Dr. Eugene Borowitz to Receive Honorary Doctor of Letters at JTS Commencement - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Dr. Eugene Borowitz to Receive Honorary Doctor of Letters at JTS Commencement

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz, Sigmund L. Falk Distinguished Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Hebrew Letters at the 115th Commencement Exercisesof The Jewish Theological Seminary, which will be held on May 21 in New York City.


A total of 158 degrees are scheduled to be conferred. The distinguished graduates are the newest group of lay and professional leaders trained to serve nationwide as rabbis, academics, cantors, scholars, Jewish educators, and community leaders.


Ms. Ruth W. Messinger, president and CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), will deliver the commencement address, “Leading for Change: Jewish Global Responsibility in the Twenty-First Century,” and be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. In addition to Dr. Borowitz and Ms. Messinger, honorary doctoral degrees will be awarded to Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Dean David M. Schizer of Columbia Law School.


Of the 146 graduates who are participating in this year's commencement, forty-eight will receive bachelor's degrees from the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies; thirty-three, including six students earning doctorates, will receive degrees from The Graduate School; thirty-six will receive degrees from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, including one EdD; ten cantors will be invested by the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music; and thirty-one men and women will be ordained by The Rabbinical School. Twelve students will receive two degrees from different JTS schools.


Dr. Borowitz is the founder and former editor of Sh'ma, the magazine of Jewish social concern. The author of hundreds of articles on Jewish religious thought, he is the only Jew to serve as president of the American Theological Society. Dr. Borowitz has received many awards, including the medal for lifetime Jewish cultural achievement by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the National Jewish Book Award for his work The Mask Jews Wear, and the Eisendrath Prize from the Union for Reform Judaism. He was recently appointed "Distinguished University Professor" at HUC-JIR, where he has taught since 1962.


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. www.huc.edu