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Connect online with our esteemed faculty, engaging students, and fellow supporters!

While we are physically distant, we are pleased to offer opportunities for you to learn and connect with our HUC-JIR community online. We invite you to join us every Tuesday for learning sessions with our esteemed faculty, watch the recordings of many sessions below, and explore our College Commons podcast series.

If you have questions about our virtual events, please contact Liza Sacks at lsacks@huc.edu.  

UPCOMING SESSIONS  |  RECORDED SESSIONS  |  SUPPORT HUC-JIR


  

UPCOMING SESSIONS 

"Yizkor, the Unsung Ending to Shavuot (Nu? Let's Sing About It!)"
Cantor Yvon Shore

For Supporters and Friends:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 pm ET
Register Today

For Alumni, Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 pm ET
Register Today

Judaism mandates communal reflection on the intimacy of mortality and loss four times a year: Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot. The powerful liturgy and music of Yizkor offers a cathartic response to the frailty of the human condition. Let us reconnect with the purpose, origins, and meaning of these prayers through music and study. Cantor Yvon Shore serves as Director of Liturgical Arts and Music at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.


Reform Movement Tikkun Leil Shavuot
Hosted by the ACC, CCAR, URJ, and HUC-JIR

Thursday, May 28, 2020
8:00 pm - 12:00 am ET

Register Today

Come together with the Reform Movement on Thursday, May 28, 2020 from 8:00 pm - 12:00 am ET for Tikkun Leil Shavuot ­­– an evening of learning, music, prayer, and poetry. Together, we will delve into the beauty, complexity, and joy of Torah. Join for one, two, three, or all four hours! HUC-JIR will host a Shavuot conversation on individual responsibility and obligation in modern Jewish from 8:00 - 9:00 pm ET with Rabbi Rachel Adler, Ph.D., Rabbi David Ellenson Professor of Jewish Religious Thought and Professor of Modern Jewish Thought, and Rabbi Joseph Skloot, Ph.D., Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual History.


"Clinical Ethics: Challenges During the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Pandemic" 
Presented by Robert L. Fine, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, and Rabbi Mark Washofsky, Ph.D. 
Moderated by Joshua Holo, Ph.D.

Sunday, May 31, 2020
11:00 am PT / 1:00 pm CT / 2:00 pm ET

Register Today

Is it ethical to deny treatment to one patient to help another patient? Is it ethical to alter current CPR standards of care if doing so leads to worse outcomes? The novel corona virus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19), has led to new ways of managing respiratory failure and hopefully creative, better methods for developing and manufacturing vaccines. The pandemic has also created novel ethical challenges that must be faced at the bedside by physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, patients, and families. Those same ethical challenges must also be grappled with by the polis, the body politic.

To provide perspective on these ethical challenges, we will begin with a brief exploration of the pandemic in the United States. Doctor Fine and Rabbi Washofsky will then compare the Hippocratic and contemporary clinical ethics traditions with the Jewish legal tradition to suggest answers the questions above. The program will then open for dialogue with attendees in hopes of broadening community understanding of the ethical challenges, maintaining hope for the future, and promoting the social solidarity necessary to turn back the pandemic, saving as many lives as possible.

This session is presented as part of The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health's free webinar series on COVID-19 through medical, political, public-health, and Jewish perspectives. Learn more.


"Why Do We Fear Them? The Origin and History of Islamophobia"
Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D.
Moderated by Joshua Holo, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 pm ET

Registration will open shortly

Islamophobia is not new, though the term (coined, it seems, in 1910) became popular only in the 1990s. Fear of Islam (or of Muslims) entered into Western culture and worldview since the emergence of Islam in the 7th century, and in the Middle Ages Jews were considered allies of the reviled Muslims in much of Europe. This session will examine the origins and history of Islamophobia and consider why it has so often been associated with fear and hatred of Jews. Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Ph.D., serves as Regenstein Professor in Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. 


"Anxiety, Depression, Isolation: 
Psycho-Social Risks and Opportunities of Protective Sheltering"
Presented by Betsy Stone, Ph.D.
Moderated by Warren R. "Chip" Fagadau, MD 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 
5:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm CT / 8:00 pm ET

Register Today

This is a time of disruption, difficulty and trauma. What is the impact of social distancing on our mental health? What behaviors can we expect to see in ourselves, our children and our congregants? How can we facilitate a healthy re-entry? Join psychologist and HUC-JIR adjunct lecturer Dr. Betsy Stone to discuss how this trauma is impacting our bodies, our brains and our relationships.

