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emails from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

May 10, 2012
Spotlight News In the Media Faculty Events Photo of the Week Judaica Gallery
HUC-JIR/New York Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) held New York Graduation Ceremonies on Thursday, May 3, 2012 and New York Ordination Ceremonies on Sunday, May 6, 2012, both at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. 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, and educators, throughout North America and around the world, they will be a source of inspiration and guidance.”

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President, Union for Reform Judaism, presented the New York Graduation address.
Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl, Senior Cantor, Central Synagogue, New York, presented the New York Ordination address.
Dr. Michael Zeldin Appointed Senior National Director of the Schools of Education at HUC-JIR
Michael Zeldin, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Education, has been appointed Senior National Director of the Schools of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) by Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President. In this new capacity, Dr. Zeldin will be moving HUC-JIR’s Schools of Education in Los Angeles and New York towards a more integrated model for all of HUC-JIR’s education programs, providing opportunities for greater synergies among the various programs so that they can play an even more significant role in transforming the landscape of Jewish education to meet the demands of the extraordinary times in which we live.
Jewish Wisdom and Wellness: A Week of Learning
"Jewish Wisdom and Wellness: A Week of Learning," to be held April 21 to 27, 2013, and sponsored by the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and Cedars-Sinai, will include a series of community-wide events, developed and hosted by organizations and synagogues throughout Southern California. The week will include lectures, workshops, and experiential learning, and will open and conclude with special events hosted by the Kalsman Institute and Cedars Sinai. It is around the theme of Judaism, health, and healing that we can engage our communities and deepen relationships with one another. We will mine the Jewish tradition to improve health and well-being in the Jewish community, and discover how the continuum of illness and wellness informs Jewish life.
New Publication by HUC-JIR Alumnus Rabbi Ralph D. Mecklenburger
Rabbi Ralph D. Mecklenburger, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati ’72, Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, TX, recently published Our Religious Brains (Jewish Lights Publishing). Avoiding neurological jargon and respectful to all faiths, Our Religious Brains ranges over biblical foundations, medieval philosophers and mystics, modern theologians and psychologists, and scholars who study how worship works. Research for Rabbi Mecklenburger’s publication was completed at the HUC-JIR/New York Library.
In the Media
What’s in a Word? For ‘Ordained’ Rather Than ‘Invested’ Cantors, a Lot - JTA
What’s the difference between investiture and ordination? Plenty, say officials at HUC-JIR, which has announced that for the first time since establishing its cantorial school in 1948, it will ordain rather than invest its graduating class of cantors. Six cantorial students will be ordained Sunday in ceremonies at Temple Emanu-El in New York. The change has been several years in the making. Reform movement officials say it both recognizes the elevated role that cantors have in modern times and eliminates some barriers they have faced in their clergy work.
Leading Feminist Theologian to be Ordained – The Jewish Journal
Rachel Adler, Professor of Jewish Religious Thought and Feminist Studies at HUC-JIR, will be ordained on May 13 as a Reform rabbi. Rabbi David Ellenson, President, states, “She has taught the Jewish community in virtually an unparalleled way for almost 40 years, from the time of her earliest writings in the 1970s to the present day. Many of the changes that have occurred in Jewish life that have allowed the community to be inclusive of women have been a result of Rachel Adler’s efforts. Rachel will now officially become what she has been and was destined to be — a rabbi among the Jewish people.”
A Perfect Firestorm for Anti-Semitism – The Jewish Week
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service, writes, “The story of world Jewry covering the past six decades must be defined as one of achievement and recognition. American Jews have achieved extraordinary success and influence, and Israel, despite threats to its existence, has flourished as a democracy, and absorbed and resettled millions of Jews. Yet, as the world marks the 80th anniversary of the rise of Nazism, the status of Jews in the world seems to be seriously eroding.”
Saul Alinsky’s Moment? - The Jewish Week
