Funeral of Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D. - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Funeral of Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute (HUC-JIR), died tragically in a plane crash on May 5, 2018, at the age of 53. He served as the 12th President in HUC-JIR’s 143-year history. 

Funeral services took place on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 / 23 Iyar 5778 at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. Eulogies were delivered by Rabbi Panken's father, Peter Panken; his sister, Rabbi Melinda Panken '96, Senior Rabbi, Temple Shaari Emeth, Manalapan, NJ; his sister-in-law, Rabbi Sarah Messinger '87, Rabbi, Congregation Shireinu, Gladwyne, PA; Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman '69, Ph.D. '73, The Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Worship, Liturgy, and Ritual, HUC-JIR; Rabbi David Stern '89, President, Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX; and Rabbi Rick Jacobs '82, President, Union for Reform Judaism.

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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 leaders to serve 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, museums, 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.