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May 12, 2011
Spotlight On
News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR in the News
Faculty News
Events
Photo of the Week
New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery
Quick Links
HUC-JIR News is a weekly e-newsletter produced by HUC-JIR's National Public Affairs Office.
Spotlight On
Recent Publications by Rabbi David Ellenson and Rabbi Michael Marmur

Rabbi David Ellenson on German Orthodox Rabbinical Writings on the Jewish Textual Education of Women

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., has published an important essay on "German Orthodox Rabbinical Writings on the Jewish Textual Education of Women: The Views of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer" in Gender and Jewish History, edited by Marion A. Kaplan and Deborah Dash Moore. The volume reveals the importance of gender in interpreting the Jewish past and highlights the profound influence that feminist scholarship has had on the study of Jewish history since the 1970s. In his essay, Rabbi Ellenson traces the restriction of Jewish women to the domestic sphere to Psalm 45:14, which was understood in the Talmud as excluding women from access to classical Jewish textual study.
New Essays on Process Theology by Rabbi David Ellenson and Rabbi Michael Marmur

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., and Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, HUC-JIR, offer perspectives on the subject of Process Theology in the newly published issue of Conservative Judaism (Volume 62, Nos. 1-2, Fall-Winter 2011-2011), in response to the lead article by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, who received the Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree from HUC-JIR in May 2010. Artson's essay, "Ba-derekh: On the Way - A Presentation of Process Theology" defines it as "a constellation of ideas sharing the common assertion that the world and God are in continuous, dynamic change, of related interaction and becoming."

News at HUC-JIR
HUC-JIR/New York Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York held Graduation Ceremonies on Thursday, May 5, 2011 and Investiture & Ordination Ceremonies on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.

At Graduation Ceremonies, Rabbi Ellenson presented honorary degrees to leading academic, communal, and civic leaders, including Barbara B. Dobkin; Jack Gottlieb, z"l, posthumously; Rabbi Arthur Green, Ph.D.; Rabbi Leonard S. Kravitz, Ph.D.; and Philip E. Miller, Ph.D. Rabbi Green presented the Graduation address. Click here to read his address. The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize was presented to Dr. Rick Hodes, Medical Director of Ethiopia for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The American Jewish Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Samuel "Skip" Vichness, Senior Partner, Quality Camping Properties; Managing Partner, GreyLine LLC. Rabbi Ellenson presented the following earned degrees to HUC-JIR's graduates: Doctor of Hebrew Letters, Doctor of Ministry, Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management, Master of Arts in Judaic Studies, Master of Arts in Religious Education, Master of Sacred Music, and Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature.

At Ordination Ceremonies, Rabbi Ellenson invested 6 cantors from The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Class of 2011 and ordained 12 rabbis from the HUC-JIR/New York Rabbinical Class of 2011. Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, presented the Ordination address. Click here to read Rabbi Cowan's address. The Roger E. Joseph Prize was presented to ATZUM and Rabbi Levi Lauer, Founding Executive Director.

Ordination Spotlight on Dr. Dvora Weisberg

When Dr. Dvora Weisberg is ordained on Sunday, May 15, 2011, from the School of Rabbinical Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, she will be in the unique position of directing the school as well. Weisberg, who has taught at the College-Institute for 10 years and whose specialties include gender issues in rabbinic texts, became the leader of the School in 2009 - a year after deciding to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a rabbi.

News from HUC-JIR's Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health

  • The CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly is issuing a call for papers in order to put together a symposium issue on Judaism, health, and healing. Abstracts for the Summer 2012 publication are due Aug. 8, 2011. The issue will be co-edited by Michele Prince, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, and Rabbi Nancy Wiener, Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR in New York.
  • The Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care is dedicating its Summer 2012 edition to the importance of spirituality in end-of-life and palliative care practice. Articles are due June 30, 2011.
  • The 10th Annual Conference on Mental Health and Spirituality with its theme of "A Time to Grow" will take place Thursday, June 2, 2011, at the California Endowment Center for Health Communities in Los Angeles. Students and clergy will receive free registration through a partnership of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at HUC-JIR and the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.
  • The American Red Cross has sent an urgent appeal for chaplaincy assistance to support those impacted by the devastating tornadoes in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Chaplains must be available to serve for two weeks, including travel. The Red Cross will provide transportation, lodging and daily maintenance. This is a hardship deployment, and those who respond may be asked to stay in staff shelters with colleagues serving this profoundly impacted population. Others trained in disaster response are encouraged to volunteer if able.

