Welcoming the New Academic Year - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Welcoming the New Academic Year

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Students across HUC-JIR’s stateside campuses are beginning their studies or returning from their summer internships, chaplaincy training, and infield social responsibility projects with energy, vision, and anticipation for the 2009-2010 academic year.


In Cincinnati, the newest cohorts of rabbinical and graduate students were welcomed at Orientation by the sight of the renovated and expanded Klau Library, which will be formally dedicated on November 1, 2009. After a welcome breakfast with Dean Ken Ehrlich, they became the first classes to officially tour the now-opened Klau Library and Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Pavilion. President David Ellenson was on hand to welcome the students personally at gatherings hosted by Dr. Sam Greengus, the Director of the School of Graduate Studies, and by the Cincinnati Board of Overseers at the home of Scott Joseph. Several days of High Holy Day preparation, placement examinations, and administrative meetings led by Rabbi Ken KanterPizza, Director of Rabbinical Studies, and Dr. Greengus were punctuated with dinners shared with their upper-class student mentors and an all-campus barbeque hosted by the Rabbinic Student and Graduate Student Associations.


Orientation for new rabbinical and education students, as well as a High Holy Day Practicum took place last week on the Los Angeles campus.  This week there were a series of one-week intensives for rabbinical and education students on “Study of Religion” with Dr. Rachel Adler, “Aramaic” with Dr. Lewis Barth, “Introduction to Teaching” with Dr. Isa Aron, and “Introduction to Islam” with Dr. Reuven Firestone. On Friday, August 22nd, a campus-wide luncheon will welcome students and faculty back for the new academic year, and on Sunday, August 4th, the Los Angeles Board of Overseers is hosting a reception for all new students in each of that campus’s programs.  Classes at HUC-JIR/LA and at the University of Southern California (where HUC-JIR provides the Jewish studies faculty for over 600 undergraduate students through the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies) will begin on Monday, August 25th.  That same day, the Los Angeles Board of Overseers will hold its first Fall meeting on campus.   


This week’s Orientation Days for new students on the New York campus began with an introduction to the campus and meetings by program on August 18th.  This Friday, August 21st, the students will enjoy an introduction to New York City and HUC-JIR’s environs, from a breakfast program at Congregation Emanu-El and walking tour of the Lower East Side, to information sessions at HUC-JIR and a tour of key New York University buildings by Amy Berenson (N ’11) who is also completing a Masters in Social Work at NYU.  The day culminates with a class celebration of Shabbat at Central Synagogue, followed by dinner.  On August 19th and 20th faculty taught High Holy Day workshops, which are required for all students serving pulpits for the first time and are open to all students who want to continue to hone their pulpit skills for the Days of Awe.  The entire faculty and student body formally begins the academic year with a two-day Kallah, this year at Camp Iroquois Springs, in Rock Hill, NY.  Planned throughout the summer by a group of students meeting regularly with Rabbi Altman, Associate Dean, the Kallah’s theme is "M'ayin Yavo Ezri (From where will my help come?): Sources of Strength in Challenging Times.” The campus community will explore together the multitude of challenges faced by individuals, a community, and our congregations as a result of the economic recession. Dr. Steven Cohen and Dr. Lawrence Hoffman will discuss “Leading Jews & Judaism in Changing Times.” Faculty members will teach workshops in different subject areas about how our tradition can guide us through difficult times. The Kallah, a wonderful community building experience for new and returning students, features creative and meaningful worship services led by faculty and students and launches the first sessions of academic classes.


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