Twelve Certificate in Jewish Communal Service Program Graduates Honored at Culmination Ceremony August 8, 2007 at the Los Angeles Campus of HUC-JIR

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Twelve talented and enthusiastic new Jewish leaders earned their certificate in Jewish Communal Service from the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Hayim Herring, Executive Director of STAR (Synagogue Transformation and Renewal), delivered the culmination keynote address, Chadesh Aleinu: Renewing Jewish Life in an Age of Extreme ChoiceClick here to read his full speech . Rabbi Herring also served as this year's Rabbi Louis Bernstein Scholar, a position made possible through the generosity of Ruth Ziegler, in memory of her beloved father and our esteemed alumnus, Rabbi Louis Bernstein, of blessed memory, who was ordained at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1906. 

Dean Steven F. Windmueller welcomed graduates and the many family members, friends, alumni, teachers and future colleagues in attendance and presented a letter from President David Ellenson. "Your commitment affirms that the Jewish future depends on professional leaders who can ensure Jewish Identification, affiliation, and participation in Jewish religious, communal and philanthropic life. You understand the challenges facing the Jewish world, and have the creativity and vision to be catalysts for growth and change. We depend upon you to strengthen the vitality of the Jewish life in communities throughout North American and around the world." 

Robert Kopple, Chair of the Los Angeles Board of Overseers and member of the Board of Governors, and Ginger Jacobs representing the Union for Reform Judaism congratulated students on earning a Certificate in Jewish Communal Service along with Rhea Coskey and Elisa Wayne, Co-Chairs of the School of Jewish Communal Service Advisory Board. 

"We wish you great success like that achieved by so many alumni of the school who are presently serving in executive and leadership positions at so many important institutions like Jewish Federations, Jewish Home for the Aging, Jewish Family Service, Jewish Community Centers and more" offered Robert Kopple. Similarly, Rhea Coskey remarked "as you take your places in Jewish Communities, locally, nationally even globally, you will be representatives of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and of the Reform Movement. Wherever your career paths take you will carry the leadership skills and unique perspective of a Jewish point of view, gained from your study of Judaism and Jewish values at this institution." 

Students in the Jewish Communal Service Program spent the past two summers studying Judaica, management and leadership concepts, contemporary Jewish issues, and Jewish history and society under leading faculty and administration and practitioners in Jewish education and communal service, including the College-Institute's Dr. Sarah Benor, Dr. David Kaufman, Rabbi Richard Levy, and Michele Prince, SJCS 2002, Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health - as well as with Rabbi Jeffrey Marx, Jacob Cunningham of UCLA, and alumna Miriam Prum Hess, SJCS '78, and Phil Liff-Grief of the Bureau of Jewish Education 

"Tonight we celebrate the learning community created by the students, faculty and administration of the School of Jewish Communal Service," stated Marla Abraham, SJCS '85, and Interim Director of the School of Jewish Communal Service. "We acknowledge the students as a new generation of emerging and evolving Jewish Professional leaders. As Jewish Communal Professionals, we are klei kodesh -holy vessels. Field your passion for this work; use your time to elevate the everyday to the holy as you partner with lay leaders and colleagues in enriching the possibilities and impact of Jewish communal life." 

Graduates include: 

Alicia Cohen, B.A.
Lori Noto, B.A.
Rena Fraade, B.A.
Dana Elizabeth Plyler, B.A.
Brian David Garfield, B.A.
Devorah Michal Reznik, B.A.
Danielle Horwich, M.A.
Lev Metz, B.A.
Robyn Leah Schneider, B.A.
Luisa Cheryl Moss, B.A.
Deborah M Tehrani, B.A.
Bahar Yaghoubian, B.A 

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 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.