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Rabbi Lennard R. Thal to Receive American Jewish Distinguished Service Award at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Graduation Ceremonies

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), announced  that he will present the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award to Rabbi Lennard R. Thal, Vice President Emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). The award will be granted at HUC-JIR’s New York Graduation ceremony on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.


Rabbi Thal served as the Vice President of the URJ from 1996 to 2001 when he was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President.  In 2003, he was named Chief Development Officer at the URJ.


Rabbi Thal, who was ordained at HUC-JIR/NY in 1973, served as the Associate Dean of HUC-JIR/LA from 1973 to 1982.  He is a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford University Law School.


Rabbi Ellenson said, “Rabbi Thal is receiving the American Jewish Distinguished Award in recognition of his life-long commitment and dedication to the Union for Reform Judaism and the Reform Movement.”


For more information on the HUC-JIR Graduation, Investiture, and Ordination ceremonies in New York, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati, please visit


For more information, contact Jean Rosensaft, 212-824-2209 or


View the national invitation for event details:

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 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 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.