Rabbi Shirley Idelson Appointed Associate Dean at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/New York

Thursday, August 1, 2002

Rabbi Aaron Panken, Dean of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) New York, announces the appointment of Rabbi Shirley Idelson as the Associate Dean. Starting September 1, 2002, Rabbi Idelson will coordinate East Coast Recruitment, supervise Rabbinical admissions and guide the ongoing developments in student life that continue to enhance HUC-JIR/New York.

Dean Panken stated: "Welcoming Rabbi Idelson to our team will continue our trajectory of excellence in crafting a world-class institution that assures the future of Reform Jewish life, while enhancing Jewish life in all corners of the globe. Rabbi Idelson combines extensive expertise with years of university experience, a great breadth of knowledge and a broad array of qualities of academic leadership that will be of tremendous benefit to students, staff and faculty alike."

After receiving her rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, NY in 1991, Rabbi Idelson served as Director of Religious Activities and Chaplaincy Services at Vassar College for seven years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Dartmouth College, and in 1998 she earned a Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Since receiving her Master's degree, Rabbi Idelson has worked in Minnesota, promoting Jewish life on college campuses as the Associate for Jewish Life at Macalester College in St. Paul and Associate Chaplain at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. In addition, she directed Arts and Religion in the Twin Cities, a two-year initiative to promote public dialogue about the intersection of arts and religion and was a producer and newscaster for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul, MN.

Rabbi Idelson edited Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, with Rabbis Rebecca Alpert and Sue Levi Elwell (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2001). She has also published articles and essays on Judaism, feminism and the arts.

"I am delighted to return to HUC-JIR in New York," Rabbi Idelson said, "and I look forward to working closely with students, faculty, administration, and staff on HUC-JIR's critically important work-- educating the leadership of the Jewish community of the present and future."


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