This session is presented as part of The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health's free webinar series on COVID-19 through medical, political, public-health, and Jewish perspectives. Learn more.


"How Is COVID-19 Impacting Your Brain and Your Body?"
Betsy Stone, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 pm ET

Registration will open shortly

Trauma makes it difficult for us to think and wears us out. Join Dr. Betsy Stone to explore our "normal" reactions to heightened stress. Betsy Stone, Ph.D., is a retired psychologist who currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer at HUC-JIR. 


"The Jewish Community in a Post-Virus Economy:
An Analysis of What We Can Expect and Why"
Steven Windmueller, Ph.D.
Moderated by Joshua Holo, Ph.D. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
12:00pm-1:00 pm ET 

Registration will open shortly

During this session, we will address some of the key economic realities and cultural outcomes in connection with the coronavirus, including the changing roles of leadership, the emerging impact of Jewish foundations and donor families in reshaping and defining the Jewish community, the rise of the new Jewish poor, the impact of social unrest, and an examination of the Jewish communal roadmap, as organizations and synagogues go through downsizing, mergers, and closures. Dr. Steven Windmueller serves as Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles.


Mask on First"Putting Our Mask On First: Self-Care for Jewish Professionals"
Betsy Stone, Ph.D., and Micol Zimmerman Burkeman, MAJE

These are trying times. And ever the more so for our educators, clergy, and communal professionals who spend their days and nights taking care of their communities.  We focus so much on caring for others that we often forget or don't make the time to take care of ourselves. Yet, we also know that when we do not practice self-care, we are not as effective for our communities. As we always hear when we travel, we need to put our masks on first. We are creating a group to help us do just that. This virtual group will meet weekly for a month. The same group will meet for all four sessions. This will be a place for us to share, support each other, and learn ways to practice self-care and manage our own fears and challenges so we can be at our best for our communities.

LEARN MORE


Covenant Foundation Partnership

"Reclaiming Time, Self and Voice:
Counting the Omer with the Creativity Braintrust"
A Digital Learning Series Presented by
HUC-JIR’s School of Education and the Covenant Foundation

Navigating to Passover in the Age of COVID-19 seemed insurmountable enough; having “crossed the sea” we now face a new uncharted wilderness ahead. The Omer is a period when we are encouraged to mark time differently, a mashup of the mundane and the mystical. Join us for a weekly series of explorations of themes of the omer with the artist-scholars of HUC-JIR’s Beit HaYotzer/The Creativity Braintrust, where we will access our capacity for counting and recounting through various intellectual, creative and artistic modalities.

ACCESS RECORDINGS AND LEARN MORE

May 22: In Search of Revelation: a conversation for creative seekers and teachers, with Alicia Jo Rabins, Ariel Burger, Aaron Henne and Jon Adam Ross


 

RECORDED SESSIONS 

"Jewish Personal Names Around the World: Tradition and Creativity"
The HUC-JIR Jewish Languages Project
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D. 

May 21, 2020

From ancient to present times, Jews have given their babies Hebrew and/or local names, demonstrating both their Jewish distinctiveness and their integration into local societies. This lecture offers a glimpse into this history, from the ancient Middle East to medieval Cairo, from Renaissance Rome to modern Poland. Then participants will learn how these trends continue among contemporary American Jews. When Jews today select names for their babies, they are sending a message about their specific type of Jewish American identity. The lecture ends with an (adorable) foray into American Jewish pets’ names. When Jews give their dogs and cats names like Babka, Rashi, Ketzele, and Golda Meow, they highlight some aspects of Jewishness that are important to them.


"Confronting Human Frailty"
Rabbi Joshua Garroway, Ph.D.

May 19, 2020

A pandemic makes most people--even the young and healthy--keenly aware of the fragility and impermanence of human existence. A famous sage teaches that such awareness, even during normal times, rests at the foundation of an ethical life. 

Rabbi Joshua Garroway, Ph.D., serves as Professor of Early Christianity and the Second Commonwealth.


"Jewish Surnames and Name Changing Around the World"
The HUC-JIR Jewish Languages Project 
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D. 

