Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Dean of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) New York, has announced the appointment of Rabbi Renni Altman as the Associate Dean and Director of the Rabbinical Program. Starting January 1, 2008, Rabbi Altman will devote her efforts to fostering community and healthy student life on campus; guiding the tefillah program, which now involves students in the rabbinical, cantorial and education programs; coordinating the rabbinical program and supervising rabbinical admissions; supervising and evaluating the student assessment program; and working generally on all co-curricular offerings of the College-Institute.
"Rabbi Altman brings a depth of experience in the congregational rabbinate, a love of Torah, and a devotion to building all aspects of Reform Jewish life that promise to benefit our entire campus community in extraordinary ways," said Rabbi Idelson. "With her vision, the expertise she has demonstrated in synagogue life, as well as her commitment to partnering creatively with colleagues and students, I know Rabbi Altman will continue the tradition of excellence in education and professional training for which the College-Institute is recognized as a world-class seminary. I am delighted that Rabbi Altman will be joining our team on the New York campus." Rabbi Altman has served as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck since 1994. Most recently, she was named Senior Associate Rabbi of this flagship congregation of the Reform Movement. Her rabbinical duties touched upon all areas of congregational life, including pastoral care, teaching, preaching, liturgy, and administrative duties. Rabbi Altman devoted particular attention to the areas of worship change, adult education, and programming. Prior to serving Temple Beth-El, Rabbi Altman was the Director of Programs for Reaching the Unaffiliated for the Union for Reform Judaism. Previously, she was the Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Emanu El of Houston, Texas.
Rabbi Altman has also served on the Convention Program Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, as the New York Regional Coordinator for the Women's Rabbinic Network and, most recently, as the President of the Great Neck Clergy Association.
Having received her MAHL in 1986, Rabbi Altman was ordained from the College-Institute in New York in 1988. She completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University in 1979 with a major in Communication Arts. Rabbi Altman resides in Great Neck, NY with her husband and three children.
"I am excited to bring my perspective as a congregational rabbi and to share what I have gleaned in the field with the students," stated Rabbi Altman. "I look forward to helping to shape the programs that train future rabbis, cantors, and educators through the planning of co-curricular activities and through the relationships that I hope to build with the students during their years at HUC-JIR. It is an honor to be part of the HUC-JIR community on the New York campus and to work with the students, administration, and faculty in fulfilling the College-Institute's mission."
Jillian Cameron, who served on the search committee as a student representative, said, "I am thrilled to welcome Rabbi Altman into our HUC-JIR community. Her experience in the field and enthusiasm for the College-Institute and all of its students will benefit all of us and continue to further enhance the collective HUC-JIR experience."
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 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