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Rabbi Mark E. Washofsky, Ph.D. Appointed the Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati

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Thursday, June 1, 2006

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, has announced the appointment of Rabbi Mark E. Washofsky, Ph.D. to the position of Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati. Dr. Washofsky has been a member of the HUC-JIR faculty since 1985, most recently serving as Professor of Rabbinics, and specializes in the literature of the Talmud and Jewish law. He received his rabbinical ordination (1980) and Ph.D. (1987) from HUCJIR. He succeeds his teacher and mentor, Dr. Ben Zion Wacholder, as holder of the Freehof Chair on July 1, 2006. 

"Dr. Washofsky's contributions to the fields of rabbinic law in general and his writings in the area of responsa literature have placed him at the forefront of scholarship in these areas," stated Rabbi Ellenson. "His distinguished efforts as scholar, teacher, and mentor honor our institution and the Reform Movement." 

Dr. Washofsky chairs the Responsa Committee of the Central Conference of American rabbis, which was founded in 1906 by Kaufmann Kohler and empowered by its most prolific writer, Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof. His extensive publications include Jewish Living and Practice (URJ Press, 2000), Teshuvot for the Nineties (with W. Gunther Plaut, CCAR, 1997), and essays and articles on Reform rabbinic responsa, Jewish bioethics, outreach and conversion, prayer in the vernacular, abortion, medieval and liberal Halakhah, the right to die, and AIDS and ethical responsibility, among others. 

The Solomon B. Freehof Professorship of Jewish Law and Practice was established in honor of Dr. Solomon B. Freehof by The Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust. 

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, museums, 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.