Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson '85, President of The Wexner Foundation, shares:
In our grief and overwhelming sadness, our Wexner community of Jewish leaders, volunteers, and professionals, North Americans and Israelis, coalesced around the idea of learning the Talmud texts our beloved teacher and friend, Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, z”l, taught to his students at HUC-JIR. Using the syllabus from his course, Twelve Tremendous Texts, we invited a dozen teachers who spanned President Panken’s circles of influence at The Wexner Foundation to teach a 30-minute webinar in tribute to him, exploring some of his favorite texts. The webinars were facilitated by faculty from HUC-JIR, by Wexner classmates and colleagues including Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative rabbis, and by professors from other institutions. Each teacher reflected on how the Talmudic text spoke to Aaron’s character and leadership. The online “chevreh” found comfort as we shared the light of Aaron’s Torah.
Rabbi David Ellenson taught the final session, which he closed with a powerful Kaddish de Rabbanan, the Rabbi’s Kaddish, which honors teachers, their students, their student’s students, and all those who engage in the study of Torah.
May our teacher’s Torah and menschlichkeit shine through all of us continuing to make his memory an enduring blessing.
The calls were recorded and we invite you to watch here:
To view the syllabus used by Rabbi Panken and access all recordings, please click here.