Annual Report
Page 9
oday, the realm of learning is no longer confined to a physical
classroom. In an age where internet technology opens the door
to a wealth of knowledge, it also presides as host to a virtual
community where renowned scholars, professional leaders, and
HUC-JIR alumni share ideas and continue to learn.
The CCAR-HUC-JIR Joint Commission for Sustaining Rabbinic
Education, a continuing education classroom, can be found by
On any given day one can find
a scholar lecturing from Jerusalem with participants asking questions
from Toronto or Los Angeles, all learning together even though they
reside in different parts of the world.
At the Joint Commission we are shaping a vision for continuing
education programs for the Reform Rabbinate,” said Director Rabbi
Ellen Nemhauser. “The Joint Commission is a venue where the
continued spiritual, intellectual, and educational growth of today’s
Jewish leaders is constantly nurtured.”
New distance education strategies
developed by HUC-JIR’s National
Department of Distance Education,
in partnership with the Joint Commission,
offer a full curriculum of both current
and archived classes where participants
can study, independently or together, in
telephonic and/or virtual classrooms.
To date, the Joint Commission has
already created, promoted, and
implemented programs, both onsite and
online, that have engaged the participation
of more than 500 HUC-JIR alumni.
Mini-courses include
Gender and
Sexuality in Text
led by Dr. Rachel Adler,
Associate Professor of Jewish Religious
Thought and Feminist Studies, HUC-
JIR/Los Angeles; Dr. Wendy Zierler,
Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish
Literature and Feminist Studies, HUC-JIR/New York; and Aryeh Cohen,
Chair of Rabbinic Studies, University of Judaism; and
In Concert or In
Conflict? Our American Economic Ethic and Jewish Values
taught by
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform
Judaism, and Rabbi Barry Freundel, Assistant Professor of Rabbinics,
Baltimore Hebrew University.
In February,
Post-denominational Judaism
will investigate the
development of new religious alternatives that transcend
denominational boundaries, taught by Dr. Jack Wertheimer, Provost,
Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Dr. Tsvi Blanchard,
Director of Organizational Development, CLAL.
During the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot, the Joint
Commission will again offer the popular
Study Program,
open to all HUC-JIR alumni as well as rabbinical alumni of other
movements. This year’s
Study Program is entitled
Torah As Spiritual Encounter.
Dr. Linda Thal, Director, Morei Derekh:
Training Jewish Spiritual Directors, will
moderate study with Dr. Elsie Stern,
Director, Center for Advanced Judaic
Studies, Dr. Norman Cohen, HUC-JIR
Provost, and Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Assistant
Professor of Jewish Religious Thought,
HUC-JIR/Los Angeles.
Online continuing education is an
evolving forum for HUC-JIR alumni,
whether a rabbi, cantor, educator, or
communal professional serving a large
congregation or community who wishes
to expand his/her learning circle or the
one professional serving a small Jewish
community who feels isolated from
his/her peers. From Jerusalem to
Oklahoma, this program is bringing
alumni together to continue their study
of Torah beyond their years at HUC-JIR.
Teaching through Technology:
Online Continuing Education for Alumni