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Next Issue: February 9
January 19, 2012
Spotlight News In the Media Faculty Events Photo of the Week Judaica Gallery
Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Dr. Jonathan Krasner Awarded 2011 National Jewish Book Awards
The 2011 National Jewish Book Awards have been awarded to Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, for her new book, The JPS Bible Commentary: Ruth (left), published by the Jewish Publication Society; and to Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Associate Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR/New York, for his new book, The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education (right), published by Brandeis University Press.  As the longest-running North American awards program of its kind in the field of Jewish literature, the Jewish Book Council's National Jewish Book Awards is designed to recognize outstanding books of Jewish interest.  Dr. Eskenazi and Dr. Krasner will receive their award at the gala ceremony on March 14 at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. 
“Pledges of Jewish Allegiance” by Rabbi David Ellenson and Rabbi Daniel Gordis
Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa by Rabbi David Ellenson and Rabbi Daniel Gordis, has just been published by Stanford University Press. This pioneering publication explores the unprecedented challenges to the continuity and borders of the Jewish people that have been presented by the modern world.  Since the late 1700s, when the Jewish community ceased to be a semiautonomous political unit in Western Europe and the United States and individual Jews became integrated—culturally, socially, and politically—into broader society, questions surrounding Jewish status and identity have occupied a prominent and contentious place in Jewish legal discourse. This book examines a wide array of legal opinions written by nineteenth- and twentieth-century orthodox rabbis in Europe, the United States, and Israel. It argues that these rabbis' divergent positions—based on the same legal precedents—demonstrate that they were doing more than delivering legal opinions. Instead, they were crafting public policy for Jewish society in response to Jews' social and political interactions as equals with the non-Jewish persons in whose midst they dwelled.
Rabbi Uri Regev Presents HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Ordination and Academic Convocation Address
Rabbi Uri Regev was awarded the Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Ordination and Academic Convocation on November 28, 2011 / 21 Cheshvan 5772. Rabbi Regev presented the Ordination and Academic Convocation address. “The public faces great challenges: peace and security, education, urban development and environmental conservation, the renewal of the Zionist vision, religion and state, minorities, refugees and foreign workers, and many others. We assemble here at this festive event, Israelis, Diaspora leaders, and members of the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR, all partners in the desire to advance the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. In this regard we are no different from millions in Israel and the Diaspora who confront with these questions. We need to ask what is our uniqueness, what added value do we bring to this conversation?"
Dr. Gary P. Zola Awarded 2012 King Legacy Award
Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and Professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, was awarded the 2012 King Legacy Award on Monday, January 16, 2012. The award — presented annually by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition and the Freedom Center— is given to persons whose lives reflect the characteristics and attributes of Martin Luther King Jr. and to those who have made significant and tangible contributions in the areas of race relations, justice, and human rights.
Debbie Friedman to be Honored in Song on Occasion of First Yahrtzeit
Jewish music luminaries Craig Taubman and Julie Silver will join other performers on January 22 at 7:00 pm at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, CA, to celebrate the legacy of Judaism’s seminal songstress, Debbie Friedman, z"l, in a community event co-sponsored by HUC-JIR’s Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and Temple Isaiah. Songs of the Spirit: Debbie Friedman Remembered, a free, hour-long program, will include remarks by Friedman’s family and teaching by Rabbis William Cutter and Richard Levy, faculty at HUC-JIR. Performers will include Temple Isaiah Cantor Evan Kent; Cantor Linda Kates and Rabbi Ken Chasen, of Leo Baeck Temple; and the Temple Isaiah choir, HaSharim. Click here to read more about the event in the Jewish Journal.
African American Ministers and Religious Leaders Gather for Program on Israel
On December 8, 2011, the Cincinnati campus and the American Jewish Archives hosted the "Outreach Leadership Institute."  This program, organized by AIPAC, brought African American ministers and religious leaders to Cincinnati for a two-day study program on Israel.  HUC-JIR provided educational content for this event.  Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Dean, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, served as a featured speaker and spoke on the Bible and Israel. Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and Professor of the American Jewish Experience, spoke on the history of Blacks and Jews in the USA.
