ACADEMIC CONVOCATION AT HUC-JIR/JERUSALEM ON NOVEMBER 14, 2008:
INAUGURAL COHORT OF 11 MEZORIM (PASTORAL CARE GIVERS) RECEIVE CERTIFICATES
RABBI RACHEL COWAN HONORED FOR GROUNDBREAKING WORK IN JEWISH SPIRITUALITY
Six Israeli Progressive rabbis were ordained at the academic convocation held on the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) on November 14, 2008. These new rabbis are now among the 59 rabbinical pioneers working to create a contemporary Judaism that speaks to the values and lifestyle of modern Israelis. Through their efforts, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) is gaining ground by attracting unaffiliated Israeli Jews to Jewish tradition and furthering a pluralistic approach to religious life in the Jewish state. The newly ordained Israeli rabbis are Talia Avnon Benvenisti, Nir Cohen, Orna Piltz, Oshrat Morag, Daniel Alexander Meyer, Gili Zidkiyahu. Daniel Alexander is the first child of a woman rabbi ever to be ordained. His mother, Rabbi Margaret Meyer, was ordained at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati in 1986. His father, Dr. Michael Meyer, Ochs Professor of Jewish History at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, addressed the convocation -- his remarks are available at: http://www.huc.edu/newspubs/pressroom/article.php?pressroomid=49
The inaugural cohort of eleven Mezorim (pastoral care givers) were presented with certificates from this groundbreaking new program at HUC-JIR, which is creating the language and vocation for a new profession to serve Israelis at times of illness, crisis, and joy. As these Mezorim serve in health care facilities, including hospitals, hospices, and rehabilitation centers, as well as in community educational settings, they are introducing the role of chaplain to Israeli society. The graduates are Gila Cohen, Miriam Gues Taoub, Ariella Vogel, Debi Pinto-Cohen, Iris Solomon, Rabbi Miri Gold, Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, Rabbi Stacey Blank, Saralee Kasel, Avigail Eitam, and Gidi Sand.
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, was presented with the President’s Medallion for her significant work in the area of Jewish spirituality and her guidance of the Mezorim program at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Gary Tishkoff, ordained at HUC-JIR/New York in 1984, was presented with the Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, in recognition for his 25 years of distinguished service to the Jewish people.
The academic convocation began with a memorial tribute to Richard J. Scheuer, z”l, Chairman Emeritus of HUC-JIR’s Board of Governors, whose vision shaped the expansion of the Jerusalem campus and its educational programs.
For more on Richard J. Scheuer, please visit http://www.huc.edu/newspubs/pressroom/article.php?pressroomid=48