How are HUC-JIR and the Union for Reform Judaism related? - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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How are HUC-JIR and the Union for Reform Judaism related?

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Monday, November 3, 1997

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Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of American Reform Judaism, established the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873 (which became the Union for Reform Judaism in 2003) and the Hebrew Union College in 1875. Leaders of the Union, CCAR,WUPJ and Women of Reform Judaism serve among the 55 members of HUC-JIR's Board of Governors which comprises 44 lay leaders and 11 alumni. HUC-JIR leaders serve on the governing boards of the the Union and other arms of the Movement. 

Where do graduates of HUC-JIR serve?

  • Over 900 Reform congregations in North America
  • Progressive Movement synagogues in Israel and around the world
  • the Union summer camps and Israel programs
  • NFTY youth groups
  • the Union, CCAR, WUPJ, and WRJ program departments
  • Hospital and home for the aged chaplaincies
  • U.S. military chaplaincies
  • Hillel Foundations and Jewish student centers on college campuses
  • Federations and other Jewish communal and social service agencies

Do students serve congregations during their years of study? 

Students gain practical skills training through internships, supervised by alumni mentors, in:

  • the Union congregations throughout North America, including small congregations who could not otherwise afford the services of a rabbi or cantor
  • Reform temple religious schools
  • Departments of the the Union, NFTY camps, CCAR, WUPJ and other arms of the Reform Movement

What does HUC-JIR give to the individual congregation?

  • Rabbis
  • Cantors
  • Educators
  • Youth Directors
  • Temple Administrators
  • Temple Musicians
  • Alumni continuing education programs, including a doctorate in pastoral care and counseling, to enhance these professionals' skills in serving their communities
  • Youth group kallot
  • Congregational tours of our learning centers, museums, libraries and archives
  • Opportunities to participate in HUC-JIR's archaeological excavations in Israel

How can congregations become involved at HUC-JIR? 

Please visit our centers of learning, participate in our educational programs and worship services, meet our faculty and students, and tour our museums, archives, and libraries. Congregational retreats and seminars at our campuses are welcomed. We invite the participation of the Union congregants, religious schools, and youth groups in our social action programs, such as the New York School's soup kitchen and the Los Angeles School's outreach to the South Central Los Angeles community.

What is the relationship between HUC-JIR and MUM dues?

Reform congregations, through the URJ's proportional dues program (MUM), provide critically needed support each year. HUC-JIR receives 44 percent of the MUM dues; the remaining 56 percent goes to the URJ. The balance of HUC-JIR's annual operating budget is supported through tuition and endowment income. 

Are other institutions in the Jewish world beneficiaries of HUC-JIR? 

"The sun never sets on the students of HUC-JIR" who serve as clergy, educators and communal professionals in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and as pioneers building the congregations, schools and institution s of Progressive Judaism in Israel. Our students are educated to serve klal Israel - the entire Jewish people. 

Is HUC-JIR represented in other religious and secular programming? 

Interfaith and intrafaith programs include:

  • Student interseminary courses and meetings
  • Conferences organized in conjunction with the ADL, American Jewish Committee, Israeli Consulates, National Conference of Christians and Jews, UJA-Federation, secular universities and other communal organizations.

What degree and non-degree programs are offered at HUC-JIR? 

the Union congregants are welcome to participate in
degree and non-degree programs leading to:

What do HUC-JIR's libraries offer? 

the Union congregants are invited to utilize this core research resource for our students and faculty. Preserving nearly 700,000 volumes, our network of libraries is ranked as one of the world's largest respositories of Hebraica and Judaica from the 10th century to the present, and includes thousands of rare volumes salvaged from Europe after the Holocaust, illuminated manuscripts, Biblical codices, communal records, legal documents and scientific tracts. Our Jewish Periodical Center houses the nation's most complete collection of Jewish newspapers and magazines on microfilm. The Klau Library in Cincinnati is one of the three conservators in the world of the negatives of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

What does the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives offer? 

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), one of the world's premier centers of study, research, and publication in the field of American Jewish history, collects and catalogues published and manuscript material reflecting the life and history of American Jewry. The AJA contains more than 10,000 linear feet of correspondence, manuscripts, near-print materials, photographs, audio and video tapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials. The AJA attracts hundreds of scholarly researchers from around the world each year and publishes one of the world's major journals devoted to the American Jewish experience, The American Jewish Archives Journal. The AJA's collection of the records of Reform Judaism in America preserves the records of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR, and the Women of Reform Judaism. 

What do HUC-JIR's museums and galleries offer? 

Our museums present 4,000 years of Jewish history and culture, welcome congregational and and religious school group tours, and offer family workshops and educational programs. Our museum professionals, traveling exhibitions, and synagogue museum conferences are resources for the Union synagogue museums. 

What HUC-JIR publications and materials are available?

  • Scholarly publications include The Hebrew Union College Annual, Studies in Bibliography and Booklore and Bibliographica Judaica, as well as works published by The Hebrew Union College Press, the Sacred Music Press, and the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology.
  • The HUC-JIR academic catalog, Chronicle magazine, and cultural and educational outreach brochures are available from the National Office of Public Affairs in New York.
  • Recruitment brochures for academic programs are available from the National Office of Admissions and Recruitment in Cincinnati.

How does HUC-JIR serve the Israeli Reform Movement? 

Our Jerusalem Learning Center is the headquarters for all Reform Movement activities in Israel and is in the forefront of all efforts toward religious pluralism in the Jewish State. Since 1980, our Israel Rabbinic Program has ordained 26 rabbis (including 6 women rabbis since 1992) to serve the Israel Progressive Movement. The campus is the center of community education and cultural programs, sponsors the Beit Midrash/A Liberal Yeshivah for continuing adult Jewish studies, welcomes thousands of Reform Movement youths on academic and summer programs sponsored by the the Union and NFTY, and offers ulpan, community leadership courses for new immigrants, and teacher training for Israeli school teachers.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.