College Commons



Real-Time Conversations and Q&A with HUC-JIR Scholars Live-Streamed to Your Synagogue

  • DEATH BY SUCCESS? WALKING THE TIGHTROPE OF IDENTITY: Dr. Kristine Garroway and Rabbi Tali Zelkowicz - Sunday, April 19, 2015 @ 9:30 am: Jews forever straddle their unique, minority identity and the majority culture around them. We come by it honestly. Since the Bible itself, Jews have navigated multiple cultures—sometimes conflicting ones—simultaneously. Professors Garroway and Zelkowicz will discuss with Dean Holo the various strategies we have employed over the millennia, as a minority group, to manage and embrace host cultures while keeping true to our unique minority identity. 
  • OUR JEWISH FUTURE: THE B'NAI MITZVAH REVOLUTION: Dr. Isa Aron and Guest, and Dean Joshua Holo, Ph.D. - Sunday, October 18, 2015 @ 9:30 am 
  • REBIRTH IN GERMANY?: Dr. Leah Hochman, Dr. Sharon Gillerman, and Dean Joshua Holo, Ph.D. - Tuesday, Decemeber 15, 2015 @ 7:00 pm
  • THE MYSTERY OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: Rabbi Joshua Garroway, Ph.D., and Dean Joshua Holo, Ph.D.  - Sunday, February 28, 2016 @ 9:30 am
  • ARMED WITH SCRIPTURE: QUR'AN AND TORAH AS WEAPONS IN THE WAR OF IDEAS: Rabbi Tamara Eskenazi, Ph.D., and Guest, and Dean Joshua Holo, Ph.D. - Tuesday, April 5, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

RSVP or Questions:




Zionism and Crisis

February 2015

The Arab-Israeli conflict has taken on new contours, and progressive Jews are challenged to navigate and reimagine the challenges and possibilities of Zionism. Dean Holo and Rabbi John L. Rosove discuss not only the conflict but also Israel’s character as a Jewish democracy.


Bully Pulpit: Torah with a Point of View 

December 2014

What's the bottom line? What does Judaism really expect of us at the end of the day? Rabbi Richard Levy, Rabbi of the Synagogue and Director of Spiritual Growth at our Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles and one of Reform Judaism's leading thinkers, argues: study, prayer, and good deeds. In that much, he follows the ancient rabbis. Here, he challenges us with his own take on what that means today.


Anti-Semitism: Roots and Reality

November 2014

European racism and anti-Semitism are on the rise, and though American Jews enjoy the most successful time in our history, we face stereotypes and anti- Israel movements with increasing uncertainty. Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus, will plumb the fears expressed by the Jewish community with David Lehrer, who approaches the problem from a different angle, and challenges us to face up to good news. 


Politics and the Pulpit

September 2014

In the Reform world, social action is often inextricably linked to political action. And when politics appear on the pulpit, controversy sometimes surfaces. Either the topic is difficult or the very notion of politics on the pulpit is itself divisive. Rabbi Stephanie Kolin discusses with Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus, why the stakes are so high, and how difficult it is to put your finger on the nature of the problem when we don’t even agree on what constitutes “politics.” 


How Jewish is Christianity?

May 2014

Jews and Christians alike realize that Christianity was born in a Jewish context. This College Commons encounter between Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus, and Rabbi Joshua Garroway, Ph.D., Pofessor of Early Christianity and Second Commonwealth, will dissect the complicated relationship between these intimate strangers, and consider the implications for today.

From Arab Spring to Arab Summer - Or Winter? Fault Lines in the Arab and Muslim Worlds

December 2013

Join us at College Commons for a discussion with Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean of HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus, and Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam.


A Forum on the 2013 Pew Study of Jewish Americans

October 2013

Join us for the inaugural session of College Commons: A Forum on the 2013 Pew Study of Jewish Americans with Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies; Bruce A. Phillips, Ph.D, Professor of Jewish Communal Service; and Steven Windmueller, Ph.D., Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service and Former Director, School of Jewish Communal Service, in discussion with Jack H. Skirball Campus Dean Joshua Holo, Ph.D.