Dr. Gary P. Zola To Receive Teaching Award from the College of Charleston

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives—located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion—will receive a teaching award from the Office for the Academic Experience & First-Year Experience (FYE) at the College of Charleston. During the Spring 2014 semester, Dr. Zola served as the Norman and Gerry Sue Distinguished Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies at the College of Charleston.
 
According to the FYE office, Dr. Zola was nominated by a first-year student for his outstanding service and for enhancing the quality of life for the student during the first year at the College of Charleston. The student wrote that, “I want to recognize Dr. Gary Zola, the professor of my Southern Jewish History (JWST 315) course. He truly cares about the success of his students, both in the classroom and out, and is always available to assist at any hour of the day. In all my years of schooling I have never gotten to know a more dedicated instructor.”
 
During his residency in Charleston, Dr. Zola taught Southern Jewish History for students in the Jewish Studies program—as well as for his HUC-JIR graduate and rabbinic students who participated in his lectures via the Electronic Classroom in the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati International Learning Center in Cincinnati.
 
Upon the announcement of Zola’s appointment to the residency at College of Charleston, Rabbi David Ellenson, Chancellor, HUC-JIR, said that, “Professor Zola is a most worthy and appropriate recipient of Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair at the College of Charleston and he will greatly enhance the lives of his students as well as the larger Charleston community. His selection for this position is a mark of great and well-deserved distinction.”
 
While in Charleston, Dr. Zola also engineered a pioneering course collaboration between HUC-JIR and the College of Charleston. There were 17 students in Zola’s course, including 
College of Charleston students, adult learners who were auditing the class, and five HUC-JIR rabbinical and graduate students who were attending via video link.
 
Mid-semester, Zola arranged for the HUC-JIR graduate students to attend an intensive four-day long academic seminar in Charleston. The academic seminar exposed Zola’s students to Charleston’s Jewish heritage. They visited historic sites such as Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, the Coming Street Cemetery, the Middleton Place Plantation, and the antebellum Aiken-Rhett mansion, which was the home of South Carolina Governor William Aiken, Jr. (1806-1887).
 
In addition, students were exposed to the Jewish Heritage Collection in Special Collections at the College of Charleston's Addlestone Library. This intensive seminar also provided HUC-JIR and College of Charleston students with an opportunity to become personally acquainted with those who had been, up to that point, only “virtual” classmates.
 
For questions and additional information, please contact Joyce Kamen at 513-543-8109.
 
The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, founded in 1947 by its namesake on the historic Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social, and family life of American Jewry. The Marcus Center contains over 15,000 linear feet of archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio, videotapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials.
 
Dr. Gary Zola is the author of the volume, We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, a Documentary History. It is the first volume of primary source documents—most little known— to focus on the history of Lincoln’s image, influence, and reputation among American Jews. www.siup.com
 


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