HUC-JIR in the News
Educator Realizing Lifelong Dream to Become Rabbi - The Jewish Journal

Dr. Dvora Weisberg doesn't think she's had any unfair advantages over her fellow rabbinical students graduating from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) this month. Well, maybe a few. "I do have a considerable number of years over most of the other students," Weisberg, 51, admitted recently. That, and she's also the Director of HUC-JIR's School of Rabbinical Studies. On May 15, Weisberg will be ordained as a rabbi through the program she oversees, graduating as a member of the rabbinical class of 2011 alongside a dozen of her pupils-cum-classmates in a ceremony at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. For the longtime educator, her ordination will mark the fulfillment of a dream almost four decades in the making. "It's very exciting - I'm excited to be ordained," she said. "It has been interesting trying to balance these different roles. It's a really unique way to grow into a job."

Happy on the Fence this Israel Day - HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder Ph.D., Editor of Tzeh U'limad, HUC-JIR's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning, writes, "[Arik Einstein writes,] 'Sitting on the fence, one foot here, the other there.' I grew up one foot here, the other there. Much has been written in the last few weeks about the commitment of the American Jewish leadership to Israel. Einstein's words are resonating with new meaning. I am far from the day to day of Israeli life, but I remain connected and engaged. My rabbinate has been built on a belief that sitting uncomfortably on a fence is a good thing. I have learned that sharing my struggles about modern Jewish living is critical to my ability to engage others in understanding kashrut, sexism, prayer, Talmud or any other Jewish issue. Einstein's metaphor still resonates strongly for me with regards to Israel, but his conclusion does not. I sit on a fence, one foot here and one foot there, and my discomfort sharpens my vision and my ability to share it."

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

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., Professor of Medieval Jewish Studies, will participate in an international symposium, "Legal Scholar - Preacher - Spiritual Adviser: Changing Roles of Rabbis, Pastors, and Priests" in Regensburg, Germany on September 19-22, 2011. Click here for further information. Rabbi Firestone will be presenting a keynote presentation at an upcoming conference at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, one of the world's foremost centers for Islamic Studies, on May 18-19, 2011. The conference title is "The Root Causes of Terrorism: A Religious Studies Perspective." He will be teaching for one week at the Levisson Instituut in Amsterdam to help train their cohort of Reform rabbis. Click here for further information. Rabbi Firestone will present at "Religion & Peace: Peace in Monotheistic Traditions," a conference at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem hosted jointly by the Van Leer Institute and Bar Ilan University. His presentation, "We belong to a Religion of Peace, but You belong to a Religion of War," will argue that religions do not really strive for peace.
  
Dr. Lisa Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Education, is co-editor of the International Handbook in Jewish Education. She will teach a seminar on practitioner research, "Igniting the Sparks: How Practitioner Inquiry Can Help Answer Hot Questions in Jewish Education" at the Leo Baeck College in London on May 18, 2011. The following day, she will be part of both the opening keynote and closing plenary of a day-long conference on research in Jewish education, sponsored by the UJIA. Dr. Grant will speak at Finchley Reform Temple in London on Shabbat, May 14, where HUC-JIR alumna Zoe Jacobs currently serves as cantor. Dr. Grant will be part of a plenary session highlighting the groundbreaking International Handbook of Jewish Education at the Network for Research in Jewish Education, which will take place at York University in Toronto from June 12-14. Click here for further information.
  
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual, will participate in an international symposium, "Legal Scholar - Preacher - Spiritual Adviser: Changing Roles of Rabbis, Pastors, and Priests" in Regensburg, Germany on September 19-22, 2011. Click here for further information.

Events
Concerts on Clifton Spring Concert: May 15 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

HUC-JIR/Cincinnati presents "Concerts on Clifton: Spring Concert" on Sunday, May 15 at 4 pm. Paul Ben-Haim's Three Songs without Words for Viola and Piano, W. A. Mozart's The Piano Quartet in E flat Major KV 493, and Gabriel Faure's The Piano Quartet in C Minor Op. 15 will be performed. Reception with musicians to follow. Free and open to the public. RSVP to outreach@hucinci.org.

HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies: May 15 and 16 in Los Angeles

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles will hold Ordination Ceremonies on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 10 am at Wilshire Boulevard Temple (3663 Wilshire Boulevard) and Graduation Ceremonies on Monday, May 16, 2011, at 3 pm on campus (3077 University Avenue). Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR, will present honorary degrees to leading academic, communal, and civic leaders; award earned degrees to HUC-JIR's graduates; and ordain the Rabbinical Class of 2011. Rabbi Ellenson will present the Ordination address and C.L. Max Nikias, Ph.D., President, University of Southern California, will present the Graduation address.

