HUC-JIR Ordains Twenty New Rabbis

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) held its 124th ordination ceremony on Saturday, June 2, 2007 at Cincinnati's historic Plum Street Temple. HUC-JIR is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism, and has educated generations of American Reform rabbis for over a century. 

The following students were ordained as rabbis: Uri Nathan Barnea; Karen Nicole Bodney; Janice Elster; Ann Blitzstein Folb; Lynne Downey Goldsmith; Beth Lynn Jacowitz Chottiner; Justin Seth Kerber; Asher Gottesfeld Knight; Roger Aaron Lerner; Rebecca Elise Milder; Geoffrey Aron Mitelman; Arielle Poster Moffic; Lorraine Bloch Rudenberg; Michael Samuel Satz; Ilana Rachel Schwartzman; Daniel Adam Septimus; Joel Kenneth Simon; Micah Aaron Streiffer; Karen Thomashow Eyal; and Evon Joshua Yakar. 

This year's ordination candidates will enter the Jewish professional ministry as the products of HUC-JIR's unsurpassed program of scholarly training at the frontier of the Jewish Reform movement. The class of 2007 is a very diverse, insightful, and committed group of individuals that the College-Institute is proud to ordain. 

Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman, internationally recognized for his leadership of Reform Judaism, delivered the ordination address. Rabbi Schaalman, a native of Munich, Germany, was one of five young rabbinic students who were rescued by the College-Institute in 1935 with the help of former HUC President Julian Morgenstern. Morgenstern was instrumental in securing student visas for these five students, who escaped a likely fatal destiny by leaving Germany and coming to study at HUC in Cincinnati. Schaalman was later ordained by HUC and is Rabbi Emeritus of Emanuel Congregation in Chicago, where he has served for over fifty years. He is well known for his involvement with the interdenominational religious leadership in Chicago, having served as president of the Council of Religious Leaders of Chicago. Rabbi Schaalman is also past president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and a trustee of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions. In addition, he founded the first camp of the Reform Movement at Oconomowoc in Wisconsin. Rabbi Schaalman has published widely and lectures on college campuses. HUC-JIR Cincinnati awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, in 1966 and he was also awarded the Order of Merit 1st Class by the President of Germany in 1995. 

In total, the College-Institute ordained 61 rabbis (29 men, 32 women) and invested ten cantors (five men, five women) in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York this year. These new rabbis and cantors will be serving Reform Jewish congregations and community organizations around the country; and in so doing, share the skills and knowledge of an unparalleled Jewish education. 

For any additional information, please contact Phyllis Volan at (513) 487-3032. 


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