Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, has inducted Evely Laser Shlensky onto the HUC-JIR Board of Governors. A distinguished civic and human rights leader of Santa Barbara, CA, Ms. Shlensky is a member of the Executive Board and former Vice-Chair of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, past President of the UAHC's Pacific SW Council, a member of the UAHC's Reform Judaism Editorial Advisory Board and UAHC Press Editorial Board, and past Chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism.
She is a National Board Member of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Founding Board Member and Executive Committee Member of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Jewish Commission on Sweatshops, Board Member of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and past Commissioner of the Human Relations Council of Santa Barbara County. She has served as Coordinator of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara, President of the American Civil Liberties Union, Santa Barbara, and of Congregation B'nai B'rith of Santa Barbara, and on the Executive Committee of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council.
Among her extensive activities on behalf of human rights and justice, Ms. Shlensky has participated in the 1987 national interfaith delegation invited to accompany 4,500 Salvadoran refugees from a Honduran refugee camp to El Salvador, visited the Soviet Union to meet with Refuseniks in 1987, was a member of the 1992 U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East-sponsored Muslim, Christian and Jewish delegation to Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, a member of the UAHC delegation to Billings, Montana, to celebrate the city's stand against anti-Semitism and racism in 1994, a member of the American Jewish delegation to meet with the Jews of Cuba in 1995, an observer of the Palestinian elections in 1996 as part of a delegation of Americans for Peace Now, and a participant in the 1998 UAHC delegation to advocate for religious pluralism in Israel.
A contributor of articles to Reform Judaism, The Journal of Reform Judaism, Sh'ma, Santa Barbara New Press, Santa Barbara Independent, and New Menorah, Ms. Shlensky has been honored by the ACLU of Southern California for involvement in the Sanctuary Movement (1986), and has been awarded the Beulah Engelsberg Award for civil liberties leadership (1988) and the Evely Laser Shlensky Tikkun Olam Award established by Congregation B'nai B'rith (1996). A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the B.A. degree in sociology (1963) and Louis D. Brandeis Honorary Scholar at Brandeis University (1960-62), Ms. Shlensky received the M.A. in Human Services Management from the Fielding Institute.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to 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 American Jewish Archives, 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. www.huc.edu