Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Annual Report
| Page 17
ive Progressive Israeli rabbis were ordained at
HUC-JIR’s Academic Convocation on November
2, 2007,
on the Jerusalem campus. These new rabbis
exemplify the growing impact of Progressive Judaism
among young Israelis and their quest for authentic
Jewish expression. With the ordination of this new
rabbinical class, 53 alumni of the Israel Rabbinical
Program now serve in Israel, furthering the cause
of liberal Judaism and a pluralistic approach to reli-
gious life in the Jewish state.
Silvana Kandel spoke on behalf of her class, pointing
to the symbolism of the date of Ordination as it echoed
the historic date of November 2, 1917, when the
Balfour Declaration “affirmed the right of the Jewish
people to national renaissance in its land. Today,
exactly ninety years later, we come as newly-ordained
rabbis in Israel to declare our commitment to Israeli
society. We pledge to revive and renew the historic
bond between the Jewish people and the Land of
Israel, and between these and the values of justice,
equality, mercy, and peace on which our existence
here depends.”
Nir Yishai Barkin,
a fourth-generation Israeli, served
in the Intelligence Corps of the Israel Defense Forces
before completing a B.A.
cum laude
in Middle Eastern
and African History, Education, and International
Relations. After working in the commercial and tech-
nological fields, he moved to Wisconsin to spend
four years as a communal and educational emissary
of the Jewish Agency for Israel to the Milwaukee
Jewish Federation. Living in the U.S. intro-
duced him to liberal Judaism, and he joined
the Israeli Rabbinical Program immediately
upon returning home. During his course
of study, Barkin received his M.A. at the
Herman Institute of Contemporary Jewry
at the Hebrew University. As a rabbinical
student, he participated in HUC-JIR’s
innovative pastoral care training program
helped found the Anita
Saltz Education Center under the aus-
pices of the World Union for Progressive
Judaism, and worked as the student rabbi
at Congregation Yozma in Modi’in. He
now serves as Rabbi at Yozma Congregation in
Modi’in and as Associate to the Dean, HUC-
Silvana Kandel
in 1999 from Argentina,
where she was active in the Buenos Aires Jewish
community and attended various programs at the
Marshall Meyer Latin American Rabbinical Seminary.
Immediately after arriving in Israel, Kandel began
working in Reform congregations in Jerusalem,
teaching Judaism in conversion programs and to the
disabled. She completed her B.A. and M.A. at Hebrew
University in the department of Jewish Thought, and
she was awarded the Yeshayahu Tishbi (z”l) Prize for
Excellence for her thesis, which centered on “The
Religious and Moral Thought of Rabbi Moshe Haim
Luzzatto.” In 2005 Kandel moved to Haifa and
began working with Or Chadash Congregation and
the Lokey Center of the Leo Baeck Education
Center. Last year she moved to Yokneam and joined
Kehillat Shachar, where she and a group of students
strive to teach the values of Jewish renewal, social
justice, involvement, and Zionism. She completed
her teaching studies at Oranim Seminary and runs
Beit Midrash study groups in various frameworks
Moshe Navon
was born in 1954 in the Soviet Union
and made
in 1991. Navon grew up and stud-
ied in Moldavia, where he received an M.Sc. degree,
and in 2003 he earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible
from the Hebrew University. Before starting his rab-
binical studies, Navon completed a fellowship in
HUC-JIR’s Academic Development Program and
Building Israel’s Progressive Future
From left, front row:]
Newly ordained Israeli
Progressive Rabbis Moshe
Navon, Silvana Kandel,
Nir Yishai Barkin, Ishai
Ron, and Tanya Segal,
with [from left, back row]
Dr. Michael Marmur,
Dean, HUC-JIR/
Jerusalem, and Rabbi
David Ellenson.
continued on page 18)