From Rabbi Ellenson: Tribute to Dr. Alvin J. Reines on his retirement

Thursday, April 1, 2004

It is with a sense of sadness that I announce the retirement of Dr. Alvin J. Reines, esteemed Professor of Jewish Philosophy at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. Associated with HUC-JIR for over five decades, Dr. Reines is a beloved scholar, teacher, and mentor to generations of HUC-JIR's students.

Dr. Reines is internationally recognized as a seminal religious thinker. His development of the concept of "polydox" religion, and its application to Reform Judaism, is regarded by many as the most important theoretical advance in contemporary Jewish religious thought. The concept of polydoxy has come to exercise a profound influence upon many of the present generations of Reform rabbis and leaders, and upon liberal Jewish religionists generally. Dr. Reines is also renowned for his specialization in Medieval Philosophy, particularly the work of Moses Maimonides. His extensive publications include Reform Judaism as a Polydoxy: Explorations in a Philosophy of Reform Judaism; Haggadah; Early Israelite History: Joseph and Moses (co-author); Maimonides and Abrabanel on Prophecy, and numerous scholarly articles. Ordained at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1952, Dr. Reines received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

The HUC-JIR family extends to Dr. Reines our profound gratitude and admiration for a half-century of commitment and service to the College-Institute and for his important contributions to Jewish scholarship, which have influenced the Jewish world. We wish him, his wife, Hera, and their family, all the blessings of health and fulfillment for years to come.


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