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December 10, 2010
Spotlight On
Photo of the Week
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
Faculty News
Events
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery
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HUCNews is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.
Spotlight On
HUC-JIR Faculty Participating in the Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies

Members of the HUC-JIR faculty from all campuses are participating in the upcoming 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies on December 19-21, 2010, in Boston, MA.

The following HUC-JIR faculty members will be participating in the conference:

  • Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
  • Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy, HUC-JIR/New York
  • Dr. Susan L. Einbinder, Professor of Hebrew Literature, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
  • Rabbi David H. Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR
  • Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
  • Dr. Alyssa Gray, Associate Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature, HUC-JIR/New York
  • Dr. Leah Hochman, Director, Louchheim School for Judaic Studies at USC, and Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
  • Dr. Mark Kligman, Professor of Jewish Musicology, HUC-JIR/New York
  • Dr. Sharon Koren, Assistant Professor of History, HUC-JIR/New York
  • Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Assistant Professor of the American Jewish Experience, HUC-JIR/New York
  • Dr. Adriane Leveen, Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible, HUC-JIR/New York
  • Dr. Michael A. Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
  • Dr. Bruce A. Phillips, Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
  • Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Jewish Thought, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

Photo of the Week

Pictured: Shirley Idelson, Dean of HUC-JIR/New York, (left) and Dr. Andrea Weiss, Assistant Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/New York, (right) with the Torah Commentaries donated by Dr. Weiss's family for the chapel at HUC-JIR/New York.

During Tefillah services at HUC-JIR/New York on November 29, 2010, the HUC-JIR community joined together for the dedication of copies of The Torah: A Modern Commentary, revised edition (published by URJ Press), and The Torah: A Women's Commentary (published by URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism) generously donated by the family of Dr. Andrea Weiss. Click here to read Dr. Weiss's talk at the dedication.

Click here to view a larger image.

News at HUC-JIR
School of Jewish Nonprofit Management Launches New Name and Vision

The School of Jewish Communal Service, established more than forty years ago by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), has changed its name to the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (SJNM), reflecting the dramatic changes in the nonprofit and Jewish communal world during the past decades. The SJNM is unique in the academic world - it is the only graduate program of its kind that is embedded within a Jewish institution of higher learning, and it enjoys a special partnership with its neighbor, the University of Southern California, one of the major universities in the country. Students at the SJNM receive a cutting-edge education in nonprofit management grounded in Jewish history and values, as well as the opportunity to earn one of five dual degrees at USC. Richard Siegel, Director of the SJNM, headed the strategic planning process that led to the revisioning of the SJNM's mission and the revitalization of its recruitment, scholarship support, fundraising, and alumni relations activities.

Siegel explains, "Originally conceived as a graduate program preparing social work-oriented professionals to lead the social service agencies which once dominated the Jewish communal enterprise, the renamed SJNM manifests the new realities of American Jewish life, which has grown to encompass a broad array of organizations and enterprises, including social justice, community relations, Israel advocacy, culture, the arts, education, youth services, camping, and outreach, among others. With this diversification and expansion, there has been a growing demand for professionals with the business skills and in-service experience needed to lead these increasingly sophisticated nonprofit organizations. The SJNM's new name catches up with its own forward-looking curriculum developed over the past decade, where students integrate a solid grounding in Jewish studies, a deep understanding of North American and world Jewish communal dynamics, and leadership skills in fundraising, board relations, strategic planning, organizational development, communications, and new media."

Click here for Richard Siegel's message about the new name for the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management.

Click here to visit the new School of Jewish Nonprofit Management website.

President's Rabbinic Council Kallah

Rabbi David Ellenson assembled his President's Rabbinic Council for a two-day Kallah on November 15-16, 2010 at the Glen Cove Conference Center in Glen Cove, New York. The central topics for discussion were:

  • What should be the primary mission of the College-Institute in the changing landscape of the Reform movement? How can our rabbis/congregations help the College fulfill that mission?
  • How can HUC-JIR best serve the evolving needs of our congregations?
The Council consists of sixty rabbis from across the nation who have committed themselves to assisting the President by providing counsel, supporting the College-Institute financially, and encouraging others to do the same. Rabbi Jerry Davidson and Amy Schwartzman serve as Council co-chairs while Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff represents the College administration.

Update on the Fire in the Carmel

Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem; Rabbi Gaby Dagan, (HUC-JIR/Jerusalem 2010), Rabbi of Congregation Ohel Avraham in Haifa; Yaron Shavit, Chair of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism; Anat Hoffman, Director, IRAC; and Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Executive Director, Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism; all share thoughts and information about the current state of the fire in the Carmel.

HUC-JIR Recruits the Future of Jewish Leadership and Scholarship

Based on the results of a survey administered in Spring 2010, The Department of Admissions and Recruitment has been creatively reaching the future Jewish leaders through a wide array of events and initiatives for the 2010-2011 school year. As the admissions season approaches, the Department of Admissions and Recruitment will continue discussions about improving recruitment for both short term and long term initiatives with our newly engaged internal and external partners.

