Happy New Year from Rabbi Alan Litwak, Incoming Council of Alumni Associations Chair

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Shalom from the Council of Alumni Associations,

As you receive this, we are beginning Elul – another reminder of the rapidly approaching new school, programming, and Jewish year. At the same time, I am beginning my term as Chair of the Council of Alumni Associations (the Council). The Council serves as the coordinating body for the individual alumni associations of the various programs of the College-Institute. Comprised, of representatives of each alumni association, we meet online every 6 weeks and for a two-day in-person meeting once a year. 

Over the past couple of years, the Council has been working with the Office of Alumni Engagement and HUC-JIR administration to improve the relationship between the College-Institute and its over 3500 living alumni. To do this effectively, the Council took decided to focus its time and energy on three areas, where we are working to make improvements,

  1. Alumni Learning: We are striving to collaborate with the College-Institute at finding ways to further your professional and personal learning goals. HUC-JIR offers the highest level learning for our students and we want to share that academic excellence with our alumni, while making you aware of all opportunities the College-Institute offers. Finding great learning should be easy and we are working to make that a reality.
  2. Alumni Communications: The Council is working to streamline our communication with alumni. AlumniNews is one of these efforts, providing you with relevant information that is found in one place. We are working to improve this, offering more interactive, dynamic, and timely content to you. Additionally, we are striving to create deeper coordination between the College-Institute, individual schools, and each Alumni Association.
  3. Alumni Fundraising: We are working with HUC-JIR administration to create a strategy around alumni giving, in order to make the process easier for our alumni. This includes ensuring all alumni are aware of the recent move from alumni association dues to an annual giving model and developing avenues by which alumni can facilitate support for HUC-JIR from outside the College-Institute.

Each of these areas is being driven by a Working Group made up of Council members, alumni from different schools, and HUC-JIR staff. We look forward to sharing with you our thinking and progress over the year to come. Please feel free to reach out to me (Rabbi.Litwak@tsnd.org) if you want to share ideas.

Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year, 

Rabbi Alan Litwak ‘96
Chair, Council of Alumni Associations


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading 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