B.H. Levy, Jr., was inducted onto the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its meeting in Cincinnati on October 28, 2013.
Levy is a senior partner in Bouhan Falligant LLP, a general practice firm of 27 attorneys founded in 1887 and located in Savannah, Georgia. For forty years, he has served as counsel to multinational, regional, and local businesses and charitable organizations. He manages and resolves through negotiation or trial cases involving complex contractual, financial and employment issues for businesses and not-for-profits.
“B.H. Levy’s commitment to Reform Judaism, leadership development, and the rich Classical Reform heritage of American Jewry, is a source of strength and inspiration,” noted Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President. “We look forward to his wisdom and guidance in advancing our sacred mission of preparing the next generations of leaders for the Reform Movement.”
Levy is a seventh generation member of Congregation Mickve Israel, founded in 1733 and the oldest congregational member of the Union for Reform Judaism. He served as board president of Congregation Mickve Israel (1988-1990), and chaired the 275th Anniversary Committee to plan and oversee Mickve Israel’s 275 Anniversary in 2008, a weekend-long series of events that drew 100+ descendants of the original Jewish settlers who founded Mickve Israel in 1733.
As founder and board president of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism (SCRJ) (2008 – present), Levy is dedicated to sustaining the heritage of Classical Reform Judaism today. Under his leadership, the SCRJ awarded a $500,000 grant to provide for a broad program of student scholarships and programs to enable the students to encounter and experience the Classical Reform tradition as a resource for their own personal spiritual development and their emerging visions of their rabbinates. Institutes with faculty and students have been sponsored on the Cincinnati and Jerusalem campuses, featuring lectures, forums, and liturgical services highlighting Classical Reform prayer, principles, and practice. Students participate in the Prize Essay Program in which they produce academic research papers and personal reflections that explore Classical Reform principles as viable options for their rabbinates. The Scheuer Chapel on the Cincinnati campus features a new organ, gifted to HUC-JIR by the SCRJ, to integrate the Classical Reform repertoire in contemporary worship, along with the Union Prayer book for all worshippers.
Levy conceived, planned, and helped lead a week-long Reform Jewish pilgrimage to Germany in July 2010 that attracted 25 rabbis plus 23 lay persons as participants to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the opening the first Reform Jewish synagogue by Israel Jacobson in Seesen; the program featured Rabbi Gary P. Zola, Professor of American Jewish Experience and Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives as scholar-in-residence.
He has served as board president of Shalom School (1991-1993) and on the boards and as an officer of a host of civic and charitable endeavors, including Rotary Club of Savannah, Historic Savannah Foundation, Savannah Symphony Society, Savannah Sinfonietta, United Way, Arthritis Foundation, and L’Alliance Francaise de Savannah (President 1997-98).
Levy received the J.D. degree from the University of Georgia School of Law (1973), received a private international law certificate from the Hague Academy of International Law at the International Court of Justice (1972), and the B.A. in History from the University of Virginia (1970).
He and his wife Marjorie Edwards Levy are the parents of Benjamin Levy III, M.D., and Elizabeth Levy Karen.
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