Dr. Michal Muszkat-Barkan, Director of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem’s Department of Professional Development and Education, recently published "The Choice of Reform Rabbinical Studies in Israel and the Rabbinical Mission: Negotiating Tikun Olam and Personal Tikun" in the Journal of Jewish Education (Vol. 79, Issue 2, 2013).
Abstract: The goals of this study are to describe the motivations and aims of young Israelis for choosing Reform rabbinical studies and to explore how the Israeli and Reform contexts are manifested in students’ motivations and aims. This question was examined by a study of the personal background, the decision-making process, and the motivations of 10 students in the Reform rabbinical program at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Though most of the students’ exposure to Reform Judaism occurred following an encounter with North American Reform Jewry, the choice of rabbinical studies was described by most of the participants as the result of a sense of incongruity between the personal, cultural, and professional dimensions of their lives.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu