Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is proud to announce the ordination, investiture, graduate, and honorary degree recipients of the Class of 2004. Founded in 1875, HUC-JIR is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism.
The College-Institute will ordain 32 rabbis (13 men, 19 women) in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York. In addition, 33 rabbinical students will receive the degree of Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature/Letters and 9 students will receive the Master of Sacred Music degree. Twenty-one students will receive graduate degrees - 3 Doctor of Philosophy, 5 Doctor of Ministry, 10 Master of Philosophy, 1 Master of Arts, and 2 Master of Arts in Judaic Studies. Ten students will receive the degree of Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service. Sixteen students will receive education degrees - 2 Joint Masters of Arts in Jewish Communal Service and Jewish Education, 9 Master of Arts in Jewish Education, 4 Master of Arts in Religious Education, and 1 Master of Education in Educational Administration from Xavier University through the HUC-JIR/Xavier Joint Program (in conjunction with rabbinical ordination at HUC-JIR). (Detailed information, per campus, below)
The College-Institute will bestow honorary degrees upon the following recipients:
Sr. Mary C. Boys, Ed. D., Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York, who will present the Graduation Address
Alan David Bennett, M.A., Executive Vice President Emeritus, Jewish Education Center of Cleveland
Earl D. Raab, B.A., Former Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco
Sam E. Bloch, Zionist Leader and Guardian of Holocaust Memory
Rabbi David Hartman, Founder, The Shalom Hartman Institute, who will present the Graduation Address
Ellen Y. Rosenberg, Executive Director Emerita, Women of Reform Judaism
Margaret Piercy, Novelist, Poet, Essayist, Reviewer, and Consultant
Edwin J. Rigaud, President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The 2004 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize will be awarded to Daniel Libeskind at Graduation Ceremonies in Cincinnati on June 3. Libeskind is an internationally renowned architect and urban designer and winner of the competition and commission to be the lead architect on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York City. Inspired by a commitment to memory and hope, his winning proposal features a tower 1,776 feet tall, for the year of American independence, and a half-acre of new landscaped open space, called Liberty Park. Libeskind has brought aspects of Jewish culture and spirituality to his architectural designs for major projects, including the Jewish Museum in Berlin (2001); the Felix Nussbaum Museum in Osnabrick in Germany (1998); the Imperial War in Manchester, England (2002); The Spiral Extension for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England; The Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen; The Extension to the Denver Art Museum; The Extension to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto; The Jewish Museum in San Francisco; and the Maurice Wohl Convention Center at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. 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.
The 2004 President's Medal will be awarded, in cooperation with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, to Dr. John L. Withersat Graduation Ceremonies in Cincinnati on June 3. The President's Medal recognizes the courage and compassion Dr. Withers exhibited during World War II, when as a member of an African-American unit in the U.S. Army, he gave safe haven to two young Jewish Holocaust survivors soon after their liberation from Dachau concentration camp, offering them friendship and protection, in violation of Army orders. They remained with his unit for more than a year, hiding among black soldiers from segregated America. Dr. Withers earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, taught at universities in North Carolina and Michigan before joining the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he spent 21 years on assignment from Laos to Kenya before retiring. This award has been given in the past to such distinguished Americans as Justice Arthur Goldberg. The President's Medal is a national award presented to an individual whose dedication and commitment embodies College-Institute's mission and values.
The 2004 Roger E. Joseph Prize will be awarded to Erin Gruwell and The Erin Gruwell Project at Ordination Ceremonies in New York on May 23. Erin Gruwell is the Founder and President of the Erin Gruwell Education Project, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching tolerance, funding college scholarships for underprivileged students, and propagating their vision for revolutionizing education for "at-risk" students in America. She also created and led the "Ambassadors of Tolerance Tour," which took her students, named the Freedom Writers, to visit Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Anne Frank's attic in Amsterdam, and war-torn Sarajevo. Erin Gruwell's and the Freedom Writers' journey in the classroom and beyond will be the subject of a feature film to be released by Miramax in 2005. Gruwell also serves as Distinguished Teacher in Residence at California State University, Long Beach in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Education. The Roger E. Joseph Prize is an international award presented annually to an individual or organization, which, by virtue of religious and moral commitment, has made a distinctive contribution to humanity.
The 2004 American Jewish Distinguished Service Award will be awarded toElissa and Robert Bildner at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on May 20, in recognition of their dedication and commitment to enriching the lives of the American Jewish youth community. Through the establishment of the Foundation for Jewish Camping, a public foundation supporting non-profit Jewish overnight camping throughout North America, Elissa and Robert Bildner are responsible for an innovative foundation dedicated to bringing an ever-increasing number of American Jewish youth into contact with the experience of Jewish camping. This award has been given in the past to Irving S. Shapiro, Chair and CEO of Dupont, and Laurence A. Tisch. The American Jewish Distinguished Service Award is a national award presented to outstanding and prominent Jewish leaders in recognition of their commitment to enhancing the cause of Jewish life and Jewish learning.
A breakdown of degree recipients by School location and program follows:
held at The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South
Eleven students will receive the Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature, leading to rabbinical ordination.
School of Sacred Music
Nine students will receive the Master of Sacred Music degree at Graduation.
Five students will receive the Doctor of Ministry degree.
One student will receive the Master of Arts in Judaic Studies.
New York School of Education
Four students will receive the Master of Arts in Religious Education degree.
The New York School will ordain 16 rabbis (6 men and 10 women).
held at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles
Sixteen students will receive the Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, leading to rabbinical ordination.
The Rhea Hirsch School of Education
Two students will receive the Joint Masters of Arts in Jewish Communal Service and Jewish Education. Nine students will receive the degree of Master of Arts in Jewish Education.
The School of Jewish Communal Service
Ten students will receive the Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service.
The Edgar R. Magnin School of Graduate Studies
One student will receive the Master of Arts in Judaic Studies.
held at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles School will ordain 4 rabbis (2 men, 2 women).
held at Isaac M. Wise Temple, 8329 Ridge Road, Cincinnati
Dr. Bill T. Arnold,Chair, Biblical Studies, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Asbury Theological Seminary, will present the Graduation Address.
Five students will receive the degree of Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters leading to rabbinical ordination.
One of the students who will be ordained on May 31 will also receive the Master of Education in Educational Administration from Xavier University through the HUC-Xavier Joint Program.
The School of Graduate Studies
Three students will receive the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Hebraic and Cognate. Ten students will receive the degree of Master of Philosophy. One student will receive the degree of Master of Arts.
held at Plum Street Temple, Eighth and Plum Streets, Cincinnati
The Cincinnati School will ordain 12 rabbis (5 men, 7 women).