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November 08, 2012
Spotlight News In the Media Faculty Events Photo of the Week Judaica Gallery
Students Volunteer for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Rabbi David Ellenson, President, stated, "The havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy has been of catastrophic proportion. Our hearts and sympathy go out to all who have been adversely affected. Indeed, we are all surely devastated by the tragic loss of lives, and deeply saddened by the sight of homes and communities destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Our history teaches us that there is an ineffable spark to the human spirit that allows us to respond to catastrophe with hope and a belief in the future. May these sparks of optimism and the good that are taking place even in the face of this horrific disaster light up these difficult days and give us all the strength to move forward as together we rebuild and repair our world. I am grateful to the administration and students of our New York Campus community for their volunteer efforts in the greater New York area on behalf of all those in need." HUC-JIR students Nikki DeBlosi, Hannah Goldstein, Jodie Gordon, Lauren Levy, Adam Scheldt, and Amanda Winter share their experiences.

Please donate to the URJ's Disaster Relief Fund today to help with the relief efforts or volunteer in affected areas.
Recruitment Alert: HUC-JIR is on the Road!
Our Admissions Staff will be on the road next week, visiting different communities and meeting with alumni and prospective students. If you know someone at one of these colleges or in these areas who has expressed interest in learning more about one of HUC-JIR’s programs, or if you know someone who you think would make a great student, please let us know!

Deborah Abelson, National Director of Recruitment and Admissions, will be in the San Francisco Bay Area next week:
  • Stanford Hillel: Monday, November 12, 2pm to 5pm
  • UC Davis Hillel: Tuesday, November 13, 12pm to 4pm
  • UC Berkeley Hillel: Wednesday, November 14, 12pm to 4pm
  • Congregation Emanu El in San Francisco: Wednesday, November 14, at 7pm
  • UC Santa Cruz, Thursday, November 15, 11am to 3pm
She can be reached at

