Communication from President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.: HUC Town Hall for Students, Faculty, and Staff - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Communication from President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.: HUC Town Hall for Students, Faculty, and Staff

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

These are challenging times for each one of us, personally, institutionally, and communally. But I know that we can all look to our HUC community – our Kehillah – of colleagues and friends for mutual support and reassurance, especially at times like these.

Additionally, I understand that some of you have a number of questions about future events in May, June, and longer, given the uncertainty ahead of us. Yesterday, for example, the CDC issued its recommendations to cancel events with more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks. We recognize that the CDC recommendation places this year's Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies at risk. We are working quickly to address this and will communicate with you about these events later this week. There are likely to be other similar kinds of concerns that you have and that are shared by others – whether you are faculty, staff, or students.

In order to address these concerns in a transparent manner as one community, we are creating a weekly HUC Town Hall Forum, beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18 at 11:00 am ET. We will use this Forum also to share news from all four campuses. To help us use this time most effectively, please email your questions or concerns to our team, in advance, at Check your email for Zoom information.

Although we are temporarily physically isolated from each other while studying, teaching, and working remotely, we are united in spirit. Together, as ONE HUC, we are here to strengthen each other!

With best wishes for health and resilience,

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.

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.