he faculty is the life’s blood of the College-Institute.
The quality of the faculty – as teachers, mentors,
and scholars – is essential to accomplishing HUC-
The Rabbi Michael Matuson Professorship for
Emerging Scholars, established through the generosity
of Cynthia Greener Edelman and Dan Edelman, is
the first of its kind at HUC-JIR. It supports the teaching,
research, and publication activities of the College-
Institute’s young scholars during the critical years
prior to tenure. The Rabbi Matuson Professorship will
help junior faculty to realize their potential, assist
HUC-JIR in recruiting and retaining the most gifted
teachers and scholars, and assure the highest
academic standards for the leaders HUC-JIR prepares
for Reform Judaism and the wider Jewish community.
In inaugurating the Matuson Professorship, Rabbi
Ellenson stated, “With their creation of this unique
professorship, Cindy and Dan Edelman have
demonstrated their devotion to the College-
Institute’s mission of Jewish scholarship, teaching,
and learning. In nurturing young, emerging scholars
who will educate the next generations of Reform
rabbis and communal leaders, they are
the chain of
Jewish learning – that will ensure the Jewish future.”
The Professorship honors one of HUC-JIR’s
esteemed rabbinical alumni, Rabbi Michael
Matuson, spiritual leader of the Edelmans’
synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Chesed of
Jacksonville, Florida, since 1996.
Ordained at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1984, he is the
senior member of the local Rabbinic Council, serves
as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National
Conference for Community & Justice, Jacksonville
Region, and on the Board of Trustees of
FRESHMINISTRIES, is a member of the Interfaith
Steering Committee in the Mayor’s office and
actively works with HabiJax and the Interfaith
Council of Jacksonville. He served in the Israel
Defense Forces during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Assistant Professor of Talmud
and Halachic Literature, and Director of the HUC-
University of Cincinnati Center for the Study of
Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems, is the
first emerging scholar to hold this Professorship.
An Israeli-born scholar, he earned his L.L.B.
Honors) degree from the University of Kent in
Canterbury and received his Ph.D. in Law from the
University of Liverpool. He coordinates an M.A. and
Ph.D. program that focuses on Jewish Law and
Ethics and teaches joint comparative law courses
at HUC-JIR and the University of Cincinnati College
of Law. Under his leadership, the HUC-UC Ethics
Center has provided continuing education programs
for professionals, as well as public
lectures, panel discussions,
conferences, and symposia.
Cindy Edelman stated, "What this
gift ultimately symbolizes is a love
of the Jewish faith and ideals, a love
of HUC-JIR and the people who
continue to build it, a quest for
learning, and a vision for the future.
May the future recipients of the Rabbi
Michael Matuson Professorship
always know the integrity, dedication
to our faith, and essential goodness
of the Chair's namesake. He has
been an inspiration to me and it is
my fervent wish that with the
endowment of this Chair, he will go on to inspire
others for many years to come."
Faith in the Future:
Faculty for the 21st Century
At the dedication of the Rabbi
Michael Matuson Professorship for
Emerging Scholars on October 26 at
HUC-JIR/Cincinnati: (from left)
Rabbi Michael Matuson, Dr. Jonathan
Cohen, Cynthia Greener Edelman,
Dan Edelman, and Rabbi Ellenson.