Schools of Education Alumni Honor Dr. Michael Zeldin

Friday, March 11, 2016

In January the Rhea Hirsch School of Education Alumni Association held our biennial kallah. This is a special weekend for us to reconnect with one another and our beloved Rhea Hirsch faculty, learn with HUC-JIR/Los Angeles professors, and enjoy a Shabbat together. This year’s kallah was marked with another memorable event as we celebrated Dr. Michael Zeldin, Senior National Director of the Schools of Education.

A group of alumni from across the country and across HUC-JIR’s diverse academic programs joined together on Saturday, January 30, at Camp Bob Waldorf on Max Straus Campus in Glendale, CA. After a festive dinner and Havdalah, we sat together to honor Michael as he transitions from director to faculty in the Rhea Hirsch School of Education.

Attendees were encouraged to fill out a page in honor of Michael Zeldin with the following prompts:

  • I wonder…
  • I notice…
  • I appreciate…

Anyone who has studied with Michael knows that these three statements are at the core of reflective practice. In addition to each of us sharing our reflections on Michael as a leader, friend, and mentor, each of the RHSOE faculty shared their memories and joys of many years of teamwork with Michael.

It was a moving and emotional evening for all present. Michael has been a thoughtful, innovative, and supportive voice in Jewish Education for decades. HUC-JIR’s students are lucky to have the opportunity to learn with such a nurturing and gentle soul. The evening was lovingly planned by Ellen Lefkowitz (MARE, MAJCS '99), Joel Abramovitz (DeLeT '09, MAJE '11), and Michael Greenfield (MARE '13). Many thanks to them for their work and dedication. Alumni who wish to share their own reflections on the prompts are encouraged to download the prompts page and send them to

We look forward to celebrating Michael over the coming months as he steps down from being the Senior National Director of the Schools of Education. Stay tuned for more ways to honor Dr. Michael Zeldin! 

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.