13 King David Street
Jerusalem 94101, Israel
(02) 620-3333, FAX (02) 625-1478
School and Programs
Academic and Certification Programs
Research Centers and Academic Resources
Established in 1963, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Jerusalem campus is the academic, spiritual and professional leadership development center of the Reform Movement in Israel. We prepare leaders who will strengthen Israel's Reform synagogues, institutions, and schools and who will advance the vitality and continuity of Jewish life in Israel, North America, Europe and around the world.
HUC-JIR's five-acre campus, overlooking the ancient walled city of Jerusalem, is situated on King David Street near the center of the modern day city. The first limestone-clad buildings, erected in 1963, were designed in the International Style by architect Heinz Rau and feature a distinctive staircase entry onto the campus. The Rau building houses the William Murstein Synagogue, the administrative offices for HUC-JIR, and the Union for Reform Judaism's Israel Office.
The Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Building, dedicated in 1970, houses the Jerusalem residence of HUC-JIR's President, the Department of Educational Initiatives, and provides facilities for Ganei Haim, the early childhood education center of the Reform Movement in Israel.
In 1988 the campus was greatly expanded into a landmark complex, designed by internationally renowned architect, Moshe Safdie; its courtyards, arches, gates and walkways are quintessentially Jerusalem, while its classrooms, student lounges, library, museum and research centers provide the resources for HUC-JIR's academic programs and community outreach.
The campus has become a true center of progressive Judaism housing the offices of the Israel Religious Action Center and adjoining Mercaz Shimshon-Beit Shmuel, the headquarters of both the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
The Progressive Movement in Israel and Worldwide
For more information on our sister institutions, please visit:
Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism: www.impj.org.il
Israel Religious Action Center: www.irac.org
World Union for Progressive Judaism: www.wupj.org
Leo Baeck College, London, England: www.lbc.ac.uk
Abraham Geiger Kolleg, Potsdam, Germany: www.abraham-geiger-kolleg.de/
Links to pages:
The Year-in-Israel Program
HUC-JIR requires students to spend the first year of their studies in Israel for the establishment of lifelong ties that are vital in sustaining the living bonds between the North American and Israeli communities. Since 1970, all rabbinical, cantorial and Rhea Hirsch education students pursuing their studies at HUC-JIR's stateside campuses have fulfilled their first year of study in Jerusalem. In 2007 the Year-in-Israel Program expanded to include all first-year rabbinical students from the Leo Baeck College in London, England. Their year-long study in Israel, alongside HUC-JIR's Israeli rabbinical students, and shared experienced ground them in the millennial heritage of Jewish faith, history and values, as well as the realities and challenges facing contemporary Jewish identity around the globe. The Year-in-Israel program imbues these future leaders of the diaspora with a spirit of partnership that they take home with them to complete their studies in North America and Europe, and fosters a shared sense of responsibility that transcends geography to assert the overarching unity of the Jewish people. The curriculum encompasses Hebrew language immersion, foundational textual skills, Israel studies, community building and both spiritual and professional development. Utilizing Israel itself as a classroom, the students explore Israeli culture, the history of Zionism, and the social and political challenges in Israel, and participate in community service projects.
For more information, please contact Nancy Lewitt, Head of Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Israel Rabbinical Program
Established in 1975, the Israel Rabbinical Program prepares Israeli men and women:
The diverse student community is comprised of Israeli-born students and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and North and South America. The graduates of the program, reflecting their social and religious values and their spiritual charge and capabilities, have profoundly influenced the character of Progressive Judaism in Israel, and offer a broad spectrum of Israeli society with modern, up-to-date and progressive ways to express Jewish identity. The program attracts men and women of the highest caliber, from many different sectors of Israeli society.
- To serve as leaders of the Reform Movement in Israel, known as the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), its congregations, institutions, and schools, and other bodies within Israeli society
- To support the growing search for meaning, Jewish identity, and spiritual direction among Israelis of all backgrounds; and
- To advance the cause of religious pluralism in the Jewish State and around the Jewish world
The curriculum, in tandem with the completion of the M.A. degree in a field of Jewish studies at one of Israel's premier universities, seeks to expose students to the roots of Judaism's ancient heritage, while providing tools for coping with the challenges of the present and the dilemmas of the future. Intensive studies include a wide range of subjects in the fields of Jewish studies and human relations studies, professional training, academic specialization, and exploration of the fundamental questions of Jewish and Israeli existence.
