HEBREW UNION COLLEGE-JEWISH INSTITUTE OF RELIGION
New York School
Professional Orientation, P.D. R 20
Dr. Lawrence W. Raphael Fall & Spring Semesters 1998-99
This course is an introduction to the profession of the Reform Rabbinate. The year-long class attempts to: 1) assess professional strengths and weaknesses; 2) determine how professional goals and personal growth can be achieved at the College-Institute; 3) develop an introductory facility with selected rabbinic functions; 4) help students understand the structure and development of the organized Jewish community and the Rabbi's leadership role in it; 5) and assist students in improving their research and writing skills with an assignment of a paper on a contemporary Jewish issue.
Written assignments for the academic year:
First Assignment - Due November 11
Choose from one of the following:
1) Assemble a funeral service, providing your own commentary and explanation, using both the Rabbi
2) If a loved one has died reflect upon your reactions to the rabbi who officiated..
3) If you=ve officiated at a funeral, discuss how you felt in that role and what you might do differently now.
4) Write a eulogy with guidelines provided.
Second Assignment - Due November 25
Write an invocation or a benediction. You may create your own occasion (UJA breakfast, School graduation, etc) for the assignment.
Third assignment -- Due December 16, is an opportunity for you to analyze (in writing) some of your own personal and professional strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of the paper is for you to make this assessment and then develop a plan for: (1) your own growth and development while a Rabbinic student; and (2) your needs as a future Rabbi. This assignment should concentrate on what professional areas you intend to develop during the remaining time in school and specifics on how you plan to achieve these goals. Its length should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting. Three to five pages will usually suffice.
After reading all the papers I will schedule individual appointments (before and during the spring semester) to discuss your paper with you. You should keep a copy of this paper because I will not be returning the copy you submit.
Assignments four and five will be due in the spring semester. Details and deadlines will be explained at a later time.
Sixth Assignment - Due May 10
Write a research paper devoted to either a contemporary agency or issue in the Jewish community. It is described in detail below. Your paper must be neatly typed, double spaced, and proofread.
Details of the sixth assignment:
(1) The paper has two parts; the first is an historic and/or analytical view of an issue or agency in the contemporary American Jewish scene. This part of the paper must include your own research, and, in addition, your own opinion about the topic. Your research must include the use of one or more of the following scholarly research tools: a search through a computerized data base on your topic, the use of "The Guide to Jewish Periodic Literature," or the use of research files at a Library such as the American Jewish Committee, New York University, or the Jewish Division of the New York Public Library.
(2) The second part is a detailed, annotated bibliography, typed, separately titled with the paper title, your name and date and organized clearly enough to be photocopied for all the other members of the class.
Completion of both parts one and two of the paper are necessary to fulfill the requirements of the course.
A sample annotated bibliographic entry is below and a listing of the topics of past research papers is attached. Your bibliography must begin with a repeat of the title of the paper, your name, and the date.
The submission, in writing, of the topic for your paper is due on Wednesday, March 24,
A sample annotated bibliographic entry is as follows:
Dawidowicz, Lucy S. "From Past to Past/Jewish East Europe to Jewish East Side" in Marshall Sklare (Ed.): The Jew in American Society. New York: (Behrman House 1974)
Known mostly for her works on the Holocaust, Dawidowicz has much to say on other areas as well. Her other works show the same intellectual sophistication and accuracy as her works on the Holocaust. Sklare, perhaps the foremost sociologist in the area of American Jewish Studies, has written and/or edited many works relating to his field. His works are a priceless resource.
A field trip to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations is scheduled for Friday morning, December 11. More details will follow later.
An important part of the class is the assignment of students to a rabbinic mentor. Two expanded class sessions each semester will be devoted to student-mentor meetings. In addition, it is hoped that both students and rabbis will find time outside the classroom for further interaction.
Diamant, Anita. The New Jewish Wedding, (Summit, 1985
____________. The New Jewish Baby Book (Jewish Lights, 1993)
Freedman, Samuel. Upon This Rock (Harper Collins, 1993)
Heilman, Samuel. Portrait of American Jews (Univ of WA, 1995).
Wilkes, Paul. And They Shall Be My People (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994).
Appel, Alan. The Rabbi of Casino Blvd. (St. Martin's Press, 1986)
Diamant, Anita. Choosing a Jewish Life (Schocken, 1997)
Fast, Howard. The Outsiders (Houghton, Mifflin, 1984)
Fein, Leonard. Reform is a Verb (UAHC, 1972)
___________. Where Are We? : The Inner Life of America's Jews (Harper, 1989)
Furman, Frida. Beyond Yiddishkeit (University Press, 1994)
Jaffe, Herschel & Rudin, James and Marcia. Why Me, Why Anyone (St.Martin's, 1986)
Kamin, Ben. Stones in the Soul, (Macmillan, 1990)
Kosmin, Ben. "Highlights of the CJF 1990 National Jewish Population Survey" (CJF,1991)
Mirsky, Norman. The Making of a Reform Rabbi: The Professionalization and Socialization of
Hebrew Union College Students (UMI, 1971).
____________. Unorthodox Judaism, (Ohio State University Press, 1978)
Polner, Murray. Rabbi: The American Experience (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1977)
Raphael, Marc. Profiles in American Judaism (Harper and Row, 1984)
Rubenstein, Richard. Power Struggle (Scribners, 1974)
Schachet, Richard. Rabbis Who Have Left the Pulpit (UMI, 1984)
Stern, Frank. Factors Influencing the Career Decisions of Reform Rabbis (UMI, 1983)
Syme, Dan. Why I Am a Reform Jew (Fine, 1989).
Tarr, Herbert. So Help Me God (Quadrangle, 1979)
Wertheimer, Jack. A People Divided, (Basic Books, 1993)