Unprecedented Jewish Pastoral Educator Conference Examines the Future of the Field
For the first time ever, faculty from every major Jewish seminary – across every denomination – came together to share insights and explore the current state of pastoral education, as well as visions for the future. Sponsored by HUC-JIR’s Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and the UJA-Federation of New York, the 2012 Jewish Seminary Pastoral Educator Conference took place January 10-11. Faculty discussed the state of Jewish pastoral education and how the unique role of the rabbi has evolved. Sessions examined the field’s history, how well practitioners serve communities, and where things may go from here. Click here to read more about the conference in the Jewish Week.
Times Square Discovery’s “Dead Sea Scrolls” Highlights Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archeology Finds
Dr. David Ilan, Director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archeology at the Jerusalem campus, announces that a number of cultic finds from the High Place at Tel Dan are on prominent display in the Times Square Discovery exhibit entitled Dead Sea Scrolls – Life and Faith in Biblical Times.
The Leadership of a Jewish Woman in Israel
HUC-JIR/Cincinnati rabbinical student Erin Boxt writes, “Anat Hoffman fights for her belief that Jewish women should have the same rights as Jewish men, including holding and carrying the Torah, the sacred text of the Jewish people. This strong brave woman has been arrested numerous times for attempts to participate in the Jewish tradition to which she feels so strongly connected. While attending the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Washington, DC this past weekend (December 14-18), I had the honor and privilege of meeting Anat Hoffman. On Saturday morning during Shabbat services, I watched as she ran from her seat in the back of the hall to those who were carrying the Torah. She remarked, “Look there are no police…may I carry the Torah?” Watching Anat take the Torah and carry it around freely and openly made me extremely proud as an American Reform Jewish man.”
DeLeT Fellow and Alumna to Receive 20/20 Award
The Jewish Educators Assembly has announced that Day School Leadership through Teaching-DeLeT Fellow Yael Mashbaum and alumna Bat-hen Zeron are receiving the 20/20 Award at “20/20 – The Future is Clear,” which honors 20 emerging leaders in their 20s from the greater Los Angeles Jewish community.
Jeremy F. Perlin, J.D., Appointed National Director of Human Resources at HUC-JIR
Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR, has announced the appointment of Jeremy F. Perlin, J.D., as National Director of Human Resources, as of January 17, 2012. Sandra M. Mills, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, stated, "I am confident that Jeremy Perlin will use his education and law experience to advance the professionalism of our national Human Resources Department." Perlin earned his J.D. degree at The George Washington University School of Law in 1993. He worked for the National Association of College & University Attorneys in Washington, D.C., as well as the American Bar Association and Illinois Education Association in Chicago, IL.
In the Media
Members of HUC-JIR Community on the Jewish Electorate 2012 – Sh’ma
Sh’ma, A Journal of Jewish Ideas, published a special issue with a focus on the Jewish electorate of 2012 and highlights articles from members of the HUC-JIR community. Dr. Steven Windmueller, Gottschalk Chair in Jewish Communal Service, and Howard I. Friedman, Chair, Skirball Cultural Center, wrote One Voice or Many? An Exchange of Letters.  Peter A. Joseph, member of the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR, wrote Where Jews Stand: A Roundtable with Larry Greenfield, Raphael Sonenshein, and Judith L. Lichtman.  Gary L. Greenberg, member of the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR, wrote The Tea Party and I: Confessions of a ‘Conservative’.
Cantor, Chaplain in Army National Guard, Awaits Orders - jWeekly
After growing up in Manhattan, Cantor David Frommer (HUC-JIR/New York ’11) moved to the Middle East and joined the Israeli army. Now a San Francisco resident, he might be heading back to the Middle East — this time possibly to Kuwait — as a member of the Army National Guard. Traditionally, rabbis (not cantors) have served as military chaplains, Frommer noted, but “in the Reform movement, some of the lines between the role of cantor and rabbi have become blurred.” His career choice was a natural for him. “They always say to do what you would do in your free time as your full-time job, if you can manage it. Since I was little, my favorite thing to do has been listening to Jewish prayer services and learning the musical settings of those prayers.”
