H
EBREW
U
NION
C
OLLEGE
-
J
EWISH
I
NSTITUTE OF
R
ELIGION
2000-2001
Annual Report
|
Page 2
Dear Friends,
t Passover, our festival of freedom, we are reminded that each of us should
regard ourselves as if we had personally come out of Egypt. At Shavuot,
our celebration of the gift of Torah to the Jewish people, we are taught that
we all stood at Sinai where we witnessed the giving of the law that has inspired
our people’s values and destiny throughout the millennia. There are seven weeks
between these two celebrations, during which we observe a sacred period –
s’firat
haomer
the counting of the omer. Every night, we count the new day marking
our journey from slavery to the Covenant with God.
In biblical times the Israelites were commanded to bring an “
omer
” –
a measure
of their first fruits at harvest time as a special sacrifice. The Rabbis considered the
bringing of the
omer
as one of the most important observances: each person’s
repayment to God for the “
manna
of his/her life.
Today, the resources symbolized by the
omer
are indispensable in ensuring the
continuity of Jewish tradition, heritage, and ethics – the mission of Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Here, Jewish scholarship, leadership,
and spirituality are vitalized through a liberal engagement with 21
st
century life.
Your
omer –
your commitment to strengthening HUC-JIR as the academic,
professional, and spiritual leadership development center for Reform Judaism
and world Jewry – guarantees the Jewish future.
We are grateful for your generous help in advancing HUC-JIR’s priorities:
enhancing and sustaining our premier faculty
providing scholarship assistance to students dedicated to serving the Jewish people
developing innovative curriculum for our graduate and professional programs
integrating new technologies to enhance our academic programs and research resources
maintaining our libraries, archives, and museums preserving Jewish heritage
offering educational and cultural outreach to the Reform Movement’s
congregations, schools, and institutions,
klal Yisrael
,
and the community-at-large
throughout North America, Israel, and the world.
We thank you for your
omer
and invite your continued commitment to building
a vision for the future – a future blessed with peace in which the Jewish people
lives and thrives.
With warmest wishes for a sweet Passover and a joyful Shavuot,
Dr. David Ellenson
Burton Lehman
President
Chair, Board of Governors
Dr. David Ellenson
Burton Lehman
A