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Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Annual Report
President’s Message
continued from page 1)
We have broken ground in Cincinnati for the $12 million Klau
Library Renovation and Expansion Project and will construct a new
Library Pavilion” to house library collections, administrative offices,
and exhibition space for treasures from the rare book collection.
We have admitted 95 students (30 stateside rabbinical, 10 Israeli
rabbinical, 10 cantorial, 10 education, 6 communal service, 10
Doctor of Ministry, 5 Ph.D., 3 Doctor of Hebrew Letters, and 11
DeLeT certificate program participants), and we are proud to have 41
first-year students at our Jerusalem campus, where they are studying
side-by-side with 24 Israeli rabbinical students.
We have ordained 55 new stateside rabbis and 6 Israeli rabbis,
invested 6 cantors, graduated 10 communal service professionals
and 26 Jewish educators and bestowed 105 Master’s and Doctoral
degrees on students in our graduate and professional programs.
At Ordination in Jerusalem, we presented certificates to the first
class of
a program of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein
Center for Pastoral Counseling. Eleven pioneers, including rabbis,
medical and mental health professionals, and educators, are helping
to define Jewish religious outreach, grounded in the values of the
Reform Movement (see page 18).
We have continued to raise funds for scholarships to attract the
best and the brightest. Through the generosity of Ruth Ziegler’s $1
million endowment, we will create 4 new scholarships for commu-
nal service students (see page 13). Mrs. Harriet Stern of Memphis
endowed a scholarship for a rabbinical student and named it in
memory of her great-grandfather, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise.
We offered a rich and varied program in leadership for our Tisch and
Mandel Fellows, and selected the second cohort of students to receive
these prestigious fellowships. Tisch and Mandel Fellows were joined
by the first cohort of Schusterman Rabbinical Fellows, a ground-
breaking interdenominational five-year pilot program for rabbinical
students at HUC-JIR and the Jewish Theological Seminary, spon-
sored by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
In Cincinnati we launched an historic collaboration with Xavier
University to create a Jewish and Interfaith Studies Program that
will be offered to undergraduates at Xavier and rabbinical and
graduate students at HUC-JIR (see page 8).
In Los Angeles Leona Aronoff-Sadacca endowed a rabbinical
mentoring program that bears her name and planning has begun to
create an interactive training program for rabbis serving as mentors.
The program will focus on mentoring skills, professional develop-
ment, supervision of field placements, and coaching (see page 4).
With a substantial grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, we have
renewed our commitment to day school education by assuring the
continued and increased funding for DeLeT – Day School Education
through Leadership and Training. The excellence of this program was
recognized by the State of California when HUC-JIR’s DeLeT was
approved to offer the Calfornia State Teaching Credential.
In New York the HUC-JIR Museum presented a diverse array of
exhibitions, covering a broad span of Jewish history and experience,
including “Rosalyn Engelman: Dry Tears,” “Peachy Levy: Threads
of Judaism,” “Elements of Alchemy: Prints by Paul Weissman,”
“10-6-73 –
The Yom Kippur War: Photographs by Tom Heyman,
and “Albanian Muslim Rescuers During the Holocaust: Photographs
by Norman Gershman.” Faculty and students on the Los Angeles
campus have benefited from study with four artists – Peachy Levy,
Andrea Hodos, Judith Margolis, and Stacie Chaiken – in the Artist-
in-Residence Program to Enhance Jewish Education, partially funded
by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.
In Israel we inaugurated a two-year Master’s Program in Pluralistic
Jewish Education, HUC-JIR’s first partnership with Hebrew University,
and recruited 17 women and men who are working in Israeli public
schools and other educational venues. Initial funding for this ground-
breaking program was provided by Richard Scheuer,
his wife
Joan, and their family, and the Chais Family Foundation.
We have accomplished all this through remarkable gains in our
development effort. This year we raised over $25 million – $19
million in cash and an additional $6 million in pledges – to ensure
the vibrancy of our programs and our ongoing commitment to
excellence in educating Jewish leaders.
In conclusion, we at the College-Institute are the heirs of Ben
Azzai’s optimism and Ben Zakkai’s pragmatism. Our goal is clear.
The future of Jewish leadership in the United States, Israel, and
throughout the world depends upon our ability to maintain our
programs, faculty, and resources to produce the next generations
of educated, dedicated, empathetic, and caring clergy, educators,
and heads of Jewish communal institutions and organizations.
With your generous help, we can and will fulfill this mandate.
Thank you for supporting the training of the kinds of Jewish lead-
ers that are so sorely needed during challenging times, so that our
children and grandchildren will be the beneficiaries of the wisdom,
tradition, culture, and values that provide infinite moral, intellectu-
al, and spiritual fortitude to tackle the real world.
Let us continue to work together, and strengthen each other, as
partners in this sacred task.
Rabbi David Ellenson,
February 2009 / Shevat 5769