For more information, please contact Rachel Mordechai at email@example.com.
M.A. Program in Pluralistic Jewish Education
In conjunction with the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Department of Education and Professional Development has pioneered a program designed to provide educational leaders with tools to promote pluralistic Jewish education in Israel. The two-year program includes professional mentoring and guidance.
Students in this joint Masters program are looking to improve their practical skills and knowledge in the area of Jewish pluralistic education in Israel, an area in which they are, in practice, leading this effort. Our innovative program provides the highest level of training relevant to a wide range of professions, in which our students are actively introducing social entrepreneurship and change: educational administration; senior level education in formal and informal educational contexts; the rabbinate; senior level community work; secular youth movements; educational counseling; the IDF, and group facilitation in a variety of social settings.
The program's student body reflects all these professions, and more. The first graduates of our pioneering graduate program are proving to be true agents of change, having acquired during their studies the academic credentials, the skills, confidence, entrepreneurial thinking, as well as the support and the legitimacy to effect real change in their immediate environment and in Israeli society. Our students have expressed their deep appreciation for the crucial l support they receive from the group of like-minded people towards making their Difficult struggle to implement change a reality.
In order to allow participants from around the country, working full-time, to participate in the program, studies take place one day a week over two academic years, in addition to one summer course and two weekend Shabbat seminars each year.
Studies are carried out in Hebrew.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read about our program in Hebrew, please visit http://huc.edu/israel/8/47/8/.
Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Care:
Spiritual Care Training: Mezorim
One of the most exciting fields in which HUC-Jerusalem is now involved is that of pastoral care and spiritual support. Only ten years ago, these terms were a mystery to Israelis. Now, increasing numbers of Israelis are looking for ways to turn to Jewish sources for strength and succor.
The Blaustein Center for Pastoral Care is developing the field of spiritual counseling in Israel and supports the professional training of Israeli rabbinical students. The Center runs two unique training programs, Mezorim and Sugiyat Chaim, in the field of spiritual counseling open to students from inside and outside the Reform movement.
The Mezorim (literally "balms") Program brings together practitioners from different caring professions under the leadership of Ruchama Weiss, Ph.D., a scholar and artist. The program trains spiritual counselors who bring a wide range of approaches and techniques for use in the community and in therapeutic and medical institutions. The first class of graduates of the Mezorim program, completed its studies in the summer of 2008. The second cohort is now in its second year of learning. This intensive four-semester program combines academic study of Jewish texts, the development of tools for support and counseling, and profound introspection in the fields of the spirit and the soul. The program requires a significant commitment and has attracted first-rate rabbinical students, social workers, and health professionals. Mezorim participants are interning with CEOs, executive leadership, and doctors in some of the most renowned hospitals in Israel, including Tel Hashomer, Beit Levenstein Rehabilitation and Hadassah Hospitals.
Sugiyat Chaim (Texts for Life)
Sugiyat Chaim runs a Beit Midrash program for senior citizens. Dr. Ruchama Weiss, a highly regarded scholar and artist, is now leading a group of some 15 senior citizens in this groundbreaking program. The term Sugiyat Chaim is a play on words. The word sugiya is Armaic and means "to walk." Sugiyat Chaim means both to walk through life, and to walk through texts. Sugiyat Chaim is looking to expand to work with various populations in the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv area.
For more information, please contact Dr. Weiss at email@example.com.
The S. Zalman and Ayala Abramov Library
The S. Zalman and Ayala Abramov Library houses 50,000 volumes of Hebraica, Judaica and Near Eastern Archaeology and books on the state of Israel and Israeli society. Its special collections include the personal archaeology library of Professor Yigal Yadin, the Dr. Fritz Bamberger Spinoza collection, and extensive materials on the American Jewish experience, including microfilms from the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. The Abramov Library also houses the Archive of Israeli Reform Judaism.