May 14, 2020

What makes a family name Jewish? Did immigrants change their names at Ellis Island? This session answers these and many more questions about Jewish family names. Participants will learn the origins and meanings of patronymic (father-based) surnames like Abramovitch, Isaacs, and Yaghobian; geographic names like Ashkenazi, Dardashti, and Shapiro; and profession names like Hakim, Melamed, and Fingerhut. They will learn about Jews changing their family names in the 20th century, especially in the United States. They will come away with an understanding of the cultural diversity and unity of the Jewish Diaspora.


"A New Yavneh – Jewish Thought in America Since 1934"
Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D.

May 13, 2020

Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Jewish Theology, and Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus, edited the anthology American Jewish Thought Since 1934, published by Brandeis University Press. In this session, Dr. Marmur will set out some of the key themes and preoccupations of Jewish thinkers in America over the last eighty years. We will look at a recurrent theme to be found in the book – the parallel between the reconstruction of Judaism following the destruction of the Second Temple, and the attempt to construct Jewish life in North America.


"Jewish Thought in America: A New Anthology and Some Big Questions"
Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D.

May 12, 2020

Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Jewish Theology, and Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus, edited the anthology American Jewish Thought Since 1934, published by Brandeis University Press. In this session, Dr. Marmur will set out some of the key themes and preoccupations of Jewish thinkers in America over the last eighty years. And he will ask the question: what are the prospects for American Jewish Thought in the coming decades?


"Steeled in Adversity: Jews and the History of Communal Health Crises in America"
The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Rabbi Lance J. Sussman and Rabbi Bailey Romano

May 12, 2020

Hosted by The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, this session focuses on intriguing documents that relate to Jewish life and past communal health crises in America with the goal to provide participants with lessons that apply to our current circumstances.


Judaism Unbound: Episode 221 - Zooming Out
Dr. Steven Windmueller

May 8, 2020


Reclaiming Time, Self and Voice: Counting the Omer with the Creativity Braintrust
Making Art in the Wilderness, Making Sense of Confusing Times
Alicia Jo Rabins

May 8, 2020

In this session, Alicia Jo Rabins will read poems written through the pandemic experience, as well as performing songs from her Girls in Trouble song cycle about women in Torah - focusing on moments when these characters lived through their own challenging situations.


Ruach in the Chadar Ochel: Language at American Jewish Summer Camps
The HUC-JIR Jewish Languages Project
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D.

May 7, 2020

At most American Jewish summer camps, programs are conducted primarily in English, but the environment is infused with Hebrew signs, songs, and cheers. Hebrew-English sentences are common: “Madrichim [counselors], please bring your chanichim [campers] to the teatron [theater] immediately after the Birkat [Grace After Meals].” Why do some camps infuse Hebrew in these unusual ways? How are other languages used, including Russian, Yiddish, and Ladino? How do participants feel about this language mixing? This talk draws from Benor, Krasner, and Avni’s forthcoming book, Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps, based on over 200 interviews and visits to 36 camps.


"How to Honor the Departed: 
A Rabbinic Opinion by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch"
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D.

May 5, 2020

We honor the memory of Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D. z"l, on his yahrzeit. Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus, will present “How to Honor the Departed: A Rabbinic Opinion by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.” This writing deals with a question the New Orleans Jewish community posed to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) of Frankfurt, Germany, on the optimal way to honor the memory of Judah Touro, the leading Jewish philanthropist in the United States during the mid-19th century.


"Steeled in Adversity:
Jews and the History of Communal Health Crises in America"
Rabbi Gary P. Zola, Ph.D., and Pamela Nadell

May 5, 2020

Rabbi Gary P. Zola, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and The Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, in conversation with American University's Pamela Nadell, Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program. 


Reclaiming Time, Self and Voice: Counting the Omer with the Creativity Braintrust
Writing Meditation: Your Personal Narratives of Wilderness and Redemption
Aaron Henne

May 1, 2020

In this session, Aaron Henne, Artistic Director of theatre dybbuk, will help you to find your own stories connected to journeying through the unknown on the way towards redemption. As we navigate our current reality while also moving, in our Jewish tradition, between Egypt and Sinai, we will discover how our personal narratives can help us to understand what we have left behind and that which is still to come.


Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism
The HUC-JIR Jewish Languages Project
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D.

