Annual Report
Page 17
nnie Fantasia, a second-career rabbinical
student in Cincinnati, is among the many
students who have entered one of HUC-JIR’s
rigorous graduate and professional programs with
diverse professional backgrounds. Annie’s first
career was serving as a business controller and
healthcare CFO. She is now a fourth-year rabbinical
student who is preparing for a career of service as
a Jewish spiritual and educational leader. Annie is
immersed in a journey that will culminate in her
ordination in 2005.
Like Annie, twenty percent of the HUC-JIR’s
students are second-career students. In taking on
full-time studies, many of these students find the
costs of living expenses combined with tuition and,
often, support of families and children, to be a
heavy financial burden to bear. In fact, over 80
percent of HUC-JIR’s first- and second-career
students qualify for and receive scholarship
assistance and/or financial aid.
Annie is a recipient of the multi-year Brody
Hassenfeld Scholarship, established by Dr. Paula
Brody, Director of Outreach Programs and Training
for the Union for Reform Judaism, Northeast
Council, and Merrill Hassenfeld, a member of HUC-
JIR’s New York Board of Overseers. The support that
they have provided Annie extends well beyond a
financial contribution. They have
been beside her every step of
the way — guiding her Jewish education and
conversion to Judaism years ago, nurturing her
learning and congregational involvement at Temple
Beth El Center in Belmont, Massachusetts, where
she was mentored by Rabbi Jonathan Krauss,
encouraging her decision to go to rabbinical
school, and supporting her first year of study
in Israel. Not only has their financial assistance
been a blessing for Annie, but, in addition, their
emotional and spiritual guidance has given Annie
something even more valuable, a special bond of
friendship linking their family and one very
dedicated individual.
Scholarships like this one, whether multi-year or
annual, are vital investments that ensure Jewish
leadership for the future. In preparing to be a
leader for 21 st century Jewry, Annie has already
begun to play an active role in forming and
shaping the Reform Movement while serving as the
student rabbi with a biweekly pulpit at Temple Beth
El in Muncie, Indiana. The model of generosity that
the Brody Hassenfeld Scholarship has helped
create, combining financial assistance with a
personal relationship, will help guide Annie Fantasia
and other students just like her to complete their
academic journeys to ordination, and to devote
lives of service, knowledge, and commitment to
the Jewish community for years to come.
Annie Fantasia, 4th year rabbinical student
at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, and Dr. Paula Brody at
the 2003 Biennial in Minneapolis, MN.
Shared Commitment to
a Sacred Journey:
Scholarship Support for the
Second-Career Student