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Best wishes for a sweet New Year!
August 29, 2013
Spotlight News In the Media Faculty Events Photo of the Week Judaica Gallery
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., Elected the 12th President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., has been elected President of HUC-JIR by HUC-JIR’s Board of Governors on July 31, 2013, announced by Irwin Engelman, Chairman of the Board, and Martin Cohen, Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee. Rabbi Panken’s appointment will be effective January 1, 2014. Rabbi Panken will be the 12th President in HUC-JIR’s 138-year history and will succeed Rabbi David Ellenson (2001-2013), who will become Chancellor.

Read more:
Announcing Winners of HUC-JIR/New York's Be Wise Entrepreneurial Grants Competition
As part of the Be Wise Entrepreneurial Grants Competition, students were challenged to design a project that would promote entrepreneurialism and bring a spirit of innovation and creativity to campus by exploring and experimenting with community-building and outreach techniques. Rayna Green and Cantor Sarah Krevsky were chosen as the winners of the competition. They are creating a communal songbook of the work of Cantor Benjie Schiller, who serves as Professor of Cantorial Arts at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR/New York. HUC-JIR sat down with the winners to learn more about their project.
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman's "MAY GOD REMEMBER—YIZKOR: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism" (Jewish Lights)
Few topics exercise the Jewish mind and heart as thoroughly as memorializing the past—particularly at the High Holy Days—and few prayers on the High Holy Days attract as many people as does Yizkor, the Jewish memorial service par excellence. Yizkor recalls both personal losses and the martyrs of history. “In insisting on memory, we are apparently in good company, however, because God too (we say) can be importuned to remember,” writes Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, Ph.D., Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair in Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual, in MAY GOD REMEMBER—YIZKOR: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism (Jewish Lights, August 2013).
Construction of the Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center
Take a tour of the construction stage of the Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center at the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR. Learn how Jewish Family Service is transforming its food pantry into a full service comprehensive center with the food pantry, case management, supportive counseling, classes, socialization activities, and opportunities for volunteering in the spirit of tikkun olam under one roof.
HUC-JIR Recruitment on the Road!
HUC-JIR’s Recruitment and Admissions staff is on the road and inviting prospective students to campus! If you know someone 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.
Become a High School or College Jewish Leader at HUC-JIR
  • The Miller High School Honors Program – New York: Join 11th and 12th graders from the greater New York area to learn with our students, faculty, and leaders of the Reform Movement. Expand your Jewish knowledge and awareness of contemporary issues and develop your capacity as young leaders for your congregation and Reform Judaism.
  • High School and College Leadership Programs – Cincinnati: Join a select group of students from Jewish communities throughout the US as we explore topics relating to the American Jewish Experience. Take part in an incredible weekend of learning, skills building, and leadership development.
Hebrew Ulpan at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
We invite you to join us at our Jerusalem campus for Hebrew Ulpan, offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from October 21 through January 27 from 5:15 - 7:45 pm. For registration and to take the placement test, please email or call 026203333.
Register Now for Union for Reform Judaism Biennial 2013
General registration is now open for the Union for Reform Judaism’s 2013 72nd North American Biennial, the largest Jewish gathering in North America, taking place December 11-15, 2013, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. The URJ Biennial will bring together 5,000 Jewish lay leaders and professionals, youth, congregants, and clergy to learn, pray, share ideas, and make decisions about the future of Jewish life. For the first time ever, the Biennial is open to those outside the Reform Movement. Learn more and register now!
Journal of Youth Engagement
We have a common goal: engage young people in Jewish life. Want to learn how others are making it happen? Want to share your own story? The URJ’s new Journal of Youth Engagement is for you! Subscribe now to this new email newsletter.
In the Media
Unpacking a Presidency: Rabbi David Ellenson – eJewish Philanthropy
Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service, writes, “With the announcement naming Rabbi Aaron Panken as HUC-JIR’s 12th President, the tenure of the College-Institute’s current President, Dr. David Ellenson, will come to an end on January 1, 2014, when Ellenson will become Chancellor of HUC-JIR. As with all presidents, an array of measures are available designed to assess a leader’s tenure of service.”
Reform Movement Responds to Kotel Plan – Union for Reform Judaism
In response to Minister of Religious Affairs Naftali Bennett's announcement regarding upgrades at the Kotel, the Reform Movement released the following statement: "The Kotel is a powerful symbol of the Jewish yearning for Israel and for the unity of the Jewish people. As such, it needs to be open and free to all Jews; women and men must be treated equally there. That is precisely why we joined together with Jews from across the religious spectrum to endorse a plan by Jewish Agency Chairperson Natan Sharansky which, in its entirety, promises full equality for all streams of Judaism at the Kotel.”
