Daniel Libeskind Receives 2004 Bernard Heller Prize at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion's Graduation Ceremony

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Cincinnati, will hold its graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 3, 2004 at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Amberley Village at 8:00 p.m. with Rabbi David Ellenson, president of HUC-JIR, conferring degrees. Professor Bill T. Arnold (Ph.D., HUC-JIR, 1985) of Asbury Theological Seminary will deliver the address.

As part of the commencement activities of the College-Institute, Daniel Libeskind, B.Arch. M.A. BDA, will receive the 2004 Bernard Heller Prize on Saturday, June 5, 2004. This is the first time the Dr. Bernard Heller Prize will be awarded to an individual from the arts. Libeskind is an international figure in architectural practice and urban design. He is well known for introducing a new critical discourse into architecture and for his multidisciplinary approach. His practice extends from building major cultural institutions including museums, concert halls, landscape, and urban projects, to stage design, installations, and exhibitions. The work of Libeskind has been aptly described as a sensibility that is in agreement with the depths of the human soul. Each of his designs is mindful of the values of freedom, beauty, and optimism in the aftermath of great tragedy. His commitment to memory and hope and his selfless devotion to creating an appropriate setting for courage and altruism are underscored through this award.

Already one of the world's leading architects, Daniel Libeskind's profile has taken a dramatic leap forward with his selection as the lead architect on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center Site, the most important American architectural project in decades. His winning proposal features a tower 1,776 feet tall, for the year of American independence, which will demonstrate "the durability of democracy." The top levels will hold indoor gardens that will be a "confirmation of life." TheSmithsonian Magazine states, From his Jewish Museum in Berlin to his proposal for the World Trade Center site, Daniel Libeskind designs buildings that reach out to history and humanity.

The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize is an international award presented annually to an individual or organization whose work, writings, or research reflects the values and commitment to the betterment of humanity. Initiated in 1990, previous recipients of the $10,000 award include Professors Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus and Dr. Harry M. Orlinsky; Bernard Marks (captain of the ship Exodus); Holocaust historians Serge Klarsfeld and Raul Hilberg; Ambassadors Uri Lubrani of Israel (the architect of the airlift rescue of Ethiopian Jewry), Dennis B. Ross, Richard C. Holbrooke, and Stuart E. Eizenstat; Camelia Anwar Sadat; Count Folke Bernadotte, posthumously; The Jewish Museum in Prague; and Thomas L. Friedman. This year, HUC-JIR will add another well-deserved recipient to this impressive list.

For More Information Contact:Cathy Weinberger (513) 221-1875 ext. 222


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