Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, will participate in a panel discussion on the ‘Conversion Crisis’ at the United Jewish Communities 2008 General Assembly Plenary in Jerusalem on Sunday, November 16. Introduced by session chair Richard Wexler, the panel will be moderated by Prof. Yaacov Neeman, prominent Israeli attorney, visiting professor of law, former Director General of Ministry of Finance, and former Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance. The other panelists include Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rosh Yeshiva of Or Etzion, and Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, President of MERCAZ USA. This interdenominational discussion comes on the heels of a controversial decision by the highest Haredi legal authority in Israel to annul conversions to Judaism conducted by religious Zionist Rabbi Haim Druckman.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to 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 American Jewish Archives, 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