Remember Us Project Means They’ll Never Be Forgotten – The Jewish Journal
HUC-JIR’s Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation was recently gifted a powerful Public Service Announcement (PSA) written and produced by teenagers participating in the Righteous Conversations Project. This project brings teens and Holocaust survivors together to discuss the survivors’ experiences as well as current issues facing the world that matter to teens. After these conversations, the teens create PSAs – this year about LGBT Families and Sustainable and Local Manufacturing – and gift these PSAs to organizations with common missions and goals. For this first year, the PSA entitled “Love Our Families” was gifted to the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation.
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam, was invited to be the keynote speaker at the conference, "The Root Causes of Terrorism: A Religious Studies Perspective," at the Leiden Institute for Religious Studies at Leiden University. His presentation was "A Global View of Religious Violence in Scriptural Monotheisms."  Rabbi Firestone was featured in an article written in a Bosnian magazine about his remarks made at the interfaith conference in Doha, Qatar. Click here to read the article. Dr. Bruce A. Phillips, Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies, presented two papers at the recent American Jewish Studies Conference: "Methodological and Theoretical Narratives About Intermarriage, A Quantitative Perspective" and "Demographic Narratives and Identity Research." Dr. Phillips was invited to become a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California.
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual, will speak at Temple Israel of Hollywood on the topic, “Founders, Baby Boomers, and Beyond: The American Jewish Project of Our Time” on Friday, January 27.  Click here for further information. Cantor Josee Wolff, D.Min., Director of Student Placement in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, presented a workshop at the Louis Lewandowski Festival in Berlin, Germany.
Click here for further information.
Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Associate Professor of the American Jewish Experience, delivered a paper at the International Workshop on New Understandings of Gender, Love, and the Jewish Family, on January 1-3 at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. His paper was entitled "Contested Boundaries and Values: the Road to Gay and Lesbian Ordination in the Reform Movement." The workshop was co-sponsored by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.

Public Dialogue with Rabbi Ellenson and Dr. Gordis in Celebration of New Book: January 19 at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan
The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan will host a public dialogue with Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR, and Dr. Daniel Gordis on January 19 at 7:00 pm in celebration of their new book, Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policy-Making in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa. Drs. Ellenson and Gordis will probe the challenges to Jewish self-definition in the modern period by examining a wide array of legal opinions on conversion and intermarriage, written by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Orthodox rabbis in Europe, the United States, and Israel, and discover how these rabbinic decisions are, in fact, attempts to define policy for Judaism in the modern period.
“The Renaissance Campaign to Destroy Jewish Books” Feld Memorial Lecture with Professor David H. Price: January 25 at Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Library Pavilion
The exhibition, Miracle within a Miracle: Johannes Reuchlin and the Jewish Book Controversy, marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Johannes Reuchlin’s Augenspiegel or Eye Glasses, a recommendation written in response to an imperial mandate to destroy all Jewish books. Reuchlin’s impassioned and ultimately successful defense of Jewish writings and legal rights represents a stunning intervention by a Christian scholar later acknowledged by a Jewish leader as a “miracle within a miracle.” Please join Professor David H. Price on January 25 at Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Library Pavilion as he presents the Feld Memorial Lecture on “The Renaissance Campaign to Destroy Jewish Books.”
Dr. Josh Holo on Post-Coloniality and the Jewish Question: January 23 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
Dr. Josh Holo, Dean, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, will lead an Open History seminar at the American Jewish Archives at the Cincinnati campus on January 23 from 12:30-1:45 pm on Post-Coloniality and the Jewish Question.
“Serving the Outcasts in our Community” Ethics Center Luncheon: January 26 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
Mary Carol Melton, Cincinnati Union Bethel – Off the Streets, and Phil Nunes, Executive Director of Volunteers of America, will lead an Ethics Center luncheon on “Serving the Outcasts in our Community” on January 26 at 1:00 pm at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.
Photo of the Week
Students in the first cohort of the Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults met at the New York campus for a ten-day Institute, where they studied with Rabbi Scott Aaron (HUC-JIR/NY ’98), based in Pittsburgh, about Mordechai Kaplan and the evolution of Judaism.

Click here for a larger image.
Judaica Gallery
Missouri-based artist Genevieve Flynn works in precious metals to design elegant hollowware and jewelry. The Jacob's Ladder sterling-silver candlesticks are hand forged to recreate the ladder in Jacob's dream. The bases are hand raised and highly polished. The candle sleeves hold a taper or standard pillar candle.

$1450, plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Click here for a larger image.

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