Rabbi Talia Avnon-Benveniste has been appointed Director of the Israel Rabbinical Program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's (HUC-JIR) Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem. A graduate of this program, Rabbi Avnon-Benveniste was ordained in 2008. She succeeds Rabbi Ofek Meir '06, who served as the program's Director since 2015.
Rabbi Avnon-Benveniste returns to HUC-JIR following her time as Director of the International School for Peoplehood Studies at Beit-Hatefutsoth, the Museum of the Jewish People, where she instilled an active connection to the Jewish people among Jews throughout the world and led public discourse on Jewish Peoplehood and identity in the 21st century. She led a series of programs that supported Beit-Hatefutsoth's cultural, community, and educational activities in Israel and around the world.
Prior to her work with Beit-Hatefutsoth, Rabbi Avnon-Benveniste served as Head of the Education Department of Beit Daniel, the Center for Progressive Judaism in Tel Aviv, where she worked to promote a national-social-Jewish agenda - liberal, among state schools and in educational, cultural, and community frameworks, alongside fellow rabbis.
Rabbi Avnon-Benveniste speaks in a variety of forums and events and is an expert on major issues in the new Jewish world.
The Israel Rabbinical Program at HUC-JIR trains pioneers who are building communities, creating congregations, educating all generations, advancing egalitarian and LGBTQ inclusion, and promoting tolerance. They are sustaining tradition while transforming it to address the needs of contemporary Israeli Jewish life, and providing a vital liberal option amid the polarity of ultra-Orthodoxy and secular Israeli identity.
HUC-JIR's Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem is the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism in the State of Israel. It prepares Israeli rabbis, educators, and pastoral counselors who are building religious pluralism in the Jewish State; welcomes HUC-JIR's North American rabbinical, cantorial, and education students for their first year of study before returning stateside to the Cincinnati, Los Angeles, or New York campuses; and invites the larger Israeli community to educational and cultural programs.