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Best wishes for a sweet New Year!
September 07, 2012
Spotlight News In the Media Faculty Events Photo of the Week Judaica Gallery
HUC-JIR Mourns the Death of Bonia Shur, z''l
It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Bonia Shur, Director of Liturgical Arts at HUC-JIR. Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, states, "Bonia Shur's life and musical expression reflected the trajectory of 20th-century Jewish experience, from the destruction of the Shoah to the birth of Israel and the flowering of Jewish culture in America. Together with Fanchon's gifted choreography, his creativity and vitality nurtured the academic and spiritual journeys of our students and enriched the larger community. His charismatic presence will be missed greatly, and his extraordinary music will endure as a living legacy." Hamakom y'nachem, etchem b’toch sha’ar availai Zion v’Yirushalayim. May the family find comfort among all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.
Welcoming the New Academic Year
Students across HUC-JIR’s stateside campuses are beginning their studies or returning from their summer internships, chaplaincy training, and infield social responsibility projects with energy, vision, and anticipation for the 2012-2013 academic year. Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, Dean, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati; Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Dean, HUC-JIR/New York; and Dr. Josh Holo, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jack H. Skirball Campus/Los Angeles; share news from their campus.
Dr. Judith Plaskow Serving as Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Visiting Professor of Jewish Women’s Studies at HUC-JIR/New York
Dr. Judith Plaskow is serving as the Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Visiting Professor of Jewish Women’s Studies at the New York campus of HUC-JIR during the 2012-13 academic year. She is teaching Sexual Ethics in the Fall and Creating a Personal Theology in the Spring. Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Dean, HUC-JIR/New York, stated, "Our New York faculty and students are honored to have the opportunity to study this year with Judith Plaskow, one of the preeminent feminist theologians of our time.”
HUC-JIR/New York Kallah 2012
The HUC-JIR/New York Kallah encourages students to reconnect with old friends and reach out to new ones while providing the opportunity to learn and grow together as Jewish professionals. The Kallah this year, entitled “Continuing the Conversation: Gender and Feminism in Today's Jewish Discourse,” provided students with the opportunity to learn about and reflect upon challenging issues surrounding gender and sexuality in their own lives, in the Jewish community, and in our society at large. Diverse programs enabled students to learn from one of the leading feminist Jewish thinkers of our time, Dr. Judith Plaskow, to study with our faculty and learn from those in the field, and to discuss these issues and how we can address them personally and professionally – and as an HUC-JIR community. Creative worship experiences enabled students and faculty to reconnect as a praying community and find moments of inspiration and experiences of God.
HUC-JIR's Second Cohort of the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education
HUC-JIR’s Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education launched its second cohort with a three-day intensive seminar at the Cincinnati campus, followed by a two-week Summer Institute at the New York campus. Lesley Litman, Program Coordinator, explained, “Student excitement about their learning was palpable as they engaged in their first two courses. This cohort is deeply inspiring both intellectually and spiritually. They blend the wisdom of their experiences with their coursework, thereby enriching both their academic learning and their workplaces.”
An Educational Adventure in Rabat, Morocco
Eva Mwanika, a Ph.D. student at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati who recently returned from a language and culture program in Morocco, shares her summer experience. She writes, “I am immensely appreciative of the exposure I got to the Moroccan way of life through study of the Arabic language. The cultural immersion allowed for both linguistic and cultural insights, including the numerous phrases and blessings continuously proffered, that I would never have been exposed to sitting in a classroom.”
HUC-JIR's Summer 2012 Recruitment Report
Between May and August 2012, the Department of Admissions and Recruitment strategically targeted Jewish summer residential camps and conferences to recruit the next generation of Jewish leadership and colleagues. We are thrilled about our success and are already planning for next summer. If you know someone with the potential to be a Jewish leader, please let us know! Contact us at or
Don’t Be Left Out of The God Survey
Over 2,700 people have completed The God Survey, created by Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro (HUC-JIR/Cincinnati ’77) for his congregation and adapted by Reform Judaism magazine. Leah Hochman, Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought, will comment on what we can learn from the results in an upcoming RJ magazine article. Don't let your theological perspectives be left out of the final data. The online survey will be available only through the end of October.
HUC-JIR in Fall 2012 Reform Judaism Magazine
In the Media
Educating the Modern Rabbi: A Conversation with Michael Marmur – HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
Rabbi Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, recently spoke with Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder about educating the modern rabbi. “We are trying to educate ourselves about the changes which are taking place ‘out there.’ We are looking at changes taking place within the traditional congregations where the majority of our alumni still serve, and outside those traditional frameworks too. While continuing to fulfill our traditional role, we want to broaden our self-understanding. Our job is to serve Jews where they are while building models of where they yet might be.”
Today’s Complementary Ed Is Not Your Father’s Hebrew School – The Jewish Week
The old model [of Jewish education] doesn’t work and in 2012, over 50 congregations with close to 3,600 children and 1,000 Jewish educators are creating a dynamic new landscape of Jewish education. The changes have been dramatic: more family-based and experiential learning, more attention to making learning life-relevant, a greater emphasis on nurturing relationships and building community, connections to other educational venues like camp and more intensive preparation of educational leaders and teachers. Truly, this is not your father’s or mother’s “Hebrew school.”
Snapshot into Jewish LA: Some Insights and Reflections – eJewish Philanthrophy
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service, asks, “So, what makes Los Angeles unique, or at least interesting!” He begins with an explanation new waves: One of the core historic features of Los Angeles has involved the constant flow of new immigrant and ethnic populations, creating one of the most diverse communities in the world.

