H
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2003-2004
Annual Report
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Page 13
s a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree
in social work at the University of Southern
California, Dr. Louise Horvitz would often accompany
a friend, who was a student in the School of Jewish
Communal Service at HUC-JIR, to the College-
Institute’s Los Angeles School and together they
would sit in on Rabbi David Ellenson’s classes. Born
and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Horvitz had long been
aware of the College-Institute and its mission to
educate rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal
professionals. It was a belief in the importance of
education that led her back to HUC-JIR over a year
ago, accompanied by Hugo de Castro, a longtime
friend for over forty years and a member of the Los
Angeles Board of Overseers. Dr. Horvitz met with
Dean Lewis Barth and rabbinical student David
Novak to begin a relationship that grew out of a
rabbinical scholarship that she had endowed in
memory of her mother.
Dr. Horvitz credits the influence of her mother, Eleanor
Shone Siegman, of blessed memory, as her primary
reason to support HUC-JIR. Eleanor was a strong role
model for her daughter, encouraging Dr. Horvitz
to return to school later in life and to pursue her
doctorate in psychoanalysis, which she received three
years ago. “My mother felt that education was of the
highest priority. Her father was a rabbi but while
her brothers studied
Torah
,
she, as a girl, was not
permitted a full Jewish education. This is why she
pursued education all her life and why having a
bat
mitzvah
at the age of 83 was so important to her,”
Dr. Horvitz recalls. “It is in her memory that I have
established the Eleanor Shone Siegman Rabbinic
Endowed Scholarship to put forth that strong belief
in education to benefit others who share the desire
to grow and learn as a Jew.”
As a third-year rabbinical student and a second-
career student, David Novak has a demanding
schedule, which includes a student pulpit at
Congregation Beth HaTikvah in Bremerton,
Washington, in addition to his extensive academic
responsibilities. The financial support he receives
from the Eleanor Shone Siegman Rabbinic Endowed
Scholarship helps lift some of the financial burden
that goes along with a full-time commitment to his
studies. Over 80 percent of HUC-JIR’s students
receive scholarship assistance and/or financial aid
in order to pursue their education and fulfill their
aspirations of Jewish leadership.
Dr. Horvitz and David formed an instant connection at
their first meeting. She vividly recalls his “capacity
for attunement to people, his quick wit, excellent
mind, and his sense of pride about his studies at
HUC-JIR.” As a result of this bond, she invited David
to be a tutor for her grandson, Mark, as he
prepared for his
bar mitzvah.
David has become a teacher, friend, and spiritual
mentor for Mark, whose great-grandmother was a
role model for his commitment to Jewish life. “It’s
much more than just the prayers for my
bar mitzvah:
we talk about many of the core ideas of being a
person of faith,” remarks David. “It’s been an inspiring
experience for me because the ‘chain of tradition’
is not just a metaphor — in this case it is a reality.”
The meaningful relationship that has developed
between this rabbinical student and the Horvitz-
Fishman family reflects the impact that HUC-JIR’s
students and alumni have on the lives of the people
with whom they come into contact on a daily basis.
Dr. Horvitz feels that the establishment of the Eleanor
Shone Siegman Rabbinic Endowed Scholarship
honors her mother’s values and enables students
like David to forge their futures.
A
Rabbinical student David Novak, the recipient of
the Eleanor Shone Siegman Rabbinic Endowed
Scholarship, established by Dr. Louise Horvitz (right).
Student Scholarships Support
Study and Establish
Meaningful Relationships