On March 18-21, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York marked its 125th anniversary by hosting a conference, The Contemporary Study of Halakha: Methods and Meaning. This was the first international conference to bring together disparate approaches to the study of Jewish law,halakha, and its sources. Scholars from every major branch of Judaism, as well as from secular institutions, addressed how social and intellectual approaches to halakha have informed the contemporary Jew's understanding and study of Jewish law. The conference was attended by academics, clerics, and secular professionals. Focus topics included legal issues in halakha: how it is studied and understood and what it means today.
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