Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Cincinnati, held its graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Amberley Village. Rabbi David Ellenson, president of HUC-JIR, conferred the degrees for this consummate group of scholars. Dr. Judah Folkman, Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, and Director, Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital Boston, delivered a riveting Graduation Address. This year HUC-JIR awarded three Ph.D. degrees, eleven Masters' degrees, and 30 students received the degree of Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters leading to rabbinical ordination. The College-Institute also awarded honorary degrees.
Judah Folkman, M.D., was also awarded the 2007 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize, 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. Dr. Folkman holds honorary degrees from 17 universities and is the author of more than 400 original peer-reviewed papers and 109 book chapters and monographs. He is the founder of the field of angiogenesis research and has made seminal discoveries on the mechanism of angiogenesis, which have opened a field of investigation now pursued worldwide. Many national and international awards have recognized his exceptional achievements. In 1990, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In his address, Dr. Folkman stressed the graduates' future obligations when entering various professions in higher education, religion, government, and other institutions, while drawing on their rich education at HUC-JIR.
This year's Doctor of Divinity degrees, honoris causa, awarded to HUC-JIR alumni in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of their rabbinic ordination, were conferred upon Rabbi Jonathan F. Adland (in absentia), Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Indianapolis, IN; Rabbi James R. Bleiberg, Assistant Professor, Psychologist, Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, West Chester University, West Chester, PA; Rabbi Stuart Alan Federow, Congregation Shaar Hashalom, Houston, TX; Rabbi Dena A. Feingold, Beth Hillel Temple, Kenosha,WI; Rabbi Peter K. Gluck, Congregation Beit Chaverim, Canton, MI; Rabbi David E. Ostrich, Congregation Brit Shalom, State College, PA; and Rabbi Samuel R. Weinstein, The Temple, Congregation Shomer Emunim, Sylvania, OH. Each of these rabbis has led diverse and remarkable careers as Jewish professionals in congregations and 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.
Graduate Medallions, granted for years of teaching and scholarship, were presented to Dr. Reuben Ahroni, Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Dr. Rodney Eugene Cloud, Professor and Minister, Regions University, Montgomery, AL; Dr. Mary Ruth Graf, R.S.M., Retired Professor of Theology, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH; and Dr. Ronald A. Veenker, Retired Professor of Religion, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, were awarded to Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet, Past President and Professor of Bible Emeritus, Leo Baeck College, London, England; Dr. Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service, Professor of Law and Ethics, The University of Chicago; and Dr. Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Professor of English and Jewish Studies, Director of the Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts, Indiana University.