Jessica Ingram, Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions, will be in the Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia area:
  • Johns Hopkins Hillel: Friday, November 9, 1pm to 3pm
  • George Washington University Hillel: Erev Shabbat, Friday, November 9, 5pm to 9pm
  • DC/Northern VA area: Saturday, November 10, through 5pm
  • Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor: Saturday, November 10 through Tuesday, November 13
She can be reached at
New Members Inducted onto HUC-JIR Board of Governors
  • Rabbi Barry Kogan, Ph.D., Clarence and Robert Efroymson Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Religious Thought at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
  • Cantor Sarah J. Sager, '78, of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Marcie Zelikow, member of HUC-JIR's Western Region Board of Overseers and Chair of HUC-JIR's School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Advisory Board
Jews and the 2012 Elections: Striking Realities
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor, writes, “Jews no longer count in defining election outcomes. The Jewish community's numbers are simply too small and getting smaller. Several decades ago, Jews comprised some 4% of the electorate; today this constituency accounts for less than 2%. The Jewish vote continues to decline in proportion to the overall national population and in relationship to other ethnic communities, portending a further weakening of this community's political prowess at the polls.”
Announcing the Winter 2012 Issue of Reform Judaism Magazine
  • “Forum for the Future” by Jonathan Sarna, Rabbi David Gerber, David Cygielman, Yoav Shlesinger, Rebecca Missel, Sarah Lefton, and Josh Nelson: Six 20s and 30s say what they need to find their home in the Jewish community, and historian Sarna illuminates what history can teach us about the challenge of engaging the next generation.
  • “What Will the Neighbors Say?!” - A conversation with Rabbi Edythe Mencher and Dale Atkins: How society has changed what it deems a disgrace, and how to break the cycle of unjustified shame.
  • “An Insider’s Guide to the Jewish Conversation” - A conversation with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman: Judaism is essentially a “conversation,” and these are the essential texts Jewish conversationalists should know.
  • “Youth Engagement: Launching the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution” - A conversation with Rabbi Bradley Solmsen and Professor Isa Aron: Why we need a b’nai mitzvah revolution—and what such a revolution will encompass.
  • “History & Herstory” by Rabbi Rick Jacobs: Women are entitled to equal pay in the workforce and proper healthcare within the military.
HUC-JIR Mourns the Death of Cantor William Sharlin, z"l
It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the death of Cantor William Sharlin, z"l, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Sacred Music and Jewish Liturgy, HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, who organized their Department of Sacred Music in 1954. He was the cantorial mainstay and cantor of the synagogue of our Jack H. Skirball Campus for nearly six decades. Cantor Sharlin was a musical and cantorial genius and a mentor to countless rabbis and cantors. Zichrono livracha - May his memory be an everlasting blessing to us all.
Youth Program Sponsored by the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati Inspires Emerging Student Leaders
During the weekend of October 12-14, the Cincinnati Campus of HUC-JIR welcomed 22 high school students from throughout the country and Canada to participate in a youth program entitled, “Teaching to Fish or Giving a Fish: Tzedek vs. Tzedakah.” The event was a collaborative initiative of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, The National Federation of Temple Youth, and the Religious Action Center.
Members of HUC-JIR Community Named NewGround Fellows
Debbie Tehrani, Assistant Director of Development, Western Region, and Jaclyn Fromer, fourth-year rabbinical student, have been named as NewGround Fellows this year. This unique program brings together young Muslim and Jewish professionals in order to build skills, relationships, and the networks necessary to transform how the two groups relate to each other in the United States.
Israel Education Matters: A 21st Century Paradigm for Jewish Education
Dr. Lisa D. Grant, Professor of Jewish Education, and Ezra M. Kopelowitz recently wrote “Israel Education Matters: A 21st Century Paradigm for Jewish Education,” published by The Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education. “Israel Education Matters” is the first book in the Peoplehood in Practice publication series, which focuses on education for identity, connection, and commitment to Israel and the Jewish people.
Hebrew Union College and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Jason Kalman, Gottschalk‐Slade Chair in Jewish Intellectual History and Associate Professor of Classical Hebrew Text and Interpretation, recently wrote “Hebrew Union College and the Dead Sea Scrolls.” This book traces the activities of HUC‐JIR’s administration and faculty over five decades, the contribution they made to the new academic field, and their influence on how knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls was shared with the community at large.
Reform Movement Youth Engagement
HUC-JIR and the Union for Reform Judaism are partnering in engaging youth:
In the Media
Democracy, Disillusionment, and Salvation – The Jerusalem Post
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D., Lecturer in Liturgy, writes, “While the Jewish people certainly didn’t invent democracy, we should have. Democracy’s ethics of equality and freedom of religion have allowed us not only to survive as an otherwise often subjected minority, but to flourish dramatically and fully participate in society. Far beyond these clear gifts of the post-enlightenment world, democracy enabled the Jewish people to respond to God’s original call to the first Jew (Genesis 12) to be a nation and a blessing. As a people, the creation of democratic societies and our intimate involvement in them allows us to be a powerful and direct cause of positive change in the world. Simply put, without the protection and possibilities that democracy has given us, we could not fulfill our destiny as Jews.”
Diaspora Jews Stand With Women of the Wall – The Jerusalem Post
Hundreds of people around the world simultaneously recited the shema prayer in a unique flashmob event, in response to the arrest of Women of the Wall chairwoman Anat Hoffman. The Jerusalem flashmob organizer Alli Cohen, a first-year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR, was standing right next to Hoffman when she was arrested on Tuesday night. Both Cohen and fellow HUC-JIR student Jennifer Rueben, a cantorial student, said that as Americans it was surprising to realize that in Israel not everyone can pray as they wish. “Here [in Israel], there’s a very Orthodox mentality, even the secular people have an Orthodox mentality because they grew up in an Orthodox world,” said Rueben.
Can Women Pray Out Loud? Some Rabbinic Sources – HUC-JIR’s Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning
Rabbi Judith Abrams, Ph.D., Director of Maqom, writes, “I remember when I first seriously looked into the textual basis of ‘Kol Ishah.’ I used my computer concordance of all of rabbinic literature (here defined as Mishnah, Tosefta, Yerushalmi, Bavli, and midrash collections) to look for the term. I expected to find a long list of sources. I found three hits. I thought, ‘Well, I must have looked it up wrong.’ So I tried ‘kol ha’ishah,’ ‘kolot nashim,’ and other variations. No matter what I tried, I still I came up with just three hits in all of rabbinic literature. And each of those citations is a repetition of just one statement.”
Lingo of the Sarah Silverman Controversy – The Jewish Daily Forward
