NEW COORDINATOR OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION ISSUES IN CONGREGATION AND COMMUNITY
INITIATIVE AND JEFF HERMAN VIRTUAL RESOURCE CENTER ANNOUNCED
It is a great pleasure to announce that Dr. Yaffa Weisman has been appointed
as the new Coordinator of the Sexual Orientation Issues in Congregation and
Community Initiative (SOICC) and the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center. Dr.
Weisman is the Librarian of the Frances-Henry Library and an Adjunct Assistant
Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute
of Religion, in Los Angeles. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative
Literature from the University of Southern California in 1994, and her Master
of Library and Information Science from the University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Weisman is a published writer and translator in Israel and in the USA,
in the areas of history and criticism of modern drama, poetry, literature and
liturgy. Her latest publication is the translation of Yehuda Amichai’s
radio play “The Day Martin Buber Was Buried”, published in Shirim:
A Jewish Poetry Journal in 2001.
Together with Dr. Adriane Leveen, she edited a volume of Stanley F. Chyet’s
poetry, “The Lord Has a Taste for Clowning”, to be published by
the Skirball Cultural Center in the fall of 2003. Dr. Weisman serves as a member
of the Library & Archives Committee of The One Institute Gay & Lesbian
since 2000, and is currently the curator of the Twice Blessed collection of
Jewish GLBT materials at the Institute. She served as a commissioner of the
Los Angeles Jewish Feminist Center between 1989-1997, and as a board member
at Beth Chayim Chadashin between 1986-1987.
Dr. Weisman has shared her life with her spouse, Tina Hirt, since 1982. They
had their wedding ceremony at the HUC-JIR chapel in Los Angeles in 1992.
The Sexual Orientation Issues in Congregations and Community Initiative (SOICC)
is a program designed to increase the ability of HUC-JIR students to act as
agents of change within the Jewish community. The program includes a series
of training workshops for rabbinical, education, and Jewish communal service
students and alumni at the College-Institute’s Los Angeles School. There
are also scholarships and internships for students working with local institutions
to combat homophobia, and better serve the needs of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and
Transgendered Jews. Because of generous funding received from a New and Innovative
Grant of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, the Galinson Family
Foundation, the Shefa Fund, Agnes and Rabbi Erwin Herman, and numerous individual
donors, HUC-JIR has already been able to plan and pilot the training seminar
series, award scholarships and place students in internships working with the
GLBT Jewish community. The Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center, directed by
Rabbi Sharon Gladstone, provides educational support to the SOICC programs.
HUC – JIR would like to thank Ms Marla Abraham, Associate Director of
the School of Jewish Communal Service in Los Angeles, who has been co-coordinating
the educational aspects of the program up until this point.