Address Delivered by Shana Penn at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of The Taube Family Campus

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


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. 

Read More: The Taube Family Campus Named at Groundbreaking of Jerusalem Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

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.