April 30, 2020

There is more to becoming Orthodox than observing religious laws. Newly Orthodox Jews, or ba’alei teshuva (lit. ‘those who return’), encounter a very different culture, including new ways of talking, dressing, and acting. Focusing on the Yiddish and Hebrew words used by English-speaking Orthodox Jews, this lecture explores how “BTs” integrate into the community partly by taking on these new practices. Based on Dr. Benor’s first book, this talk is appropriate for all audiences, regardless of prior exposure to Orthodox Judaism.

Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D., is a Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and Linguistics at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, and the creator of the HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project.


"What Is Jewish Political Thought?"
Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.

April 28, 2020

Does the Jewish People have a distinctive approach to political questions, a distinctive political philosophy?  Many nations and peoples are thought to have one.  American Political Thought, for example, might be characterized by the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, including a commitment to a balance of powers, the separation of church and state, and strong individual rights among other things.  If the Jewish people are a distinctive people, then what is our political philosophy and where do we find its source?  How does our tradition treat basic questions of legitimacy (the right to use power over others), justice, and right?  And are these questions even intelligible given the diversity of Jewish thinking and ideas over the last 3000 years?  In this talk, we introduce these issues and likely raise more questions than we answer! 

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., is the President and Professor of Political Thought at HUC-JIR. 


Reclaiming Time, Self and Voice: Counting the Omer with the Creativity Braintrust
Storytelling, Counting, and Illuminating the World
Ariel Burger

April 24, 2020

Join Ariel Burger as he shares an original illustrated storybook that retells a Hasidic tale about tales, one that draws new connections between Jewish practice, the power of story, and our lives. 


“Reclaiming Time, Self and Voice During the Omer” Series Introduction 
Dr. Miriam Heller Stern

April 23, 2020

Introducing a weekly series of explorations of themes of the omer with the artist-scholars of HUC-JIR’s Beit HaYotzer/The Creativity Braintrust, where we will access our capacity for counting and recounting through various intellectual, creative and artistic modalities.

Dr. Miriam Heller Stern is the National Director of the School of Education and Associate Professor at HUC-JIR.

 


Mensch, Bentsh, and Balagan: Language as a Marker of Jewish Identity
The HUC-JIR Jewish Languages Project
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D.

April 23, 2020

Using quotes and images, this talk highlights the diversity of American Jews by focusing on the diverse uses of “Jewish American English” – enriched by Yiddish, Hebrew, Aramaic, Russian, Farsi, Arabic, and other influences.

Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D., is a Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and Linguistics at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, and the creator of the HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project.


We All Look the Same to a Virus: Shared Human-ness in View of a Pandemic
Off-Script: Old Wisdom, New Reality: A Special Series of the College Commons Podcast
Hosted by Dr. Joshua Holo, with Bart Campolo, Dr. Leah Hochberg, and Aziza Hasan

April 22, 2020

The first episode of a special series of the College Commons Podcast explored how the shared humanity that the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted is a wakeup call to mutual responsibility and shared action.


"Gender and Politics in Late Bronze Age Syria: 
The Undoing of the Daughter of the Great Lady"
Dr. Christine Thomas

April 21, 2020

Our annual Tsevat Memorial Lecture is presented in honor and memory of Dr. Matitiahu Tsevat who taught at HUC for more than 20 years.

Dr. Christine Thomas holds a joint appointment from HUC-JIR/Cincinnati and Xavier University as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible. 


Do American Jews Speak a Jewish Language?
The HUC-JIR Jewish Languages Project
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D.

April 16, 2020

This talk looks at several features common among Jewish languages of the past and discusses whether American Jews use them.

Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D., is a Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies and Linguistics at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, and the creator of the HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project.


"Contact Before Content"
Micol Zimmerman Burkeman, MAJE

April 14, 2020

Explore the importance of creating and sustaining relationships in Jewish education and Jewish education as a way to promote thriving. 

Micol Zimmerman Burkeman, MAJE, serves as Recruitment and Leadership Development Associate at HUC-JIR.


"The Riddle of the Seventh Day of Passover"
Rabbi Dalia Marx, Ph.D.

April 14, 2020

The seventh day of Passover, according to Jewish tradition, is when the crossing of the Red Sea took place. But the holiday itself remains a riddle.

Rabbi Dalia Marx, Ph.D., is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Professor of Liturgy and Midrash at our Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem, and teaches in various academic institutions in Israel and Europe.


"Innovation and Inclusion: The Rabbis' Remaking of Passover"
Rabbi Dvora Weisberg, Ph.D.  