Rabbinical Students' Presentation of Society for Classical Reform Judaism Essays: May 17 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 2 pm, the Society for Classical Reform Judaism (SCRJ) Institute at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will hold a session where the winners of the SCRJ Prize Essay Program will present their essays. There will be an introduction made by Rabbi Kenneth Kanter, Director, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati Rabbinical Program. The winning rabbinical students and their pieces are:

  • Joshua Leighton - The Union Prayer Book: A treasury of Reform Tradition
  • Jason Levine - The Reform Movement's Response to the Clash Between Science and Religion in the 1920s-'30s
  • Maura Linzer - D'var Torah: A Sermon on Parashat Vayishlach - Genesis 35
  • Michal Loving - A Responsa on Nursing on Infants During Synagogue Worship
  • Ari Plost - The Classical Reform Tradition of Social Justice in Chicago: 1900-1960
  • Ari Lorge - Universalism vs. Particularism: An Historic Debate Still With Us

Choral Colors and Cantorial Currents: May 19 at Temple Sinai on Long Island

On Thursday, May 19, 2011, at 7:30 pm, students from The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR/New York will present a very special concert at Temple Sinai in Roslyn Heights, NY, entitled Choral Colors and Cantorial Currents. This program of choral and ensemble music is under the direction of Joyce Rosenzweig (Artist-in-Residence, HUC-JIR/NY), with pianist Pedro d'Aquino and guest performer Cantor Gabi Arad. The evening will feature music by Salamone Rossi, Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor, Yehezkel Braun, Robert Applebaum, Jonathan Comisar, Morris Barash, Debbie Friedman, Bonia Shur, Maurice Goldman, Andrea Jill Higgins, Natalie Young, Joshua Breitzer, and Mary Thomas. Listen to the amazing talents of the next generation of cantors as they sing a program in celebration of Yom Yerushalayim, Song of Songs, and our fantastic Jewish choral heritage.

HUC-JIR/Cincinnati Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies: May 19 and 21 in Cincinnati

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati will hold Graduation Ceremonies on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm and Ordination Ceremonies on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 9 am. Graduation Ceremonies will take place at Isaac M. Wise Temple (8329 Ridge Road, Cincinnati) and Ordination Ceremonies will take place at Plum Street Temple (720 Plum Street, Cincinnati). Rabbi Ellenson will present honorary degrees and awards to leading academic, communal, and civic leaders; award earned degrees to HUC-JIR's graduates; and ordain the Rabbinical Class of 2011. Dr. Marc Saperstein, Principal, Leo Baeck College, will present the Graduation address. Dr. Edward Goldman, Bettan Chair Emeritus in Midrash and Homiletics, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will present the Ordination address.

Rabbi David Ellenson Presents "The Contribution of the Jewish Seminary to American Life and Scholarship:" May 22 at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

Join the HUC-JIR/Cincinnati campus for a special 100th anniversary celebration on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 4 pm. Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR, will present "The Contribution of the Jewish Seminary to American Life and Scholarship." Reception to follow. Free and open to the public.

American Jewish Archives to Host "Travels in American Jewish History:" June 1-5 in Savannah

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati will host 'Travels in American Jewish History - A Journey of Jewish Identity & Discovery to Historic Savannah, Georgia" from June 1-5, 2011. This unique program will offer participants the opportunity to travel to Savannah to examine its particular Jewish heritage while studying with the foremost scholars of American Jewish history.

Photo of the Week

HUC-JIR's "Desert Spirituality Shabbaton" Program provided students studying abroad with opportunities to increase their interest, knowledge, and connection to Reform Judaism during their time in Jerusalem. The Desert Spirituality Shabbaton allowed students to engage in a Reform Shabbat experience while exploring a new part of Israel by immersing them in the Reform Kibbutz, Yahel. The goal of the weekend was for students to not only experience a Reform Shabbat, but also to create an environment where they were encouraged to discuss their own Jewish identity. By offering traditional services, along with alternatives, such as yoga and time in nature, it created an atmosphere where students felt comfortable exploring Reform Judaism.

Many thanks to Men of Reform Judaism's Reform on Campus Program for sharing this photograph and information. Click here for further information on the Men of Reform Judaism's Reform on Campus Program.

Please click here for a larger image.

New at the HUC-JIR Judaica Gallery

Grace your doorway with this mezuzah by Judaic artist and photographer Judith Sirota Rosenthal. Carved from bamboo and embellished with gold and scarlet thread, this mezuzah will contribute natural warmth to your home.

$250 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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