Jewish eLearning Fellowship Brings Together Institutions across Denominations - Algemeiner
With the rise of numerous open online courses, universities are feeling a greater need to embrace new technology as would-be students seek out more modern, effective ways to learn. To help the Jewish community adapt to the times, the new eLearning Faculty Fellowship, run by Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, brings together faculty members at HUC-JIR, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and Yeshiva University to create a collaborative environment among some of the premier Jewish institutions in the U.S., to learn and evaluate a variety of different educational technology tools that will help educators, students, and institutions stay ahead of the curve.
First Cohort of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute Completes Training – eJewish Philanthropy
Fifteen Jewish early childhood education directors and master teachers completed their participation in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute (JECELI) on August 1. JECELI is a joint program of HUC-JIR and The Jewish Theological Seminary, in consultation with the Bank Street College of Education. JECELI members represent various types of Jewish communities across the country and all major denominations of Judaism. They learn skills in leadership, supervision, and organizational administration; gain insight into adult development; and practice infusing Jewish thought and resources into all aspects of Jewish early childhood education.
Hebrew School Has Nowhere to Go But Up – The Jewish Daily Forward
Dr. Rob Weinberg, National Director of the Experiment in Congregational Education, an initiative of HUC-JIR’s Rhea Hirsch School of Education, and Project Manager of the Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative at HUC-JIR, writes, “It’s become fashionable to write off all congregational education as if it all resembles Hebrew school of the past. Huge mistake. Over the past two decades, we’ve worked with educators, rabbis, and lay people across America to create learning experiences that kids insist on being part of, rather than looking for any excuse to miss. These powerful innovative models are getting children out from under, and teachers out from behind, their desks. How?”
Rethinking Jewish Life: The Pain and Joy of Elul – The Jerusalem Post
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D., National Director of Admissions and Recruitment and President’s Scholar, writes, “Elul looms large. As the summer wanes, this Hebrew month presents us with the enormous possibilities of teshuva, or repentance. While the practice of asking for forgiveness from God is part of the daily prayers, during the month of Elul we are meant to take this to an entirely new level – by turning to every person in our lives, and to God, and asking for forgiveness for all the ways we have failed in the past year. It is perhaps one of the most powerful, terrifying, and purifying religious practices.”
Frum Guide to Talking Like an FFB, BT, or an FFT – The Jewish Daily Forward
Sociolinguist Sarah Bunin Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, has written widely on American Jewish speech. And the main subject of her book, “Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism” (Rutgers University Press, 2012), is how newly Orthodox Jews in America partly express their religious identity by adopting or not adopting linguistic usages that characterize the communities they have joined. These usages pertain to several ways in which the speech of Orthodox American Jews differs from the speech of their non-Orthodox counterparts (which itself sometimes differs, although far more slightly, from the speech of non-Jewish Americans).
Career Paths in Sacred Music – Majoring in Music
Sacred music programs at various colleges and universities offer many opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in the field. When asked if you need to be a sacred music major to get a temple music job, Cantor Dana Anesi, Director of Student Placement at HUC-JIR’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, explained that for accompanists and other instrumentalists, it may be more of a matter of proficiency and hands-on experience. “A strong music background can be sufficient for those positions as opposed to the intensive training cantorial students are required to undergo.”
Deaf Rabbi Prepares To Lead a Hearing Congregation in Massachusetts – Tablet Magazine
The first deaf rabbi of a hearing congregation, Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe, who was ordained at HUC-JIR, has been one of two rabbis of Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks, CA, for the past 16 years. Dubowe does not believe that the future holds many more deaf rabbis. “I do not think it is becoming more prevalent,” she wrote. “Many Jewish deaf people are not associated with the Jewish community because of the lack of accessibility. Most deaf people tend to be a part of the greater deaf community, because they share a common language and there are no barriers.”
An HUC-JIR Summer – Union for Reform Judaism
Every year, HUC-JIR alumni and students join us at camp, in our NFTY regions, and in Israel, helping to engage the future leaders of the Reform Movement in Jewish discussion, learning, and community building. This holy partnership continues to be a vital component of our participants’ Jewish growth. Take a look at how HUC-JIR alumni and students helped shape the summer of 2013!
Month One: Thoughts from a New Rabbi – CCAR RavBlog
Rabbi Phillip J. Schwartz, who was ordained in Cincinnati in June 2013, writes, “I have frequently been telling others that now that I am a rabbi, my dreams have become a reality. Yet, I’m not quite sure how real this reality feels. There are days in which I still feel like the student rabbi who visits his pulpit for the weekend, or the rabbinic intern who has a myriad of responsibilities that exposes him to all aspects of congregational life. I sometimes have to be reminded that when someone refers to someone as ‘rabbi,’ they very well could be talking about me.”
