Rabbi David Ellenson was honored for his twelve years as President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at a benefit dinner on May 6, 2014. Co-chaired by Bonnie Tisch, a member of the Board of Governors, and Rabbi Robert Levine, the dinner raised $1.3 million in support of HUC-JIR and the Rabbi David Ellenson Student Scholarship. Nearly 600 friends and supporters of HUC-JIR, including leaders of national Jewish organizations, institutions, agencies, alumni, and students attended the event at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City.
The evening featured tributes by Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson; Rabbi Aaron Panken, HUC-JIR President; Samuel (Skip) Vichness, Chair of the Foundation for Jewish Camp; historian Dr. Deborah Liptstadt; a musical tribute by Michael Allosso Entertainment; and a song of blessing by the students of HUC-JIR’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.
In response to the tributes to his extraordinary contributions to strengthening HUC-JIR’s academic excellence and financial sustainability, Rabbi Ellenson said, “My heart is forever bound to the College-Institute and the sacred mission that animates it – the training and education of religious, communal, educational, and intellectual leaders for the Reform Movement, the Jewish people, and the larger world.”
Rabbi Ellenson now serves as HUC-JIR Chancellor and continues to teach and write in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history.