Music of the Night: Celebrating Leaders Who Have Inspired Generations of Jewish Leadership - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content

You are here

Music of the Night: Celebrating Leaders Who Have Inspired Generations of Jewish Leadership

Main Content

Please join us in a joyful celebration in support of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion honoring Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., on the occasion of his retirement as President, and Sue Neuman Hochberg, Chair, Board of Overseers, Western Region, at A Musical Tribute Honoring David and Sue featuring Cantorial Graduates of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.

Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 6:00 PM Cocktails - 6:45 PM Dinner and Program

Beverly Wilshire Hotel (9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills)

Dietary Laws Observed | Cocktail Attire

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D.

After being part of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion for 40 years – first as a student at the New York campus, then as a beloved member of the faculty for 23 years in Los Angeles, and for the past 12 years as HUC-JIR President, Rabbi David Ellenson will step down on December 31, 2013 and assume the position of Chancellor. The personal relationships forged during the years he spent teaching Torah to students in every program of the Los Angeles School, his teaching of USC undergraduates through HUC-JIR’s Jerome H. Louchheim School for Judaic Studies, the collegiality he shared with fellow faculty who stimulated his learning and research, and the friendships that he and his wife, Jackie, and their children made in the Los Angeles community remain the highlights of his years in Los Angeles. During his tenure as President, Rabbi Ellenson brought a rare combination of intelligence, inspirational leadership, and humility to his presidency, and led the College-Institute with devotion and distinction, advancing HUC-JIR to a position of financial stability while implementing a broad range of new initiatives and academic programs. While continuing to publish award-winning academic books, scholarly articles, and opinion pieces, Rabbi Ellenson raised over $250 million and quadrupled the endowment to $200 million. He also promoted greater integration among the four campuses through the introduction of electronic classrooms and cross-campus courses, largely made possible by major gifts from Los Angeles donors. He strengthened the faculty by equalizing the number of men and women and funded new academic chairs, including two devoted to Los Angeles – the Sara Lee Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Education and the recently established Rabbi David Ellenson Chair in Jewish Religious Thought, which will perpetuate his presence. It is through his leadership that the Los Angeles campus was recently named in memory of Jack H. Skirball, a rabbinical alumnus of HUC-JIR and one of its Los Angeles founders.

Rabbi Ellenson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1981 and was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1977. He received his B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1969 and his M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. He is married to Rabbi Jacqueline Ellenson, an alumna of the Los Angeles campus. They have five children – Ruth, Micah and daughter-in-law Sara, Hannah, Naomi, and Raphael, and are the proud grandparents of Lilly. Rabbi Ellenson is deeply grateful to Sue Neuman Hochberg for her wise leadership, commitment, and friendship. 


Sue Neuman Hochberg

Sue Neuman Hochberg has a strong, longstanding relationship with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion through years of devoted service to the Los Angeles campus and her experiences at HUC-JIR, beginning in 1996, during her children’s rabbinical studies at the Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York campuses. In 2000, a year before her daughter Laurie and son-in-law Philip “Flip” Rice were ordained, Sue was asked to join the Western Region Board of Overseers, and now, 13 years later, Sue has served for four years as Board of Overseers Chair of the Jack H. Skirball Campus, Los Angeles, and as an officer of the Board of Governors and member of its Executive Committee. Sue’s commitment to Jewish learning and leadership advances the mission of preparing rabbis, cantors, educators, nonprofit professionals, and scholars for Jewish communities throughout North America and around the world. She has an extensive history in the philanthropic community, having served on the Board of Directors of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and its Executive Committee, the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary, and the Los Angeles Jewish Federation.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Sue was married for 24 years to Steve Neuman, of blessed memory, and they had two children, Laurie and Bobby. Nearly 10 years later, she married Larry Hochberg, a Jewish leader and philanthropist, and they now split their time between Highland Park, Illinois, and Los Angeles. Between them, they have 13 grandchildren, 7 boys and 6 girls, ranging in age from seven to twenty-three.

A graduate of Scripps College, Sue worked as a publicist for American International Pictures and as Comptroller for the Demographic Research Company, which created software programs for the direct mail industry.

Sue is honored to share this recognition with Rabbi David Ellenson, her mentor, leader and friend. 


Celebration Co-Chairs

  • Debbie and Rick Powell
  • Rabbis Philip and Laurie Rice

Honorary Co-Chairs

  • Leona Aronoff-Sadacca and Joseph Sadacca
  • Jackie and Howard Banchik
  • Toni and Bruce Corwin
  • Marlene and Sandy Louchheim
  • Matthew Louchheim
  • Joyce and Larry Powell
  • Joan and Arnold Seidel