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Happy 64th birthday Israel! Best wishes for a joyful Yom Ha’atzmaut!
Next Issue: May 10, 2012
April 26, 2012
Spotlight News In the Media Faculty Events Photo of the Week Judaica Gallery
HUC-JIR Announces the 2012 Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) will bestow degrees upon the Class of 2012's cadre of new Jewish professional leaders for the Reform Movement at Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York. Distinguished communal and civic leaders and alumni will be awarded with honorary degrees and prizes in recognition of their service to Reform congregations and North American Jewry, and in honor of their humanitarian work.

Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, said, “The Class of 2012 emerges from the College-Institute imbued with leadership skills, steeped in knowledge, strengthened by a commitment to service, and dedicated to bringing hope and healing to our troubled world. As they touch the lives of others through their sacred work as rabbis, cantors, educators, nonprofit management professionals, scholars, and pastoral care-givers throughout North America and around the world, they will be a source of inspiration and guidance.”
Ordination of Cantors for the First Time in Jewish History
“The move from investiture to ordination of cantors is a significant step in the ongoing professionalization of the American Reform Cantorate,” states Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President. "Ordination confers clergy status to cantors throughout the United States, facilitates eligibility for service in military chaplaincy, and recognizes that today's cantor, after fulfilling a comprehensive five-year program comparable with the rabbinical program, enjoys an expanded professional role as a full-fledged member of the clergy, educator, pastoral counselor, musical director, and composer of new liturgical music."
Click here to read about Ilana Mills, the third sister in her family to be ordained at HUC-JIR. For more information, check out Tribe Magazine’s Sister Act, Part Three.
HUC-JIR President's Report 2010-2011 Now Available Online
The newly published President's Report offers an overview of the past academic year, with features on faculty achievements; students' learning and service to the Reform Movement, the Jewish people, and the larger world; and innovative programs strengthening our students' leadership development and HUC-JIR's educational and cultural outreach to the community. Click here to download the pdf. Click here to view the flipbook.
Four Questions of Reform Judaism
The new module of the Adult Jewish Living and Learning Journeys Project is now online. These four lessons and accompanying video clips are a project of the Reform Jewish Think Tank of the URJ, CCAR and HUC-JIR. The questions that serve as the basis for the lessons are:

1. What is the greatest contribution of Reform Judaism to Judaism?
2. Why are you a Reform Jew?
3. What is the greatest challenge of Reform Judaism?
4. What will facilitate the growth of Reform Judaism?