The Department of Education and Professional Development
The Department of Education and Professional Development, directed by Dr. Michal Muszkat-Barkan, promotes the professional development of rabbis and educators in the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and in pluralistic educational institutions. This department runs courses in the Israeli Rabbinical Program and offers professional development counseling for the Israeli students, faculty, and administrators on campus. The department also helps develop evaluation tools for this program and is also involved in the reflective evaluation module in the Year-In-Israel Program. The department operates the Forum for Pluralistic Jewish Education, which encourages discussion of fundamental issues in Jewish education, and has developed diverse areas of cooperation with different bodies in the world of pluralistic Jewish education. Additionally, the department runs a training program for rabbinical counselors for schools in cooperation with the Education Department of the IMPJ and the Tali network.
The Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology
The Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology (NGSBA), a research center for the study and exploration of Israel's ancient past, is housed in the HUC-Skirball Center for Biblical and Archaeological Research, where resources are available to scholars, advanced doctoral candidates, and students wishing to supplement their academic work in the fields of Bible, Near Eastern Studies, Archaeology, and Judaica. The NGSBA has undertaken excavations at many major archeological sites in Israel, among them Tel Gezer, Tel Dan, and Tel Aroer, and is currently engaged in analyzing and classifying the findings for publication. It has initiated community-based educational projects and excavations at Lod and at Givat Sher, with the cooperation of the Society for the Protection of Nature and the Educational Authority of the city of Modi'in. In addition, the NGSBA sponsors public lectures on new research in biblical archaeology.
The Skirball Museum of Biblical Archeology, located on the Jerusalem campus, features artifacts and models from HUC-JIR's excavations at Tel Dan, Tel Gezer, Tel Aroer and Tel Ira. Featuring thematic displays on the dig camp experience, religious belief and cult practice, burial behavior, gates and fortifications and the saga of the Israelite Settlement, the museum is open to the public.
The School of Sacred Music
The School of Scared Music provides courses and training for first-year cantorial students, introductory liturgy courses for first-year rabbinical and education students, and courses for Israeli rabbinical students. Additional programs include para-professional courses to train lay cantors serving IMPJ congregations, the Hallel Community Choir and concerts for the Jerusalem community.
The Murstein Synagogue
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. For more information, please contact Rabbi Shelton Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (02) 620-3391.
New immigrants, Israeli residents who seek to improve their Hebrew language skills, diplomats, and tourists attend HUC-JIR's Hebrew evening Ulpan, offered year-round in three-semester courses. For more information, please contact email@example.com or phone 02-6203-303.
Lectures, concerts and events
HUC-JIR/Jerusalem invites the Israeli community to cultural and educational programs - lectures, concerts, symposia, seminars - that illuminate Jewish history, identity and contemporary creativity. Featured programs include the annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot, which draws hundreds of Israelis to enjoy the spiritual and physical beauty of the campus all night until dawn, concerts by the Hallel Community Choir, the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration, lectures on new archaeological research, and readings and lectures by well-known authors. For more information about upcoming programs, please click here.
The Department of Outreach and Recruitment offers meaningful Reform-style Jewish experiences and spiritual support for college students from North American Reform families who are studying in Israel. Programs include hosting students from the High Holy Days with HUC-JIR students in Jerusalem and providing three significant shabbatonim with meaningful Jewish learning in conjunction with the WUPJ's Saltz Center. We host monthly programs at Hebrew University that reach out to students in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva, as well as students on Otzma, WUJS and other long-term programs.
HUC-JIR hosts youth programs in Israel sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism and North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), including NFTY Israel teen groups during the summer and high school students attending the Eisendrath International Exchange, who spend the spring semester studying in Israel.
For more information, please contact our National Office of Admissions and Recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Progressive Movement in Israel and Worldwide
The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) an the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) are headquartered on the east end of the Jerusalem campus. The WUPJ is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist Movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.7 million members in 42 countries. It strengthens Jewish life in Israel and worldwide by establishing and supporting modern, pluralistic congregations and institutions, developing Jewish communal and youth leadership, and advancing social justice. The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) is the unique Israeli expression of the larger worldwide Progressive Movement and boasts a growing network of schools, educational and community centers, kibbutzim, a young movement, the Young Adult Forum, and Hebrew and English Beit Midrash study programs. Working to ensure the Movement's advancement is the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the IMPJ's public and legal advocacy arm. IRAC moved its worldwide headquarters to the HUC Jerusalem Campus in January, 2010. Mercaz Shimshon-Beit Shmuel offers cultural and educational programs, guest rooms, meeting halls and dining facilities for the Jerusalem community.