On April 29 and 30, a new group, JOIN for Justice, debuted at a conference it hosted at HUC-JIR/New York, which it called the first Jewish community organizing summit. And JOIN itself, whose acronym stands for Jewish Organizing Institute and Network, was created late last year to train Jewish groups in community organizing, or the work of supporting a group of people creating social change. “There’s an inherent risk in billing this as ‘organizing,’” said Jordan Namerow, a communications consultant for JOIN who is also a writer at the American Jewish World Service. “We’re trying to de-stigmatize” the term. JOIN is not only unafraid to stake its existence on the phrase, but also insists on its value far beyond the Reform movement and social justice efforts with which Jewish community organizing is typically associated.
A Consideration of Food Stamps for Shavuot – HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Editor, Tzeh Ullimad, writes, “If there is meaning in the confluence of the two strands of Shavuot, that of the harvest holiday and the celebration of revelation, it may be found in the link between the equality of revelation and the need to share our bounty with everyone.”
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Rabbi Yehoyada Amir, Ph.D., Associate Professor for Jewish Thought, edited “Jacob’s Leader: Jewish Reflections” (Carmel Publishing House and The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center of Congregation Mevakshei Derekh in Jerusalem). Click here for further information. Dr. Michael A. Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History, will be speaking at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem on "Minhagim in Reform Judaism" as part of a panel on "Minhagim in Different Movements of Judaism" during a conference on "Minhagim: Customs and Practice in Jewish Life," sponsored by Tel Aviv University. On June 12, he will speak at the University of Zurich on "Annäherung an eine pluralistische jüdisch-religiöse Erziehung aus liberaler Perspektive" within the framework of a conference on "Pluralism Within Judaism."
Dr. Michael J. Cook, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, will keynote Seattle Temple De Hirsch Sinai's "Christian Clergy Institute" and serve as Scholar-in-Residence (May 8-11, 2012), on subjects including "Fixations on the End-Times in 2012: Flawed Recourse to Daniel, Ezekiel, & the Book of Revelation." Dr. Cook will be speaking May 18-20 for Jewish-Christian venues in Odessa / Midland, Texas on subjects including "Jews, Jesus & the Gospels: Why the Future’s No Longer What It Used to Be;” “If Jewish History Goes in Cycles, Where Are We Now with Christian Denominations & Islam?” “Close Encounters of the Religious Kind: Answering Queries from Christian Friends;” and "Symbolic Images of Judaism in Famous Renaissance Painting." Michele Prince, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health, participated in a transdisciplinary and cross-community conversation with Julia Lupton, director of UCI's Program in Jewish Studies program and Ellen Olshansky, director of UCI's Program in Nursing Science, at a UC Irvine Conference on Judaism and Health on April 24.
Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx, Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Midrash, appeared on Dov Elboim's show on Chanel 1 on the Israeli TV. Click here to watch. Dr. Steven F. Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor, recently published the article, "From Tea Party to J Street: Jews and American Politics, Understanding the Changing Landscape of the Jewish Vote," Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Winter/Spring 2012, Volume 87, pages 207-215. Click here to read the article.
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. 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.
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.
Photo of the Week
The students from the first cohort of the Certificate Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults gathered together on April 29, 2012 for four days at the URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, WI, for their final intensive. They focused on Jewish service learning facilitated by Dr. Beth Cousens from Repair the World.

The students explored social justice work in a Jewish experiential setting by learning about direct service that responds to communal needs. This course explored the relationship between Jewish identity and Jewish service learning through the study of various Jewish texts as well as program models and their impact on the Jewish and secular communities. By reviewing best practices students strengthened their program development skills; deepened their understanding of service, social justice and community organizing; learned what is Jewish about Jewish service learning; and strategized about how to incorporate service learning into already existing programs.

Rabbi David Saiger, a student in the Certificate Program, remarked upon reflection, “In order to be effective agents of tikkun olam, we have to have a larger vision and story of what we care most about in the world and how we want to focus our resources. It has been helpful to discuss how to go about assessing the needs of the recipients of our work before going forward and just doing something.”

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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