April 7, 2020

With the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the central ritual of Passover - the offering of the paschal sacrifice - became impossible. Recognizing the centrality of the Passover story to the Jewish people, the early rabbis created a new, home-based ritual: the Passover Seder. This celebration shifted the observance of Passover from Temple to home, and in so doing, gave everyone in the community an expanded role in Passover.

Rabbi Dvora Weisberg, Ph.D., is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Professor of Rabbinics and Director of School of Rabbinical Studies at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles.


"Fuel for the Spirit: Sheltering In for Passover and Easter"
Jennifer Harper, M.Div.

April 4, 2020

Jennifer Harper, M.Div., Director of HUC-JIR's Interfaith Doctor of Ministry Program, serves as the guest host of this episode of Fuel for the Spirit with guests Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Ph.D., and Jenna Cox.


"The Four Children: Biblically, Rabbinically, & Graphically"
Rabbi Dalia Marx, Ph.D.

April 2, 2020

Rabbi Dalia Marx, Ph.D., is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Professor of Liturgy and Midrash at our Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem, and teaches in various academic institutions in Israel and Europe.

 


"Shaping Our Values in Relation to Crisis: Jews and Plagues"
Joshua Holo, Ph.D.

April 1, 2020

Joshua Holo, Ph.D., serves as the Dean of the Jack. H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


"'How Long?' — Psalm 13 and Biblical Responses to Crisis"
Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D.

March 31, 2020

The recording of this session will be posted shortly.

We will explore Psalm 13, which gives voice to the anxiety of the unknown often experienced in times of crisis. This ancient psalm of lament contains language and imagery that feels remarkable resonant as we confront the coronavirus pandemic.

Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D., is the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Previously, she served as Associate Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR/New York. 


"Moon Gods and Shiny Jewelry: The Power of the Crescent in the Ancient Near East"
David Ilan, Ph.D.

March 25, 2020

Dr. David Ilan is the Director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology.


"Tzedaqah (Charity): Who and What Is It For?"
Dr. Alyssa Gray

March 24, 2020

We all know (don’t we?) that “tzedaqah” means “charity” (among other things). But what we don’t always think about is how some major figures in Jewish tradition see tzedaqah as a sort of religious force-field that ties together God and humans, heaven and earth, the past and the present, the living and the dead. Other equally major figures stress the purely human aspects of tzedaqah. Who has it right about who and what tzedaqah is for? Come explore with us.

Dr. Alyssa Gray is the Emily S. and Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman Chair in Rabbinics and Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature at HUC-JIR.


"The Psychological Aspects of Being in Your Retirement Years"
Dr. Betsy Stone

March 17, 2020

Medical advances have led to the creation of a new life stage: Encore Adulthood. This is the stage that newly exists between retirement and death. Once expected to be brief, this life stage now can last upwards of 30 years. How do we help people prepare for healthy and not-so-healthy aging? What happens during the psychological process of retirement that impacts the ensuing years? 

Dr. Betsy Stone is a retired psychologist who serves as an adjunct lecturer at HUC-JIR. Her classes include Human Development for Educators, Adolescent Development, and Teens In and Out of Crisis.


"Passover Around the World: A Multimedia Concert"
Sarah Bunin Benor, Ph.D.

March 15, 2020

This multimedia concert features The Four Questions, Min Hametzar, Chad Gadya, and other Passover songs in multiple languages, arranged in traditional and contemporary styles and performed by renowned musicians Jewlia Eisenberg and Jeremiah Lockwood (Yiddish), Asher Shasho Levy (Judeo-Arabic, Syrian Hebrew), and Chloe Pourmorady (Ladino, Bukharian/Judeo-Tajik, Persian Hebrew). The event includes an engaging introduction to endangered Jewish languages – from Jewish Neo-Aramaic to Judeo-Tat – by Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor. And a grand finale of Who Knows One? in Ladino and Jewish English featuring singers from ucLADINO's Kantigas Muestras and HUC-JIR. For more information, and accompanying materials for this video, visit jewishlanguages.org/passover.


3D Virtual Tour of the Skirball Musuem's Exhibition
"An Eternal People: The Jewish Experience"

Skirball Museum

An Eternal People: The Jewish Experience, the core collection of HUC-JIR's Skirball Museum in Cincinnati, is comprised of seven thematic galleries that portray the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of the Jewish people. 

Watch the Virtual Tour


  

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