Podcast of Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, Presenting "21st Century Jewry: The Challenge for Jewish Leadership"

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, Senior Rabbi at Central Synagogue in New York, presented the Goldner - Panken Symposium, "21st Century Jewry: The Challenge for Jewish Leadership," at HUC-JIR/New York on November 30, 2010. Please click here to listen to the podcast.

"Midrash & Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition" by Rabbi William Cutter, Ph.D., Steinberg Emeritus Professor of Human Relations at HUC-JIR

The midrashic process provides a supportive Jewish framework in which to reflect on issues of healing. Midrash is an interpretive practice that emphasizes interpersonal engagement, critical analysis and creativity. Pushing the boundaries of Jewish knowledge, in this new book, physicians, rabbis, social workers, psychologists and philosophers investigate the role of midrashic thinking in addressing seemingly intractable social and personal issues. "While healing often seems out of reach and achieving wholeness seems impossible, our midrashic texts teach that hope is always there," writes Rabbi William Cutter, PhD, in MIDRASH & MEDICINE: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition (Jewish Lights / March 2011 / Hardcover / $29.99). "Biblical characters, especially as enhanced through midrashic interpretation, are like relatives and old friends.... We cannot escape seeing [them] as human beings standing at the crossroads of their lives in situations that are very much our own." This groundbreaking volume examines the spiritual shortfalls of the current healing environment and explores how midrash can help people see beyond the physical aspects of healing to tune in to their spiritual source. Experts from across the spectrum of Jewish life present a wide variety of approaches to Midrash, and they demonstrate how it can function as a resource for healing.

Los Angeles and Jerusalem Campuses Hold First Latke Eating Contest

On December 1, 2010, the Los Angeles and Jerusalem campuses each held a latke eating contest to benefit the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism in conjunction with fundraising efforts for the Ride for Reform. Competitors collected pledges on a per latke before the competition. Second-year rabbinic student Bess Wohlner was the fundraising champion with an incredible $73 per latke in pledges. As for the contest itself, Jeremy Simons took the gold in Los Angeles, and Marina Tecktiel won in Jerusalem. In total, the two campuses raised over $4,000 for the IMPJ and their respective delegations to this year's Ride For Reform. Donations can still be made by clicking here and entering "Latke Latke" as the designated rider.

Slideshow from Memory and Transformation Artists Reception at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Memory and Transformation, an exhibition at the Los Angeles campus of HUC-JIR, in collaboration with the Jewish Artists Initiative, is a juried show of 33 artists who were asked to approach the themes of memory and transformation from their own perspective. The artists' works reflect the dynamic process of cultural change and their individual connections with religious or political ideas to link phenomena previously thought unconnected. The Artists Reception took place on Wednesday, November 17, 2010, with remarks by Donna Stein, Guest Curator. The exhibition is on view through December 31, 2010.

HUC-JIR in the News
The Fire Is Still Burning: Racism Is Spreading - The Jerusalem Post

Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, writes, "Fifty Orthodox rabbis, most of them recipients of state funding, have just declared a ban on the rental or sale of property to non-Jews. They cite a number of halachic precedents, including the fear of intermarriage which apparently will ensue if such property deals are concluded. They also note that prices will fall if such transactions take place. It's the Aramaic version of 'there goes the neighborhood.' If we allow these declarations to pass with no comment, there goes Judaism. If the true voice of Judaism is one which provides a mandate for bigotry and a license for racism, then our crisis is of epic proportions."

Election 2012: Why Jews Are Likely to Be Key Players - The Jewish Week

Dr. Steven Windmueller, Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service and member of the faculty of HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, writes, "The 2012 presidential election campaign has begun. Suspecting that the incumbent is vulnerable, Republicans are already beginning to position themselves to carry this campaign to voters early and often against the Obama Administration. Jews will be seen as a key target for this effort. Several core factors will define the Jewish connection in this campaign cycle. Accessing early campaign money and embracing the Israel connection represent two elements that will be seen as pivotal the 2012 campaign and to Jewish support. Both parties, and more directly aspiring candidates, will be looking for financial assistance as a way to launch and to build their campaigns and to garner political endorsements."

Introducing the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management - e-Jewish Philanthropy

The School of Jewish Communal Service, established more than forty years ago by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), is changing its name to the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (SJNM), reflecting the dramatic changes in the nonprofit and Jewish communal world during the past decades. The SJNM is unique in the academic world - it is the only graduate program of its kind that is embedded within a Jewish institution of higher learning and enjoys a special partnership with its neighbor, the University of Southern California. Students at the SJNM receive a cutting-edge education in nonprofit management grounded in Jewish history and values, as well as the opportunity to earn one of five dual degrees at USC.