Read more from Dr. Steven Windmueller:
Unpacking Chabad: Their Ten Core Elements for Success
Selling GOP to Jewish Women
Torah Games and the Future of Learning – The Jewish Daily Forward
HUC-JIR alumnus Rabbi Owen Gottlieb believes that the future of Jewish education is in games — both video and analog, like card and board games. Gottlieb is a doctoral candidate in education and Jewish studies at New York University and is the director and founder of ConverJent, which designs and develops games for Jewish learning and is incubated at Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, based in New York City. Rabbi Gottlieb shares why video games are great educational tools, what they have in common with rabbinic literature and why no topic should be off-limits for games.
A Meditation in Preparation for Rosh Hashanah - HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
HUC-JIR alumna Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Editor of HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning, shares a meditation in preparation for Rosh Hashanah. She writes, “Much of the work that we do during Elul is practical as we get ready for the new school year and for the mechanics of the High Holy Days. But even the busiest among us can and should take some time to reflect on where we have been and where we hope to go in the year ahead.”
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:
Rabbi Bernard Mehlman, Lecturer in Midrash and Homiletics, translated, annotated, and provided an historical introduction released a new ebook, The Way of Man According to Hasidic Teaching, with Dr. Gabriel Padawer. Published by Jewish Lights. Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min., Director, Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling, wrote a revised edition of “Beyond Breaking the Glass: A Spiritual Guide to Your Jewish Wedding” (CCAR Press, August 2012).
Michele Prince, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism & Health, presented on Self-Care and Resilience at the American Conference of Cantors-Guild of Temple Musicians Convention in Portland, OR. The presentation launched a research project that will be conducted by the ACC and Kalsman to examine self-care practices among Reform clergy to identify and disseminate successful and less successful strategies to strengthen resilience and fight burnout. Email the Kalsman Institute to get involved. Dr. Michael Zeldin, Senior National Director of the Schools of Education, had a chapter on Reform Jewish day schools published in The Praeger Handbook of Faith-Based Schools in the United States, K-12, Volume 1.
Rabbi Dvora Weisberg, Ph. D., Director of the School of Rabbinical Studies at the Jack H. Skirball Campus, translated part of the script for an episode of True Blood from English into the ancient Aramaic language. The CCAR Journal Summer 2012 issue on Judaism, Health, and Healing was edited by Michele Prince, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health, and Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min., with articles by faculty and alumni. Learn more.
URJ Virtual Education Symposium – September 10-14, 2012
What does the future of Reform Jewish education look like? Next week, will host a Virtual Symposium on Jewish Education to create meaningful dialogue around that very question. The symposium will kick off on Monday, September 10, by Dr. Charles Edelberg of the Jim Joseph Foundation, and each day afterward will feature responsive posts from Reform Jewish educators. Read the posts and join the conversation online. The future of Reform Jewish education belongs to all of us!
“The Sexuality Spectrum” – On View September 4, 2012 – June 28, 2013 at the HUC-JIR/New York Museum
The Sexuality Spectrum is a groundbreaking exploration of diverse sexual orientations through the creativity of fifty international contemporary artists. The exhibition explores a broad range of subjects, including the evolving social and religious attitudes toward sexuality; issues of alienation, marginalization, and inclusion; the impact on the family, child-rearing, and life stages; violence and persecution; AIDS/HIV; and the influence of the LGBTQI community on the Jewish and larger world. This exhibition exemplifies the spirit of the College-Institute’s and the Reform Movement’s commitment to free and open inquiry, inclusivity and outreach, and advocacy on behalf of human rights and the eradication of sexual discrimination.
High Holy Days at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
The HUC-JIR/Jerusalem campus shares their schedule of services for the High Holy Days 5773. Prayers will be led by Rabbi Dr. Michael Marmur, Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Rabbi Shelton Donnell, Cantor Mikhal Shiff Matter, and our rabbinical, cantorial, and education students.
“A Blessing to One Another” – On View September 10 – December 31 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
“A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” will be on view from September 10 - December 31 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. The exhibition is an interactive experience that allows visitors to follow in John Paul II’s footsteps from his childhood to his role as head of the world’s largest church. The exhibit is divided into four major sections, reflecting the four periods in the pope’s life.
Photo of the Week
---- Students in our rabbinical, cantorial, and education programs were welcomed to the Jerusalem campus to begin their first year of studies in the Year-in-Israel Program. The year allows for an exploration of students' religious and spiritual identities, with special emphasis on Reform Judaism, and their in-depth encounter with Israel provides opportunities to be informed, enthused, and energized about the challenges of statehood and the implications of peoplehood.

Click here for a larger image.
Judaica Gallery
---- From the studio of prominent Judaic textile artist Reeva Shaffer comes an elegant collection of hand-crocheted kippot for women. Kippot are beautifully adorned with feminine touches including beaded flowers, sequins, and lace.

$60 plus shipping and handling. To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218,

Click here for a larger image.

3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220

13 King David Street
Jerusalem 94101, Israel

Los Angeles
Jack H. Skirball Campus
3077 University Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90007

New York
Brookdale Center
One West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012


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