What I Learned At Pardes This Summer – Pardes’ These and Those
Rabbi Adena Kemper, who was ordained in New York in May 2013, writes, “I spent three weeks at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies this summer, and what did I learn? Yes, I learned about Birkat Hamazon in the Gemara and halachah pertaining to women and even postmodern philosophy. Sure, I learned a few new zemiros tunes and how Karaites differ from rabbinic Jews. But above all, at Pardes this summer I leaned about myself.”
Rabbi Rachel Adler, Ph.D., Rabbi David Ellenson Chair in Jewish Religious Thought and Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Feminist Studies, wrote “Critiquing and Rethinking Kiddushin” in the Spring 2013 issue of AJS Perspectives: The Marriage Issue. Read more. Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg, Ph.D., Director of the School of Rabbinical Studies at the Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, wrote “Between the Living and the Dead: Making Levirate Marriage Work” in the Spring 2013 issue of AJS Perspectives: The Marriage Issue. Read more.
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam, recently published the article “Muslim-Jewish Dialogue” in Blackwell Companion to Interreligious Dialogue, Catherine Cornille (ed.), Oxford: Blackwell, 2013, 224-243. Learn more. Rabbi Firestone will present “’Theologies of Religions’: A Jewish Response” as a keynote speaker at “Thirty Years of the Theology of Religions Typology Conference” at Winchester University in Winchester, UK on September 19, 2013. Learn more. Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will deliver the annual Lazaroff Lecture at the Brodsky Library in St. Louis on September 23, 2013. Learn more. Dr. Zola will deliver the Sylvia and Irving Margolis Lecture on the Jewish Experience in the American South at University of North Carolina on October 7, 2013. Learn more.
Murstein Synagogue 5774/2013-2014 Schedule
The Murstein Synagogue acts as a place of pilgrimage for the International Reform Movement as well the home synagogue for the Year-In-Israel program and the Israeli Rabbinical Program. Visitors from abroad and Israelis from the Jerusalem community are invited to join HUC-JIR's students, faculty, and friends at Shabbat morning and holiday services.
Opening Reception for “Hanan Harchol: Jewish Food for Thought” – October 3 at HUC-JIR/New York
Multi-media visual artist Hanan Harchol mines personal family psychodynamics to illuminate the complexity of ethical values in contemporary life. Highly charged conversations between the artist and his parents, depicted in animated videos and powerful, expressionist drawings, offer unexpected perspectives on the themes of envy, repentance, forgiveness, gratitude, love and fear, humility, and faith. Presented with the support of the Covenant Foundation.
High Holy Day Services 5774 at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem
The Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR invites you to High Holy Day services, which will be led by Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost; Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem; Rabbi Shelton Donnell; Cantor Tamar Havilio; and HUC-JIR rabbinical, cantorial, and education students.
Opening Reception for “Sacred Words, Sacred Text” – October 13 in Los Angeles
HUC-JIR and the University of Southern California Hillel are pleased to present the exhibition, “Sacred Words, Sacred Text,” an art exhibition in partnership with the American Jewish University. “Sacred Words, Sacred Text” is a cross-city survey of Jewish art and artists, centered on a singular theme – the first of its kind in Los Angeles. Viewers are encouraged to travel between the three locations to see a wide range of art that explores how words and text shape the modern experience, and play a particularly significant role in Jewish life. Please join us for a reception on Sunday, October 13 at 2:00 pm. RSVP required: or (213) 765-2106.
Opening Reception for “The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat” – October 3 at HUC-JIR/New York
“The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat” addresses the ever-changing and life-enhancing merit of the celebration of the Sabbath. Through a 21st-century perspective, the exhibition explores the very meaning of the Sabbath with joy, ingenuity, intellectual commitment, and profound beauty. Over 50 leading international artists have created new works including ritual objects in silver, glass, wood, ceramic, and textiles. Studio artists use their skills as painters, sculptors, and photographers to delight us with amazing insights and life enhancing beauty.
Jewish Pluralism in Israel – October 20 in New York
Join us on October 20 at The JCC in Manhattan for a symposium on Jewish pluralism in Israel. Learn about the change work being done on the ground in Israel. Be inspired by leaders and activists for Jewish pluralism. Discover what we as American Jews can do to forward this work. Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, will serve as a panelist. Co-sponsored by HUC-JIR and the New Israel Fund.
Photo of the Week
---- Rabbinical, cantorial, and education students in HUC-JIR’s Year-In-Israel program participated in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade on August 1, 2013. Students carried a flag with our HUC-JIR logo through the Parade.

Photo by Jesse Paikin

Click here for a larger image.
Judaica Gallery
---- Alicia and Beatriz Kelemen Kuatro crafted this handmade, limited edition frosted and fused red and green glass Rosh Hashanah serving set. The plate measure 12" diameter and the honey dish measures 5.5".

$120, 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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