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Rabbi David Stern Inducted onto Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rabbi David Stern and Rabbi Aaron PankenRabbi David Stern, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas, and President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), was inducted onto the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) at its meeting in Jerusalem on November 14, 2017.

Rabbi Aaron Panken, HUC-JIR President, stated, “Rabbi Stern is an esteemed alumnus of the College-Institute and distinguished leader of the Reform Movement’s rabbinate. His vision for a vital Jewish future is a source of guidance for our mission as we educate leaders for the Jewish people.”

Rabbi Stern joined Temple Emanu-El in June of 1989, serving as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi until his appointment as Senior Rabbi in August, 1996. Prior to coming to Temple Emanu-El, he served as an intern at Central Synagogue in New York City.

Rabbi Stern attended HUC-JIR at its Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles campuses, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 1989, his M.A. in Jewish Education in 1988, and his M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 1986. He also received a B.A. with high honors in English from Dartmouth College, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. In 2002, Rabbi Stern studied for six months at Harvard Divinity School while on sabbatical. 

As CCAR President, Rabbi Stern heads the international rabbinic organization of the Reform Movement, with some 2,000 members. He serves on the HUC-JIR President's Rabbinic Council, and the Board of Trustees and the Oversight Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Stern participates in the Hevraya Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality as part of his commitment to ongoing study and spiritual growth. 

Rabbi Stern is a social justice advocate on local, national and international issues. In 2005, he participated in a study mission to the Darfuri refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border. In the summer of 2013, he served as rabbi-in-residence for an American Jewish World Service Study Mission to Nicaragua. Locally, Rabbi Stern is on the Advisory Board of the Budd Center at SMU, which is committed to helping build strong communities with high-quality neighborhood schools in West Dallas.   

In 2017, Rabbi Stern received the Elbert M. Conover Award from the American Institute of Architects in recognition of his contributions to the architectural renewal of Temple Emanu-El. This award is given to non-architects in recognition of their contributions to religious architecture. 

Rabbi Stern's commentaries have appeared in the Huffington Post and Haaretz.  His poetry has been published in the CCAR Journal, and he has contributed essays to four volumes on Jewish High Holiday liturgy published by Jewish Lights Press: Who By Fire, Who By Water: Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows: Kol Nidre, May God Remember: Yizkor and Naming God: Avinu Malkeinu.

Rabbi Stern and his wife, Rabbi Nancy Kasten, who was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1990 and served as a member of the HUC-JIR Board of Governors, have three children. 


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