For the first time ever, Jewish leaders, medical practitioners, and scholars across the denominations will convene for the 2011 Roundtable on Judaism and Health Research, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and organized by the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles, on January 30-February 1, 2011. Distinguished participants in the discussions on the health of the Jewish people and the importance of Judaism on health, healing, and medicine, will include Rabbi David Ellenson, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Rabbi Arnie Eisen, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rabbi David Teutsch, Rabbi David Wolpe, Dr. Alexandra Levine, Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, Dr. Jeff Levin, and Dr. Kenneth Pargament.
Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D. Min., Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/New York, was presented with the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling at Services on Thursday, December 2, 2010. Dr. Wiener presented the sermon, and a reception in her honor followed Services. "It is most fitting to present Rabbi Nancy Wiener with this Chair in recognition of her dedication to teaching, mentorship, program development, and research in the areas of pastoral counseling, all of which truly reflect the values and commitments of Dr. Paul M. Steinberg, in whose honor this Professorship was established," said Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President.
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.
What's Your Calling? explores notions of "calling" from both religious and secular perspectives. In this What's Your Calling? webisode, Rabbi Jill Perlman (HUC-JIR/NY 2010) gives her first sermon and talks about her decision to become a rabbi after growing up in an interfaith household. As Jill peruses her calling, she struggles with questions about acceptance and identity. Through meetings with Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR, and Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, Professor of Cantorial Arts at HUC-JIR/New York, Jill concludes, "I think that there are so many different models of leadership out there and my approach is just a little bit different."
Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR, writes, "Israel is roiled once again in sad and needless moral controversy. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, son of former Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu, and with the support of 49 other rabbis, has ruled that it is forbidden by Jewish law for Israeli Jews to sell land or rent property to an Arab. These rabbis - many of them paid by the State - maintain that such refusal to sell or rent to Arabs constitutes neither "racism" nor 'discrimination' and has the added benefit of assuring that young Jewish men will neither socialize with nor 'marry Arab women.' To their great credit, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, the moderate and inclusive Israeli Orthodox rabbis of Tzohar, and others have protested this decree that brings such dishonor upon the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Realizing that his is not a matter to which the rabbinic phrase, 'Silence is more precious than gold,' pertains, these critics have rightly proclaimed that the stance of Rabbi Eliyahu and his colleagues is unjust and unacceptable by every Jewish and human standard. I applaud their protest and would offer the following reflections while joining in their chorus of dismay."
Peter A. Joseph, member of the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR, writes, "The Obama White House can say it has gone to great lengths to maintain US-Israel relations. Can the government led by Netanyahu say the same? Daniel Gordis's recent op-ed 'When expediency becomes principle' (November 19) offers the correct analysis - we need more action, less talk - but attacks the wrong target. Hailing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his recent comments in support of Israel and against anti-Semitism, Gordis then argues that the Obama administration has not done enough in this regard. Gordis is just the latest voice in a misleading chorus against President Obama."
"Raising Up the Light," a program held on December 6 at Temple Reyim, outside of Boston, welcomed together for the first time Reform Rabbi Sally Priesand (HUC-JIR '72), Reconstructionist Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Conservative Rabbi Amy Eilberg, and Modern Orthodox Rabba Sara Hurwitz. Priesand was the first woman to break the rabbinate barrier when she was ordained by the Reform movement in 1972. The Reconstructionist's Eisenberg Sasso followed a year later. It was more than a decade before Eilberg's ordination in 1985 by the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Hurwitz is the only Orthodox woman with the title of rabba. Priesand credits women not only with pushing their way into the rabbinate, but also with changing the way men practice the trade, making male rabbis more open and nurturing. The program, with over 600 guests in attendance, was sponsored by the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts.
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder (HUC-JIR/New York '06) writes, "The world of online social networks is complex and persuasive. The fluid nature of the medium makes it both compelling and problematic. While it is impossible to inoculate children against all the challenges of modern media consumption, clergy and Jewish educators have an important tool in our box that is often overlooked in the complex discussions about living on-line. The Bible, though clearly very much 'old media,' is a great tool for helping young people consider the value and weight of their words."
The HUC-JIR/New York Museum's exhibit of quilts and other textiles highlights an unheralded art and its spiritual messages in "A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles." Historically, textiles haven't gotten a lot of respect. Anything having to do with thread or fabric, no matter how intricate, festive, or visually pleasing, was women's work. Craft. Not until a 1971 Whitney Museum show, called "Abstract Design in American Quilts," was this traditionally female textile form viewed as art. When quilts were hung on plain white walls, suddenly people saw connections to abstract expressionism, cubism, color-field painting, op-art. As the civil rights and feminist movements gained ground, the textile work of once-anonymous black and poor women was deemed valid.
