HEBREW UNION COLLEGE-JEWISH INSTITUTE OF RELIGION AND FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY LAUNCH COOPERATIVE JUDAIC STUDIES INITIATIVE

Friday, March 1, 2002


Dr. David Ellenson, President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Manuel D. Mayerson, Member, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Board of Governors; and Dr. Anthony James Catanes, President, Florida Atlantic University

BOCA RATON, FL, Feb. 28, 2002 -- Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) today announced a joint initiative that will greatly expand the outreach of both institutions in the area of Judaic studies and Jewish education. The announcement was made today during a news conference hosted by FAU President Anthony James Catanese and HUC-JIR President David Ellenson.

 

"This represents an important new opportunity for FAU to add to our coursework in Jewish history and culture", Dr. Catanese said. The planned Institute for Jewish-Christian relations has the potential to become a highly effective community forum for the discussion of issues of importance to both groups.

"This partnership will exponentially expand the opportunities for continuing education and graduate-level Jewish studies in South Florida, the region that has the largest-growing Jewish population in North America", Dr. Ellenson said. "We are proud to be linking our institution with FAU in the advancement of Jewish educational and cultural outreach."

The cooperative relationship will advance the following goals:

  • To establish an Institute for Jewish-Christian relations on FAU's Boca Raton campus
  • To extend educational offerings in Jewish subject matter to adult learners in South Florida through FAU's Lifelong Learning Society
  • To expand course offerings in FAU's bachelor's degree program in Judaic studies and enhance the teaching of the Holocaust at HUC-JIR's campuses
  • To promote faculty and student exchanges between the two institutions
  • To expand the Judaica content of art exhibitions at FAU's galleries
  • To enrich the work of FAU's Center for the Study of Values and Violence After Auschwitz, HUC-JIR's Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, and the Hebrew Union College-University of Cincinnati Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's oldest 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 American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators and communal service professionals, and offers graduate and post-graduate degree programs to scholars of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York, HUC-JIR has scholarly resources comprising renowned library, archive and museum collections, biblical archaeology excavations and academic publications. HUC-JIR's array of cultural and educational programs and distance education opportunities illuminate Jewish history, identity and contemporary creativity and foster interfaith and multi-ethnic understanding.

FAU, a public university, has one of Florida's most comprehensive Judaic Studies programs. The university's bachelor's degree program in Holocaust and Judaic Studies is served by two Eminent Scholars occupying endowed Chairs: the Raddock Eminent Scholar in Holocaust Studies and the Herbert and Elaine Gimelstob Eminent Scholar in Judaic Studies. FAU's Wimberly Library houses one of the most extensive Judaica collections in the United States.

The institutions' first collaborative offering will be a three-part course at FAU titled "200 Years of Jewish Music in America", taught by Dr. Mark Kligman, an associate professor of Jewish musicology at HUC-JIR. More than 350 older learners have already registered for this course, which will be presented March 5, 6 and 7 on both the Boca Raton and Jupiter campuses under the auspices of FAU's Lifelong Learning Society.

The course will cover the full spectrum of American Jewish music in settings ranging from the synagogue to the Broadway stage. Among the distinctive sounds and styles Dr. Kligman will explore are Yiddish theater, Hassidic music before the 1950s, the "Americanized" musical, the religious compositions of Debbie Friedman and Abraham Fried, and the klezmer revival. Musical personalities whose work will be visited include Barbra Streisand, Kenny G, Leonard Bernstein and Steve Reich. Classroom demonstrations will include live performances by cantorial students from HUC-JIR's School of Sacred Music.

Plans are under way to bring a Great Scholars Series to FAU in the spring of 2003. Eight HUC-JIR scholars will participate in the series. They are Dr. David Ellenson, President and Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought; Dr. Norman Cohen, Provost and Professor of Midrash; Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Director of the HUC-University of Cincinnati Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems and Assistant Professor of Talmud and Halachic Literature; Dr. Michael Chernick, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Halachic Literature and Deutsch Professor of Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice; Dr. William Cutter, Director of the HUC-JIR Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and Professor of Education and Hebrew Literature; Dr. Alyssa Gray, Assistant Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature; Dr. Mark Washofsky, Professor of Rabbinics; and Dr. Wendy Zierler, Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies.

For information on enrolling in the "200 Years of Jewish Music in America" course on either the Boca Raton or Jupiter campuses, call the FAU Lifelong Learning Society (LLS) at 561/297-3171. Registration is $28 for LLS members and $38 for non-members.


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 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 Jacob Rader Marcus Center of 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