Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Graduation and Ordination Commencement Advisory, Los Angeles, CA

Monday, April 3, 2006

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is proud to announce the rabbinical ordination, and the education, Jewish communal service, graduate and honorary degree recipients of the Class of 2006. HUC-JIR, the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism, trains 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 for scholars of all faiths. HUC-JIR Los Angeles, will award 37 graduate degrees, 20 Honorary Doctorates, and ordain 14 rabbis at this year's commencement exercises. 

Dr. Peter von der Osten- Sacken, Director, Institute for Church and Judaism, Humboldt University of Berlin and will present the graduation address and receive the Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees, honoris causa. The 2006 Sherut L'Am Award will be awarded to Paul Jeser, West Coast Regional Director, American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. 

On May 15, 2006, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, graduate degrees will be awarded as follows: Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, leading to rabbinical ordination will be awarded to Alison Beth Abrams, Ruth Valere Adar, Victoria Armour-Hileman, Ryan Bauer Olga Frankstein Bluman, Carrie Anne Frank, Jonathan Scott Hanish, Laura Schwartz Harari Garron (Gersh) Lazarow, Deborah Michelle Marcus, Sabine Yael Meyer, Daniel Jonathan Mikelberg, Amy Lauren Morrison, Jessica Louise Oleon, Cookie Lea Olshein, Dean Edward Shapiro Kathryne Leah Speizer, Eleanor Beth Steinman, Joshua Leigh Whinston. April Quinn Akiva, Beth Renee Goldstein, Mara Idit Michaels, Esther Pollak, Sabrina Corie Sjolseth and Shaina Rachel Wasserman will receive Masters of Arts in Jewish Education degrees. Rebecca Emily Garrison, Beth Renee Goldstein, Adam Benjamin Halpern, Miriam Carolyn Pullman, Shauna B. Raffety Amy Lynn Rosenbach, Malgorzata Szymanska, Shaina Rachel Wasserman and Heath Adam Watenmaker will receive Masters of Arts in Jewish Communal Service. Robin Podolsky, Yuval Sela and Alexandria Shuval-Weiner will receive Master of Arts in Judaic Studies degrees. 

Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Music degrees, Doctor of Jewish Communal Service and Doctor of Jewish Religious Service, honoris causa, are awarded to HUC-JIR alumni in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of their rabbinic ordination, cantorial investiture, Jewish education and communal service graduation. Each of these rabbis, cantors, educators and Jewish Communal Service professionals has led diverse and remarkable careers as Jewish professionals in communities across the United States. This honorary degree commemorates their efforts in the advancement of the Reform Movement and the enhancement of its value in greater American Jewry. This year's Doctor of Divinity degrees will be conferred upon Rabbi William C. Berk, Rabbi Robert J. Eisen, Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein, Rabbi Ze'ev Harari, Rabbi Bruce J. Kadden, Rabbi Leah Kroll, Rabbi Howard O. Laibson, Rabbi Gary A. Schoenberg, Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, Rabbi Richard J. Shapiro, and Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev. 

This year's Doctor of Music degree will be conferred upon Cantor Samuel B. Radwine. 

This year's Doctor of Jewish Communal Service degree will be conferred upon Howard C. Neistein. 

This year's Doctor of Jewish Religious Education degrees will be conferred upon Debora Weinberg Antonoff, Dr. Roberta Louis Goodman, Dr. Deborah Kerdeman, Nancy Prager Levin, Rabbi Jeffrey A. Marx, and Martha W. White. 

On May 14, 2006, at Whilshire Boulevard Temple, 14 new rabbis (4 men, 10 women) will be ordained in Los Angeles. Rabbi Lewis M. Barth, Professor of Midrash and Related Literature, Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion will deliver the ordination address. In addition, 20 rabbis (7 men, 13 women) will be ordained and 12 cantors (3 men and 9 women) will be invested in New York on May 7 and 8 rabbis (7 men, 1 woman) will be ordained in Cincinnati on May 20. 

The following students will be ordained as rabbis: David Eshel, Glenn Michael Ettman Rebecca Meryl Hoffman, Rony Shimshone Keller, E. Kukla, Sari Rebecca Laufer, Bryna Faye Milkow, Julie Pelc, Emily Rosenzweig, Jeremy Alan Schneider, Deborah Bock Schuldenfrei Terry Walton Treseder, Alison Lee Wissot, and Coreen Beth Yurkin. 

The 2006 Sherut L'Am Award will be awarded to Paul Jeser at Graduation Ceremonies in Los Angeles on May 15, in recognition of his commitment to the College-Institute, the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and over thirty years of work within the field of Jewish Communal Service. Jeser and his son Michael are the first parent-child duo to both have attended the School of Jewish Communal Service. He has served as a senior executive officer at Federations in Orlando and Maine, and has held senior professional positions at CLAL, Jewish National Fund and American Friends of Hebrew University. Jeser credits much of his success in these positions from his experience with the School of Jewish Communal Service. The Sherut L'Am Award recognizes an individual whose creative vision and passion has been manifested in his or her endeavors to perpetuate the continuity of Judaism. 

For any additional information, please contact Madelyn Miskin Katz at (213) 765-2665. 


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