In September, 55 HUC-JIR Governors, Overseers, and communal leaders participated in the "Borders, Boundaries & Beyond" trip to Israel, Jordan, and Morocco in conjunction with the Board of Governors meeting. From Eilat to the Golan Heights, participants traveled throughout Israel - visiting the Nature Reserve of Timna, Kibbutz Yahel (affiliated with the Reform Movement), Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. A special tour of the Tel Dan excavations was conducted by Dr. Avraham Biran, director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology. The Board of Governors meeting was also attended by members of the Jerusalem Board of Overseers. The group attended the Jerusalem School's Academic Convocation, where honorary degrees were awarded to Judge Miriam Ben-Porat, the late Dr. David Flusser, and Ambassador Martin S. Indyk. They met HUC-JIR students and went to Shabbat services at the Murstein Synagogue on campus. Residents of the Golan Heights, James Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum, and Moshe Safdie, the architect of the Jerusalem School, hosted them. In Jordan, the group traveled to Petra and Amman, and met with Crown Prince Faisal at the Palace in Amman and William Burns, the U.S. Ambassador to Jordan. Some participants then continued on to Casablanca, Rabat, and Fes, where they met with members of the Moroccan Jewish communities and were hosted by Edward Gabriel, the U.S. Ambassador to Morocco.
Israel Kallah 2001, held January 2-15, was an educational and spiritual pilgrimage to Israel on an HUC-UAHC sponsored mission of support for Israel. Held within the "Green Line" at Kibbutz Yahel near Eilat and in Jerusalem at HUC-JIR, the Kallah's theme was "Ha-yahad ve-ha-yahid: Communality and Individuality in Jewish Life and Thought." The program, led by Professor Michael Chernick, Rabbi Leon Morris, and Dr. Miri Varon, included study, meetings with major spiritual figures, visits to religious and secular spiritual communities, prayer services, song sessions, workshops, and trips to beautiful natural settings and places of archaeological interest.
In honor of the 125th anniversary of HUC-JIR, the Cincinnati Opera Education and Outreach, in collaboration with the Cincinnati Arts Association, presented the opera Brundibar in October. The opera was first performed in a Jewish orphanage in Prague in secret due to Nazi laws banning Jewish public activities. Ultimately, many involved in the performance of Brundibar were sent to the Nazi concentration camp, Theresienstadt. There, it was performed more than 50 times by children, becoming a symbol of hope and light in the face of Nazi oppression.
Appearing as a guest speaker at each performance at Cincinnati's Aronoff Center was Ela Stein Weissberger, one of 100 survivors of the 15,000 children held at Terezin. She performed in the original Brundibar production in the camp. Joining her were members of the Combined Generations of the Holocaust of Greater Cincinnati, whose personal stories were woven into a dramatic multi-media presentation featuring original music, pictures, poetry, and personal letters of war victims and survivors. Cantor Sharon Kohn also performed in the Cincinnati Opera presentation.
The Cincinnati Board of Overseers held a Fall Retreat at Miami University's Marcum Center in Oxford, Ohio, with attendees from seven cities in the Midwest and South. Students Laura Sheinkopf- Hoffman ('02) and Oren Hayon ('04) led Shabbat services. Rabbi Samuel K. Joseph was the facilitator of the program; Chair Alvin Lipson, and Dean Kenneth Ehrlich coordinated the retreat.
Dr. Zvi Zohar, one of Israel's leading political and legal analysts and an expert on the halakhic writings and social context of Sephardic legal authorities in the modern world, presented a lecture on "Faces of Conflict: Shas, the Ultra-Orthodox and Modern Israel," co-sponsored by HUC-JIR and Wilshire Boulevard Temple through the Maurice Amado Foundation's support of HUC-JIR's Sephardic Studies Curriculum Project.
The first event of the Sephardic Studies Curriculum Project sponsored by the Maurice Amado Foundation, the concert "Jerusalem in Spain Ð Romances, Cantigas and Sacred Poetry," took place at the Jerusalem School in July. Cochava Levi, the widow of poet and composer Isaac Levi, and her daughter, Jasmin, sang; Lilach Akiva Cabiri played recorders; and Daniel Akiva, the composer, and Barry Moskowich played guitar.
