Israeli Rabbinical Program Launches Academic Year - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Israeli Rabbinical Program Launches Academic Year

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Israeli Rabbinical Program opened the academic year with a half-day seminar.  The seminar was designed to set the tone for an ongoing conversation this year on Reform rabbinical leadership for 21st-century Israel.  After a festive Shacharit service, led by Dean Naamah Kelman and Rabbis Alona Lisitsa and Yoshi Zweiback of the faculty, with a Dvar Torah by program director Rabbi Marc Rosenstein, two guest lecturers made presentations on the theme of rabbinical leadership. Professor Emanuel Etkes of the Hebrew University spoke about "Rabbi Haim of Volozhin and Rabbi Israel Salanter - rabbinical leaders responding to crisis," and Rabbi Robert Samuels spoke on "Historical models and current challenges for the Israeli Reform rabbinate."


Two days later, Rabbi Rosenstein continued the conversation, presenting a study session on rabbinical authority to a meeting of Maram, the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Israel.  Rabbis Kelman and Rosenstein are leading the faculty and students in the Rabbinical Program, together with Movement leadership and rabbis in the field, in a year-long process of thinking together about rabbinical models for Israel - and the training required to prepare them.


There are seven first-year students in the program this year, out of a total enrollment of 23 in the four-year program.


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.