Rabbi Heather Borshof (HUC-JIR/NY '10), a Manalapan native and temple daughter who joins the U.S. Army as a chaplain in January, was sworn in at Temple Rodeph Torah on December 3. About 450 people gathered at the temple for its Hanukkah family service and Borshof's swearing-in to her new posts as chaplain and first lieutenant. "I feel honored and blessed to have an opportunity to give something back to the people who risk their lives every day that we may enjoy and take advantage of this freedom," Borshof said. "When you're a rabbi, you have the sacred opportunity to share critical moments...weddings and births, recovery from illness and moments of great trial and difficulty," Robinson said. "When you are a chaplain...you are not only sharing those moments of transition, you are sharing the life and the circumstances of those not (only) whom you serve, but with whom you serve."
Joshua M. Z. Stanton, a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR/New York, writes, "For decades, religious diversity in American seminaries meant the admission of students from different Christian denominations. Then Jews began to attend and even found prominent seminaries, notably Hebrew Union College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Yet with the notable exception of the MacDonald Center for the Study of Islam at Hartford Seminary, few American seminaries have historically developed programs focusing on the study of Islam. The Muslim population had been dramatically underrepresented. Only in the past decade have these trends begun to change - with a greater emphasis on both teaching Islamic studies in Christian and Jewish institutions and giving credence to the increasingly prominent idea that it is time for Muslim Americans to found a seminary of their own."
Rabbi Michael J. Cook, Ph.D., Professor of Judaeo-Christian Studies at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will travel to England's University of Warwick to make six presentations at Limmud-UK, over the period of December 24-30, 2010.
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. Click here for further information about their participation in the conference.
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
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.
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.
Join us in Miami at Temple Beth Am, The Richard and Janet Yulman Campus, for a day of learning on Wednesday, January 12, 2011. Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs, will lead a special session for HUC-JIR alumni and Jewish professionals on "Two Kinds of Vision, Five Kinds of Fear" from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. Cantor Bruce L. Ruben, Ph.D., Director of the School of Sacred Music, will present "Not Your Parent's Cantor: The Evolving Role of the Reform Cantorate," a presentation, discussion, and lunch for the Miami Jewish community, from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. At the same time, Rabbi Marmur will lead a special professional development session for Jewish Teen Initiative (JTI) Staff. Free and open to the public. Click here to RSVP.
Twenty-four cantors and soloists will perform a diverse concert of Jewish song in the Third Annual South Florida Cantorial Concert, to be held on Saturday, January 15, 2011, at 8:00 pm. The concert will be held in the Bertha Abess Sanctuary at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, located in Miami's Performing Arts district. Click here for further information.
HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will inaugurate "Classical Concerts on Clifton" with the Constella Trio on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm at the Schueur Chapel. The Constella Trio with Tatiana Berman, Ilya Finkelshteyn, and Yael Senamaud will present Bonia Shur's Kol Nidre; Ludwig von Beethoven's String Trio in D Major, Opus 9, No. 2; Franz Schubert's Unfinished Trio in B Flat Major, D.471; Gideon Klein's Trio (Terezin 1944); and Erno Dohnanyi's Serenade Opus 10. A reception will follow in the Teller Lounge. Free and open to the public.
Coming from different genres of music and world cultures and religions-Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh-the Common Chords, with renowned Jewish musician Yale Strom and Muslim musician Salman Ahmad, create a musical collaboration that transports the listener, feeds the soul, and unblocks the mind. The concert, co-sponsored by HUC-JIR, will take place on January 18, 2011, at 7:30 pm at the Bovard Auditorium at USC. Click here to RSVP.
The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York is seeking Museum Interns who will assist in the development of exhibitions. The HUC-JIR Museum is recognized as a leading center for the presentation of works by contemporary artists exploring Jewish identity and experience. Its exhibitions and cultural programs illuminate Jewish history and contemporary creativity and foster interfaith and multiethnic understanding. The Museum encourages contemporary artists of all faiths to explore Jewish themes in their work, serves as an experimental laboratory for research in new and progressive theories of museum education, and provides a forum to explore the role of the arts as an expression of spirituality.
Glass artist Michael Gore has spent over 30 years working in Venice, Italy, and, collaborating with some of the world's elite maestros in both furnace and torch working techniques, his designs are a combination of both classic and contemporary processes. Many of his custom created multi-glazed tiles and fused art pieces are created in his studio space in the Chicago area.|
Mezuzot, from left to right:
Please click here for a larger image.