The videos features Reform Jewish leaders answering these questions, and the lessons are meant to help participants come to their own conclusions.
Dr. Evie Levy Rotstein Appointed Director of the New York School of Education at HUC-JIR
Evie Levy Rotstein, Ed.D., has been appointed Director of the New York School of Education at HUC-JIR by Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President. Since 1961, the New York School of Education has bestowed the Master of Arts in Religious Education on nearly 200 Jewish educational leaders, who have gone on to lead the congregational schools and educational institutions and programs for the Reform Movement and the Jewish people throughout North America, Israel, and around the world. Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Dean of the New York School, stated, “Dr. Rotstein brings a commitment to scholarship as well a depth of experience as a practitioner, she has clear vision and the ability to work collaboratively to make the vision we share for the school real. She is an extraordinary teacher. At this critical moment for the New York School of Education and the field of Jewish education more generally, I am thrilled that Dr. Rotstein will be assuming this position of leadership, for with her at the helm, I know our Education programs will continue to soar to ever greater heights."
In Memoriam: Manuel D. Mayerson, z"l
It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the death of our colleague, Manuel D. Mayerson, z”l, who was associated with the College‐Institute for more than three decades. He and Rhoda offered friendship and wise counsel to each of the College presidents who served these last 30 years. Their friendship was without bounds and their love of the College was always evident and is a lasting legacy. As a devoted member of our Board of Governors, he was dedicated to perpetuating the values, teachings and ethics of Judaism. His wide‐ranging generosity spanned the Jewish and secular world, as well as causes in the United States and Israel. His love of Torah and Jewish learning and his deep devotion to his family were manifested in all his endeavors. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his dear wife, Rhoda, and their children and grandchildren. May the family find comfort together with all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.
Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room Featured in Cincinnati Magazine
Emil and Winnie Barrows' devotion to Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus was boundless. They spent countless hours together in scholarly pursuits, working on behalf of the American Jewish Archives, and cultivating their abiding friendship. In 2000, when plans were being made to expand and refurbish the AJA, which has since been renamed The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Winnie immediately came forward with a major gift to ensure the success of the project. It was decided that her generous gift would be used to restore the Archives’ Reading Room to its original glory.
HUC-JIR Alumnus Rabbi Ray Zwerin's New Publication, Holy Fire
Rabbi Ray Zwerin (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati ’64), Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Sinai, Denver, recently published Holy Fire (The Sinai Press, Denver, 2012), a remarkable double-tale by a gifted storyteller. Zwerin weaves together the biblical plot of the death of Nadav and Abihu in the context of the desert wanderings with the story of Nate and Avi, survivors of the destruction of Yugoslavian Jewry in World War II and the resurrection of their lives and family in Mandate Palestine and the State of Israel. We know the biblical plot, but not this new telling; we know a lot of Holocaust history, but little about pre-Holocaust Belgrade and Sarajevo and the Jews who fought as Partizans with Tito against the Nazis.
Israeli Film Academy Award Nominee, Footnote, Features Hebrew Union College Annual
Israeli film Academy Award nominee, Footnote (He’arat Shulayim), which is currently being screened throughout the US, shows the “footnote” of the title, where, prominently visible, is a reference to the Hebrew Union College Annual. Since 1924, the Hebrew Union College Annual has published scholarship in the areas of Jewish and Cognate Studies, Ancient and Modern: Bible, Rabbinics, Language and Literature, History, Philosophy, and Religion, providing a scholarly forum of the highest quality. Each article is anonymously peer-reviewed by two readers, and is selected on the basis of its making a new and significant contribution to the discipline in which it is being submitted. We congratulate HUCA and its status in the Israeli academic world, acknowledged in the world of Israeli artistic and popular culture.
In the Media
The Necessity of Hope – The Jerusalem Post
Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, writes, “Our Passover Haggada, liturgy, and biblical readings stop short of our entrance into the Land of Israel. Yet, we have indeed entered, and as we prepare for this 64th year, dare we ask, are we still that beacon of hope, freedom and justice envisioned by our prophetic tradition? We were slaves, we were strangers, we were marginalized, we were despised, it is therefore incumbent upon us to build a society that spreads compassion, promotes justice, and protects the weak. Israel’s powerful Declaration of Independence set us on course to do just this for the Jewish people, for the minorities within Israel, and even reach out to our hostile neighbors. ‘To be free people in our land,’ claims ‘Hatikva.’”
For Our Creative Survival: Liberal Zionists Speak Out – Huffington Post
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Outgoing President, Union for Reform Judaism, writes, “I am a Zionist. Zionism is the belief that the establishment of a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel is essential for the creative survival of the Jewish people. Being a Zionist does not require that I live in the Jewish state, but it does require serious and thoughtful advocacy for the proposition noted above. My definition is carefully phrased and is rooted in the values and ideals of historical Zionism.”
After Four Decades, Emanu-El Rabbi to Retire – The Jewish Week
Rabbi David Posner, Member of HUC-JIR’s Board of Governors and 1973 alumnus of the Cincinnati campus, is retiring after four decades as a beloved, devoted, and faithful leader of Temple Emanu-El. Rabbi Posner’s life has been marked by consistency and steadfastness. He says he chose the rabbinate as a career at the age of 10, met his wife when he was 12, and has been at the same job since 1973. What convinced him to retire, he reflected, was the recent birth of his first grandchildren, boys now a year old and five months, and his desire to spend time with them. “Moses served for 40 years,” he said, so it seemed like a reasonable time to step down.
Finding Your Roots: Cantor Angela Buchdahl - PBS
Finding Your Roots, a PBS series which showcases the basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from, recently featured HUC-JIR alumna Rabbi/Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl. Buchdahl was born in Seoul, Korea to a Jewish American father and a Korean Buddhist mother, and is the first Asian American to be ordained as a rabbi or cantor in North America. She was invested as a cantor in 1999 and also ordained as a rabbi in 2001 at HUC-JIR/New York. She serves as the Senior Cantor of Central Synagogue.