HUC-JIR faculty convened in Lisle, Illinois for the biennial Faculty Retreat in June. The retreat included sessions on "Where is Reform Judaism Today?," "A Core Curriculum: Issues of Implementation," "Enriching the Nature of Teaching and Learning at HUC-JIR," and "North America and Israel: Issues We are Facing." Rabbi Norman Cohen, Acting President, noted that the retreat provided "a wonderful experience for the expanded faculty to be together." Approximately 20 more faculty members attended this retreat than the previous one in 1998, including 12 recent faculty appointments, many of whom are women. The retreat strengthened the faculty community as faculty members prayed together during morning tefillah, and worked and learned together during retreat sessions.
The 13th Morris Zimmerman Memorial Institute, "L'Dor Vador: From Generation to Generation, Reform Judaism in Transition," celebrated HUC-JIR's 125th anniversary by looking at HUC-JIR's history and future. Distinguished faculty, including Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, Dr. Eugene Borowitz, Rabbi Lester Bronstein, Dr. Lawrence Hoffman, Rabbi Aaron Panken, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, and Rabbi Andrea Weiss, analyzed the perspectives of past and future leaders and presented their own latest research on the most important issues for the new century.
The Academy for Adult Interfaith Studies was named "Best of the City" for "The Best Spiritual Sensation" in the October 2000 edition of Cincinnati Magazine.
The Los Angeles School celebrated the culmination of the Summer Youth Program with the Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles by hosting a luncheon for the participants, their families, and community leaders in August. This program, created by Reverend Alvin Tunstill, Jr., aims to provide high school students with positive work experiences, to teach them communication and professional skills, and to encourage them to think about their education and career goals. Shauntel Goodman and Freddie Thomas served, and will continue to serve, as mentors to the students, Lonyea Smith and Michael Stewart.
The Irwin Daniels School of Jewish Communal Service introduced its "Informal Jewish Education" track this summer, which explored youth and program services and camping. Rabbi Jeffrey Marx taught an introductory course during the summer session.
Ten education administrators from Cincinnati's sister city, Kharkiv, Ukraine, visited HUC- JIR/Cincinnati and other area colleges as part of a State Department-funded Community Connections Program to help them learn about running their schools in Kharkiv's newly democratic society.
The Birthright Program brought 450 college students to the Jerusalem School. The students, part of the UAHC-Kesher group, studied in small groups with HUC-JIR and Beit Midrash faculty and toured the campus. HUC-JIR graduate students helped host the visitors and were available to answer questions about the programs and study options offered. All 5000 of the students in the Birthright Program visited a two-day educational fair at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, where HUC-JIR sponsored an exhibition highlighting HUC-JIR and Beit Midrash programs.
The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and Brandeis University established "The Microfilm Collection of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives at Brandeis University." The Marcus Center will provide copies of selected microfilms to Brandeis.
The HUC-University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music Vocal/Instrumental Ensemble and soloists presented new compositions by Bonia Shur, including the Cincinnati premiere of the orchestral work "Lebedike Neshome" (Vivacious Soul), commissioned by the Fox Valley Symphony, at the 2000 Charisse Kranes Commemorative Concert. The program also included solo, choral, and other orchestral works by Shur. The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation and the Sharff/Schulman Fund supported the production of the concert in memory of Rabbi Charisse Kranes (C '85).
HUC-JIR and the UAHC co-sponsored a conference on Latino-Jewish relations at the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Dr. Steven Windmueller's paper, "Latino-Jewish Relations: Prospects for Building a New Los Angeles Coalition for the 21st Century," provided the inspiration for the conference, which challenged preconceived notions about the relationship between the communities, in order to emphasize the importance of building a future coalition. Participants included Dr. Windmueller, the Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa, David Abel, the Honorable Xavier Becerra, Dr. Xandra Kayden, and Rabbi Gary Greenebaum.
The Senior Cantorial Class of the School of Sacred Music presented a concert of their favorite choral, duets, quartets, and solos at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, New York in November.
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Most recent update 29 March 2001
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