Dr. Sarah Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, writes, “The Jewish Press set off a firestorm when it published ‘An Open Letter to Sarah Silverman’ by Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt. The Orthodox author criticized the comedian’s politics, vulgar presentation style, and the fact that she remains childless. As a linguist, what I found most interesting about this article was the language. By looking closely at the Hebrew and Yiddish words used by the author and commenters, we can learn a lot about Orthodox Jews in America.” Learn more about Dr. Benor’s new website in Moment Magazine’s “Do You Speak Jewish?”
Rabbi Carole B. Balin, Professor of Jewish History, will be the Scholar-in-Residence at Larchmont Temple in November in conjunction with the museum exhibition, "Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age," which she co-curated and which is a project of Moving Traditions and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Learn more. Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam, will present the keynote address at a day-long program in San Francisco at the annual Lehrhaus conference, this year on War and Peace. Learn more.
Dr. Sarah Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, was a respondent at Annual Nemer Lecture of USC's Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. Learn more. Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, delivered a lecture titled "Judaism and Politics - The Fusion Between the Public and Private Spheres" at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D., Dean, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will present the Sanford J. Ettinger Memorial Lecture at Congregation Shalom on November 30. Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor, will be the keynote speaker at the NATA Convention in Detroit on November 11 with Rabbi Peter Rubinstein. On November 15, Dr. Windmueller will present a paper assessing the ADL’s contributions to the field of community relations at their National Board Meeting on the occasion of its centennial celebration in Chicago. On November 16, he will speak at I.M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati on the implications of the elections. On November 18, he will speak about the elections at Beth Israel Congregation in Portland.
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, will present “Jewish Peoplehood in the Jewish State: Marriage, Conversion, and the Future of Israel” at Duke University on December 9. Learn more.
The Amernet String Quartet comes to “Concerts on Clifton” – November 11 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
On November 11, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will welcome the Amernet String Quartet in concert as a part of the Concerts on Clifton series. The quartet will perform music of the Jewish Diaspora for string quartet, featuring compositions by seminal Jewish composers Pavel Haas, Aleksandr Zhitomirskii, Jacob Weinberg, Viktor Kohn, David Grunfeld and Dmitri Skosta. Lauded for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by The New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered worldwide praise and recognition as one of today’s exceptional string quartets.
The JPS Torah at Fifty: A Celebration of a Translation and a Translator – December 13 at HUC-JIR/New York
HUC-JIR and The Jewish Publication Society invite you to “A Celebration of a Translation and a Translator,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “New JPS Translation” of the Torah, and marking the 20th yahrzeit of Dr. Harry M. Orlinsky, and the 90th anniversary of the Jewish Institute of Religion on December 13 at 6pm at HUC-JIR/New York. Dr. Leonard Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization and Professor of Classical & Near Eastern Studies and Theology, Creighton University, will be the keynote speaker, with responses by Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR; Dr. S. David Sperling, Professor of Bible, HUC-JIR; and Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz, Director, Jewish Publication Society. Click here to RSVP.
Bridging the Gaps: Spiritual Care for Hospital, Bedside, Synagogue, and Community – November 13 in Los Angeles
HUC-JIR's Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health presents a Day of Learning in Los Angeles focusing on bridging the gaps between hospital, bedside, synagogue, and community in chaplaincy and spiritual care services on November 13. Co-sponsored by the Kalsman Institute along with The Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the National Association of Jewish Chaplains, and Cedars-Sinai, plus special sponsor, Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary.
The Sexuality Spectrum at the HUC-JIR/New York Museum
The Sexuality Spectrum, on view through June 28, 2013 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York, offers a groundbreaking exploration of sexual orientation through the creativity of over fifty international contemporary artists. This 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. To book a tour or order the catalogue, contact us at or 212-824-2298.
End of Life Care: A Liberal Jewish Perspective – November 18 at HUC-JIR/New York
The Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/New York and CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, present “End of Life Care: A Liberal Jewish Perspective” at the New York Campus on Sunday, November 18, 1-5 pm. Study with HUC-JIR and CLAL for an in-depth opportunity for you and your caring committees to expand your knowledge and enhance the care and support you provide and learn from hospice and palliative care experts – physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, and HUC-JIR alumni. Sponsored by the Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Metropolitan Jewish Health System.
Fall Art Exhibitions at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of HUC-JIR in Los Angeles
HUC-JIR is pleased to present a pair of thought-provoking art exhibitions this fall at its Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles: “Deeply Rooted,” on view through December 14, 2012, and “Photographic Visions of the Diaspora,” on view through May 31, 2013. Both exhibitions are organized by Anne Hromadka, Guest Curator of the Art Collection and Exhibitions.
The 2012 Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture with Rabbi Ruth Langer, Ph.D. – November 27 at HUC-JIR/New York
Rabbi Ruth Langer, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Studies, Theology Department, and Associate Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, Boston College, will present the 2012 Dr. Fritz Bamberger Memorial Lecture, “Constructing Community: Expressions of Self and Other in Jewish Prayer” on Tuesday, November 27 at 6:00 pm. Click here to RSVP.
“A Blessing to One Another” – On View 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.
Moment Magazine–Karma Foundation Fiction Contest Awards – December 4 at HUC-JIR/New York
HUC-JIR and Moment Magazine are hosting an awards ceremony for the 2011 Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest on December 4 at the New York Campus (One West Fourth Street). Moment Magazine. Contest judge Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, including Devil in a Blue Dress, will read from his new work, as will award winners Joan Leegant, Wherever You Go, An Hour in Paradise; Ruchama King, Seven Blessings; Avital Chizhik; and finalists Stuart Rosh, Gone for Good: Tales of University Life After the Golden Age; and Wendy Zierler, And Rachel Stole the Idols: The Emergence of Modern Hebrew Women Writers.
Photo of the Week
---- The Jerusalem Campus hosted its first “Parallel Lives” program of the year. Parallel Lives, now in its seventh year, brings together HUC-JIR students and soldiers in an elite fighting unit of the Israeli Defense Forces for a series of mifgashim and Shabbatonim. The goal of the program is to strengthen Jewish identity and global Jewish mutual responsibility, creating a sense of Peoplehood.

Click here for a larger image.
Judaica Gallery
---- The inscription on Steve Resnick's frosted glass cup reads, “You should be a blessing like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah” in Hebrew. This cup would be a perfect gift for a young woman on the occasion of her Bat Mitzvah.

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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