Israel in Six Words: What We Love about the Jewish State – HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
In honor of Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, we asked for six words about what you love about Israel, what makes it special, extraordinary! Here are few of the responses:
  • Three faiths in one holy city. – Ruth Abusch-Magder
  • I love Israel’s flaws and aspirations. – Jeremy Burton
  • Hebrew alive, Torah real, people real-er. – Paul Kipnes
  • Like family. Not perfect, but loved. – Lisa Koppel
  • Feel more at home than anywhere. – Lori Sagarin
We invite you to add your own! Tweet us @hucjir or post in the comments on the blog.
Painting a New York Everyman – The New York Times
Max Ferguson’s new exhibition, “Painting My Father,” is now open at the HUC-JIR Museum in New York. Max Ferguson offers 30 years of realist snapshots that capture his father as he was, and as he wished him to be — all against a backdrop of a fading midcentury New York. Ferguson writes, “Moses is described in the Torah as the most modest man who ever lived. My father was the second most. He thought of himself, and wanted others to think of him, as simply ordinary. Perhaps that inspired me to often depict him as Everyman.”
Social Justice as a Unifying Issue for Dharmic Communities – The Huffington Post
HUC-JIR/New York rabbinical student Joshua Stanton recently participated in “Community Building in the 21st Century with Strengthened Dharmic Faith-Based Institutions,” a conference at the White House which sought to build strategic collaboration between each religious community and create a common language with which to do so. Following this conference, Stanton wrote, “Religious communities are never the same once they reach America. In my view, they often become even more remarkable. As a third-generation American Jew, it is at times even challenging for me to think of Judaism apart from the American experience. In spite of hardships early on for our community, the search for common threads between the disparate Jewish groups that came in droves to America two (and more) generations ago forced us to reexamine and hone our religious beliefs. What actually bound us together?”
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Dr. Michael J. Cook, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, will keynote an Institute for Christian Clergy and serve as Scholar-in-Residence at Peninsula Temple Sholom, Burlingame, CA (May 4-6, 2012). In addition to scholarly subjects, he will also address the sociological fallout for Jews from Mel Gibson's failed "Maccabee" movie and Shmuley Boteach's questionable "Kosher Jesus." Cantor Bruce Ruben, Director, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, recently published “Music, Liturgy, and Reform Judaism in Mid-Nineteenth Century America: Rabbinic Perspectives” in Musica Judaica Vol. 19.
Rabbi William Cutter, Ph.D., Founding Director, Kalsman Institute on Judaism & Health, delivered the paper, “Some Reservations on Narrative Ethics,” at the Association for Jewish Ethics in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Cutter’s article, "Cure and Healing: Where God Meets Science" will be published in the forthcoming “Healing to All Their Flesh: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Spirituality, Theology, and Health” (Authors: Jeff Levin, Ph.D.; Keith G. Meador, M.D. Th.M., M.P.H.). Dr. Gary P. Zola, Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, recently appeared on a PBS broadcast in Cincinnati on Jewish/Muslim relations. Click here to view the broadcast.
Hebrew Ulpan Opportunity in Jerusalem
We invite you to join us at the HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Campus for Hebrew Ulpan, offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from July 11 through September 5, 5:15-7:45 pm. For registration and to take the placement test, please email or call 026203333 or 0546940662.
“Kedoshim Tehiyu: Sanctify Your Life” with Rabbi Yehoyada Amir, Ph.D.: May 5 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
Dr. Yehoyada Amir, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, will speak about Jewish theology of statehood and social responsibility on May 5 at 4:00 pm at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.
“Max Ferguson: Painting My Father” Opening Reception: May 8 at HUC-JIR/New York
The HUC-JIR/New York Museum is pleased to host the opening reception for “Max Ferguson: Painting My Father” on May 8 from 6-8:30 pm. Photo ID required for admission. Please RSVP: or 212-824-2298. Presented by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
The Composer Speaks: May 10 at HUC-JIR/New York
HUC-JIR’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music and Essential Voices USA present “The Composer Speaks,” featuring workshop performances of new choral works by Cantor Bruce L. Ruben; Director, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music; Tony Award winner (Book of Mormon orchestrations) Larry Hochman; and Paul Schoenfield, esteemed American composer and University of Michigan faculty member. This event will take place on May 10 at 7:00 pm at HUC-JIR/New York. Tickets are $20.00, available at, or can be purchased at the door (cash only). Photo ID is required for entry to the building.
"France and the Jews" Program and "Joëlle Dautricourt: The Book of Happy Writing" Opening: May 16 at HUC-JIR/New York
HUC-JIR, A.R.I.F. – Association for the Restoration of Jewish Works and Institutions in France, and Moment Magazine invite you to the opening reception and program for “Joëlle Dautricourt: The Book of Happy Writing,” on Wednesday, May 16, from 5:30-7:30 pm, with program, “France and the Jews,” at 6:30 pm. The program will feature Richard Bernstein, NY Times book critic and former Paris bureau chief; Andrea Baumann Lustig, President, A.R.I.F.; and Joëlle Dautricourt, Artist. Photo ID required for admission. Please RSVP: or 212-824-2298. Presented with the support of Ruth and Marvin A. Sackner and Evelyn and Bernard Korman at the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum.
Concerts on Clifton: Across Centuries, Across Faiths: May 20 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
Please join us at the Cincinnati campus on May 20 at 4:00 pm for a vibrant concert of Italian baroque music inspired by the cultural mixes of Venice, Rome, and Florence.
Photo of the Week
During services on Monday, April 23, the last day of classes at the New York campus, we offered special blessings for Dr. Stanley Nash and Professor Jo Kay as they retire; Dr. Eugene Borowitz and Dr. Martin Cohen as they complete 100 semesters of teaching at the New York campus; and the rabbinical, cantorial, and education Classes of 2012 as they complete their studies and look forward to Graduation and Ordination!

Click here for a larger image.
Judaica Gallery
Create your own Yad with the elements included in this uniquely conceived packed kit. Designed by Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan, each set includes a silver pointer, a central supportive rod, diverse beads of glass, and a gold plated brass and/or silver closing cap for the top. The finished length of this easily assembled Yad measures 8" and includes an optional chain. Colors include blue, multi, amber, red.

$45.00, plus shipping and handling.

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

Click here for a larger image.

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