Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman Reflects on HUC-JIR Graduation in Los Angeles

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My wife Judy and I were in Los Angeles for the Ordination and Graduation Ceremonies at HUC-JIR. Our daughter Micol graduated from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education with her MA in Jewish Education and her fiancé Danny Burkeman received his MA in Hebrew Letters on his way to ordination next year. 

It was wonderful to see and experience the vibrancy of the Los Angeles school and the extraordinary strides it has made. President David Ellenson, his administration and the faculty are accomplishing so much. We have so much of which to be proud. Dean Steven Windmueller continues to guide and lead with a loving hand. The College-Institute's presence in the West has made such a difference. We are blessed. The dreamers of the dream and the bonim were present - among them Dr. Gerald Bubis and Dr. William Cutter - to all of them kol hakavod. I especially take note of Dr. Lewis Barth and Professor Sara Lee's presence. How affirmed they must feel in seeing their dreams fulfilled - ordination in LA, additional faculty appointments, many educators carrying forth Sara's vision, growing projects with USC, advances in interfaith work with the Muslim community, a vibrant school of communal service. Enayim ro-ot kol mah she-aseetem - yafeh aseetem, yafeh halamtem. Rov todot mikerev lev malei! May your dreams continue to bear fruit and grow! 

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, the 7th President of HUC-JIR (1996-2000), delivered the benediction at Graduation at HUC-JIR/LA. 

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. www.huc.edu