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Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Annual Report
he College-Institute has been the shaper of Jewish
leaders since Isaac Mayer Wise opened its doors
in Cincinnati in 1875. But over time, the definition
of leadership has changed. Today, we are sending our
graduates out to minister to a Jewish people that have
diverse interests, apathy for structured
worship, and, more often than not, find
only peripheral room for Judaism in the
wide scope of daily life.
It is for this world that we prepare our
students, who must, in response, be not
merely rabbis but catalysts. They need
to have the confidence and charisma
to transmit a Judaism that sparks with
vitality and creativity, and inspires a
new generation of Jews to continue
to identify with their faith.
Committed to training these strong Jewish leaders,
HUC-JIR’s curriculum has evolved to meet this need.
Over the past several years, we have incorporated more
systematic leadership training into our courses, and
are now poised to launch two new leadership programs
on our campuses thanks to generous grants from
Bonnie and Daniel Tisch
The Mandel Foundation.
The Tisch Fellowship
will support three years of
leadership training for five outstanding rabbinical stu-
dents each year. They will benefit from fully-funded
tuition and living expenses and, in addition to their
work in the core HUC-JIR curriculum, they will be
nurtured through an enriched series of learning
opportunities. These will include specialized spiritu-
al, intellectual, and professional development in such
areas as pastoral counseling, social responsibility, out-
reach, and conversion. A series of retreats and an
internship at a local Jewish organization with ongoing
mentorship will provide sustained training in organi-
zational dynamics, creating community through
planning and vision, becoming an agent of change,
and human resources and staff management. The
Fellows will have structured opportunities to pursue
their academic and intellectual interests through individ-
ualized coursework and independent study with pro-
fessors in specialized fields.
This program will further energize the general curricu-
lum’s leadership training and practices that will become
staple fare for all students at HUC-JIR. The allure of a
fully-funded program within our rabbinical track and
enriched leadership training in all of our programs will
attract exceptional applicants to the College-Institute,
raising the bar for achievement across the board.
With a similar goal,
The Mandel Fellowship
give eight outstanding rabbinical students annually
the opportunity to enrich their studies at HUC-JIR
with a special focus on leadership and the role of
Jewish education in energizing congregational life.
The programs’ focus on congregations is supported by
the 2001 American Jewish Identity Survey’s findings
re-issued in 2003) that the synagogue remains the
central institution of American Jewish life, although
synagogue structure itself is changing at
a remarkable rate. As notions of congregational life
evolve, the rabbi has emerged as the pivotal agent
of synagogue transformation.
Bonnie and Daniel Tisch
HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
rabbinical students Lydia
Bloom and Daniel
Medwin conducting hav-
dallah services at the
HUC-JIR/Los Angeles
rabbinical and education
student Adam Allenberg
teaching religious school
students at Temple Israel
of Hollywood.
Leadership Training
to Transform Communities