Congregational Outreach Conference Connects SoCal Rabbis and Lay Leaders with HUC-JIR Faculty and Students - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Congregational Outreach Conference Connects SoCal Rabbis and Lay Leaders with HUC-JIR Faculty and Students

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Monday, April 6, 2009

March 29, 2009 – More than 25 congregations were represented at the first-ever Congregational Outreach Conference sponsored by the Los Angeles Board of Overseers this past weekend.  The Conference, nicknamed, “We'd like You to Meet HUC,” provided Rabbis, Cantors, congregational leaders, and professional staff the opportunity to interact with HUC-JIR students, administration and faculty and:


  • Tour the HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus,
  • Meet the future leaders of the Reform movement,
  • and attend two timely and important seminars.


An important seminar was held on “Managing Synagogues during a Fiscal Crisis” and Faculty and Jewish professionals discussed how synagogues are managing during these difficult economic times.  Another topic that drew a wide range of interest was, “Is the Reform Movement Becoming More Traditional?” which focused on where the Reform Movement has been and where it is going and the training that takes place at HUC-JIR.


Guests also had the opportunity to learn more about the Yanov Torah which had been recently profiled in the LA Times at  Student Rabbi Joel Simonds presented the scroll and discussed its significance.


Esteemed speakers included:


  • Steve Breuer, a consultant in synagogue management,
  • Alumni: Rabbi Stephen Einstein, Congregation Bnai Tzedek, Fountain Valley, CA, and Rabbi Joshua Garroway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of New Testament and Second Commonwealth Judaism;
  • URJ Representative Rabbi Alan Henkin,
  • Richard Siegel, Interim Director of the School of Jewish Communal Service,
  • Dr. Dvora Weisberg, Associate Professor of Talmud,
  • and Dr. Steven Windmueller, Dean, LA Campus, HUC-JIR.


Members of the Planning Committee included:  Rabbi Stephen Einstein, Cong. B'nai Tzedek;
Student Rabbi  Jessy Gross; Rabbi Alan Henkin – URJ; Jules Kabat, Stephen S. Wise Temple; Terry Pullan, Temple Isaiah; SJCS alumna Gosia Szymanska; Merle Weiner – URJ, Temple Gan Elohim of Glendale, Az.; and Dr. Steven Windmueller – Dean, HUC-JIR/LA, Temple Israel of Hollywood.  The committee was chaired by Paul Lippe, Member, LA Board of Overseers, and Member, Wilshire Boulevard Temple.


For additional information or to request HUC-JIR faculty for scholars-in-residence or for other programming initiatives, please contact Adam M. Greenwald, Assistant Director of Development and Public Affairs, Western Region, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, at (213) 765-2105 or at 

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.