Rebranding Nonprofit Management School - JTA's The Fundermentalist

One of the stalwart organizations in Jewish nonprofit life got a new name -- the School of Jewish Communal Service at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion announced Monday that it is re-branding itself the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. The newly renamed School of Jewish Nonprofit Management is run out of HUC-JIR's Los Angeles campus in partnership with the University of Southern California. It has been in existence for 40 years, making it, along with the Hornstein School at Brandeis University, one of the two oldest graduate schools in Jewish nonprofit management in the country. Responding to changes in the nonprofit landscape and the increasing professionalization of the field, school officials decided it was time to do away with an old-school name. They are making the move as part of a strategic-planning process aimed at revising its mission, recruitment, scholarship support, fundraising and alumni relations. "There were compelling reasons for making this move. The field is demanding it," school's director, Richard Siegel, told The Fundermentalist. "The nature of the nonprofit arena in general and the Jewish community in particular has changed dramatically over the past two decades, where the skill sets required to mange and lead these enormously complex organizations with substantial budgets and significant staff are increasingly requiring more sophistication. I think we are responding to that demand."

More Israel Experience = More Jewish Identity - The Jewish Ledger

Does an Israel experience really enhance American Jewish identity? Many studies have focused on the question. Consensus among Jewish professionals points to Jewish camping and time in Israel as the two most salient factors in ensuring Jewish continuity. A new study conducted by Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy, HUC-JIR/New York, and Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz shows that participation in semester- or year-long programs in Israel is directly linked to stronger Jewish affiliation and leadership, regardless of the participant's Jewish background. Please click here to view the study.

The Best Jewish Apps of 2010 - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

From tehillim to kosher restaurants, from kaparot to recipes, Rabbi Jason Miller picked the top 33 Jewish applications of 2010. He writes, "As more Jewish people acquire the latest in handheld technology - think iPhones, iPads, Android-powered smartphones, BlackBerrys, and tablet PCs - there will be more Jewish-themed applications available for download."

Faculty News
HUC-JIR is proud of our accomplished faculty:

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, will travel to Berlin to deliver a paper and then engage in a series of discussions at a convocation of the International Council of Christians and Jews as part of a process for the ICCJ to expand their mandate to include Muslims.
Sandra Kazan, Voice and Speech Coach at HUC-JIR/New York, recently had her article, "Voice and the Rabbi: The Art of Delivering a Sermon," published in The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Fall 2010.
Dr. Jonathan Krasner, Assistant Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR/New York, will be the Scholar-in-Residence December 10-12, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester. Click here for further information.

Events
First Wendy Kanter Memorial Concert Featuring Michael Hunter Ochs & Band: Beyond Borders: December 12 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

HUC-JIR is proud to present the first Wendy Kanter Memorial Concert featuring Michael Hunter Ochs & Band: Beyond Borders on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm at the Scheuer Chapel at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. The event will showcase One songwriter's journey through the Jewish communities of Oslo, London and Berlin - and to Israel, Jordan the West Bank...proving that music is truly the universal language. Free and open to the public. Click here to RSVP.

HUC on the Road in SEATTLE: December 16 at Temple De Hirsch Sinai

Join us in Seattle at Temple De Hirsch Sinai for a day of learning on Thursday, December 16, 2010. The greater Seattle Jewish community is invited to participate in a presentation, discussion, and lunch from 12:00 - 1:30 pm with Dr. Joshua Holo, Dean, HUC-JIR/ Los Angeles & Associate Professor of Jewish History, on "Marranos, Sephardim and The Jewish Identity Crisis." Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Rabbi David Ellenson to Receive 2010 Gitelson-Meyerowitz Distinguished Service Award: December 18 in New York

On Shabbat morning, December 18, 2010 at 9:15 am, Rabbi David Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR, will receive the 2010 Gitelson-Meyerowitz Distinguished Service Award for his exemplary scholarship on modern Jewry and his creative leadership of the Reform Movement's educational institutions. The award will be presented at Sutton Place Synagogue in New York, NY, by Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson in memory of Jerome Meyerowitz.

Living in the Moment - An Illustrated Lecture by Laura Kruger: December 21 at the Mid-Manhattan Library

HUC-JIR and the Mid-Manhattan Library present Living in the Moment, an Illustrated Lecture by Laura Kruger, Curator of the HUC-JIR Museum in New York, on Tuesday, December 21 at 6:30 pm at the Mid-Manhattan Library (40th St. and 5th Ave, New York). Kruger will lead a visual presentation of contemporary trends in modern Jewish ceremonial and ritual objects with an exploration of the sensibilities of leading and emerging artisans who push the boundaries of their spiritual experience combined with their depth of understanding traditional texts. For further information, please contact 212-340-0871.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Israeli metalist Javier Dario Nujimovich devotes himself to designing Judaica and fine arts in a unique and innovative style. He employs different materials and colors to enhance and endow his traditional ritual items with lives of their own. This Hanukkah menorah is composed of glass and metal and measures 8.5" x 10.75" x 1.5."

$340, plus shipping and handling.

To purchase, please contact: 212-824-2218, museumnyc@huc.edu.

Please click here for a larger image.

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