soup Kitchen personifies the central role that social justice plays in the life of the College-Institute. It is a tangible way that we fulfill Isaiah's prophetic call to share our bread with the hungry and bring the homeless into our house.

In the Media
Dear David Mamet: Reform Judaism Doesn’t Surrender – The Jewish Journal

Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, writes, “David Mamet’s recent, meandering tirade demands a response, even if cogency permits only a partial rejoinder. So, I will limit myself to where he begins and I where I ‘live,’ with the Reform Movement. HUC-JIR, which educates and trains clergy and leadership for the Reform Movement and beyond, maintains a campus in Jerusalem. There, we send all of our non-Israeli rabbinical, cantorial and education students for a full academic year, as we have since 1970. Despite market pressures to ease up on this requirement, HUC-JIR has held firm, because in part in defines us. In Jerusalem, we also run a program for Israeli Reform rabbis, who invigorate Israeli Judaism with the progressive values (Hebraic and Zionist values) to which most Israelis subscribe. These committed leaders split the horns of the false Israeli dilemma between religious and secular life. And in so doing, they put Jewish religion at the heart—rather than at the margins— of the project of the Jewish State."

Mobilizing the Veto in Egypt – The Jewish Journal

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus, writes, “The vehemence of the public reaction this weekend to recent Egyptian military moves caught a lot of people by surprise. The people of Egypt continue to show that they will march to the barricades when they smell a rat in the actions of their leadership. But with elections beginning in a week, the actions of the past days carry a more poignant political characteristic. Who was more effective last weekend? The Islamists or the secular activists? It is difficult to tell, not only here, but even in Egypt itself.”

The Graduates – IRAC’s The Pluralist

Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center, writes, “This week in Jerusalem, HUC-JIR ordained three Israeli Reform rabbis— Rabbi Gila Caine, Rabbi Ariella Graetz Bar Tuv, and Rabbi Yeshiyahu Belooseski. The students in the Israeli rabbinical program are pioneers. They are re-defining the role of rabbi for a society that has grown up with a narrow (and often negative) idea of what rabbis do.”

HUC-JIR Celebrates ‘A Century in Clifton’ –

With 400 guests gathered in the ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Cincinnati on November 6, the Cincinnati Associates of HUC-JIR hosted its 28th Annual Tribute Dinner honoring Mike Michael, President of Fifth-Third Bank, Cincinnati. The event marked the formal celebration of the 100th anniversary of the College-Institute’s move to Clifton. Rabbi Ken Kanter, Director of the Rabbinical School, and Dr. Nili Fox, Director of the Graduate School, welcomed the gathering and introduced a video that recalled pivotal moments in the campus’ 100 year history. The film was followed by moving testimonials from students at Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati who shared how HUC-JIR’s unique collaborations with these institutions have impacted their learning experiences and career paths.

A Transition Concludes, Transformation Begins... –

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Presidential Transition at the Union for Reform Judaism, writes, “As I wrote in my first blog post about the Union for Reform Judaism's presidential transition, it is bittersweet. We look backward in celebration of Rabbi Eric Yoffie's legacy. And we look forward with joy and anticipation to the transformation of the Union under Rabbi Rick Jacobs' new leadership. As there are many blessings to highlight, we also wrestle with difficult truths as we go forward.”

Ethical Eating: Beyond What We Put Into Our Mouths – HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

Guest blogger Ruhi Sophia Motzkin writes about the intersection between our responsibility to Israel—the land and people—and the food we eat. She writes, “Tav Chevrati, the social justice certification for restaurants that respect their workers’ rights and provide handicap access to their customers. The Tav Chevrati draws all of its strength from consumers excited about social change.”

HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:

Professor Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy, was noted in The Jewish Week’s article, “For ‘Friends’ Groups, A New Normal,” discussing how, with the philanthropic ground under them shifting, American ‘Friends of’ nonprofits are having to adjust to new realities. Click here to read the article. Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR, will facilitate “What Will The New Normal Look Like In The Future?” on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at the National Association of Temple Administration Conference in Washington, DC. Click here for further information.
Dr. Michael J. Cook, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, will be circuit-lecturer, from December 4-12, for the Institute for Southern Jewish Life, at various Christian universities and clergy institutes, and Jewish federations and synagogues in Alabama (Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile) and Mississippi (Jackson, Greenville). He will offer analyses of famous Renaissance art (Jewish symbols in Christmas depictions; also Last Supper portrayals of Judas); facets of Evangelical theology vis-à-vis Israel; Jewish children's "how-to" answers to missionaries and to Christian friends; Jewish perspectives on the Gospels and Paul; among others. Dr. Michael Zeldin, Director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education and Professor of Jewish Education, served as the keynote speaker at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Click here for further information.
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam, delivered a paper at the ninth annual conference of the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar. The conference title was “Social Media and Inter-Religious Dialogue: A New Relationship” and his paper was on how effective use of social media can work to overcome Islamophobia in the West and Antisemitism in the Muslim world. Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and Professor of the American Jewish Experience, will serve as the scholar-in-residence at Temple Emanuel of Dallas, TX on December 2-4, 2011. Click here for further information.
Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, will serve as Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Mishkan Tefila on December 9-10. Click here for further information.

Opening Reception for Artist Michael Gore at the Skirball Museum: December 4 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

A new exhibition of Venetian glass creations and textiles by renowned artist Michael Gore will open at The Skirball Museum at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati on December 4, with a reception and live music from 4:00-6:00 pm. This event is free and open to all. For questions or to RSVP, please contact Jen Lader at

Photo of the Week

Naamah Kelman, Dean of the Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR, served on the panel at the Jewish Studies Festival on Sukkot. The subject of the Israeli "Hak'el" Conference was alternative marriage ceremonies and the panel consisted of secular, Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis. The conference is a warm example of the over 30 organizations who are involved in the Israeli Jewish Renaissance celebrating Jewish learning and culture.

Please click here for a larger image.

Judaica Gallery

Alicia and Beatriz Kelemen of K4 GLASSART develop their work through the use of varying designs, techniques, and materials that showcase the desired optic effects, forms, and textures in a wide array of sculptures and colors. Each menorah is created of dichroic fused glass; gold leaf layer; and cobalt (left), sunset honey and pink (center), and clear and gold (right). Each menorah measures 2" x 8" x 1".

$160 each, plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Please click here for a larger image.

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