Learning in Memory of Rabbi Panken with the Wexner Foundation: Sessions from Twelve Tremendous Texts Syllabus - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Learning in Memory of Rabbi Panken with the Wexner Foundation: Sessions from Twelve Tremendous Texts Syllabus

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson '85, President of The Wexner Foundation, shares:

Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D.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.


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. www.huc.edu