Our gift to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion has special meaning for Taube Philanthropies. It is the foundation’s largest gift to a Jewish institution, and the first naming that the Taube Family has made in Israel.
Having spent time at HUC-JIR’s Jerusalem campus this week, getting to know faculty and students, touring the multi-functional facilities on these large grounds that create an impressive footprint in Jerusalem, seeing up-close the endeavors to prepare rabbis, cantors, educators, and non-profit leaders in Israel and for Israel, we at Taube Philanthropies now have an even deeper commitment to HUC-JIR.
When our gift was announced and we began receiving congratulatory notes from rabbis and others affiliated with HUC-JIR from around the world, it was so gratifying, and underscored why we Jews identify our religious denominations as movements. The notion of Movement is so palpable among Reform Jews. It is exciting to consider that HUC-JIR’s goals of pluralism, inclusivity and peoplehood can be powerfully transformative in the context of a 21st century Judaism – and nowhere more pivotal than in Israel today. We hope that Taube Philanthropies’ gift helps bolster HUC-JIR to move Reform Judaism to the center of Jewish life in Israel and worldwide.