attended the Beit Midrash for graduates at the
Shalom Hartman Institute for five years. Over the
past decade, Navon has taught at the School for
Overseas Students at the Hebrew University, as well
as at leading universities in the Commonwealth of
Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. He
has served as a lecturer and writer of curricula for the
Hebrew University, the Ministry of Education, and
the Jewish Agency for Israel. For the past three years,
he served as deputy director of the International
Association of Education and Cultural Workers for
the Russian-Speaking Population. He currently lec-
tures at David Yellin College in Jerusalem and is
serving as the pedagogic coordinator for an exhibit
entitled “The Jews of Struggle,” at Beth Hatefutsoth,
The Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv.
Navon is also participating in a new pedagogic proj-
ect for the Dome of the Book at the Israel Museum.
Page 18 |
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
2006-2007
Annual Report
[
From left] Ruth O. Freedlander, Co-Trustee, Dr. Bernard Heller
Foundation; Israel President Shimon Peres; Rabbi David Ellenson;
and Barbara Friedman, Chair, HUC-JIR Board of Governors.
Building Israel’s Progressive Future
(
continued from page 17)
S
himon Peres, the President of the State of Israel, was awarded the
Dr. Bernard Heller Prize by the College-Institute in Jerusalem on Friday,
November 2, 2007. Ruth O. Freedlander, Co-Trustee of the Dr. Bernard
Heller Foundation, who presented the award to President Peres with Rabbi
Ellenson, said “President Shimon Peres’s lifelong devoted leadership of
the State of Israel and vision for a peaceful future in the Middle East are
a source of inspiration and hope. It is a privilege to honor his distin-
guished statecraft and commitment to the values of our tradition with
the Dr. Bernard Heller Prize in Arts, Letters, the Humanities, and Religion,
an international award presented to an organization or individual whose
work, writing, or research reflects significant contributions in these areas.”
President Peres praised Reform Judaism for “its double-edged ability to
be fully a part of the modern world while at the same time remaining faith-
ful to the foundation of the Torah.” He called for the partnership of scientific
and intellectual endeavor at the highest level in Israel, adding that “the
moral code of the Ten Commandments is essential to existence and to
being in the forefront of innovation.”
Natan Sharansky addressing the HUC-JIR Boards of Governors
and Overseers in Jerusalem on the 40th anniversary of the struggle
for Soviet Jewry.
N
atan Sharansky, former
refusenik
and leader of the Soviet Jewish
struggle for freedom, met with the leaders of HUC-JIR in Jerusalem
on November 3, 2007, to mark the 40th anniversary of the movement
for Jewish human rights in the USSR: the right to renew Jewish identity
and heritage, the right to immigrate to Israel, and the right to nurture
Jewish culture, language, and religion. Rabbi Ellenson praised Sharansky
for his heroic efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry and the State of Israel,
and noted that “the Soviet Jewry movement was a decisive experience
in the formation of Jewish leaders in the Soviet Union, North America,
and around the world and a model of courageous activism to be emu-
lated in our own day.”
Sharansky explained that “today, in the free world’s struggle against
Islamic fundamentalism, Israel is the only non-Muslim nation in the
region. In the free world’s struggle against totalitarian regimes, Israel is
the only democracy in the region, and yet is condemned more than its
neighbors for human rights infractions. In the free world’s post-national-
ist trend toward a world without borders and religions, whereby European
nations are abandoning their identity but have growing populations who
are increasingly attached to their religious and ethnic identities, Israel
represents a challenge to such post-nationalistic theories. Fighting for the
Jewish people and the interests of the State of Israel is fighting for the
interests of the free world – for democracy, human rights, and freedom.”