Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Rabbi Schwartz was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Schwartz is senior rabbi of Congregation M’Kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ. Rabbi Schwartz was ordained at HUC-JIR/New York in 1985, and served previous pulpits in Amherst, New York, and Chevy Chase, MD. He began his career in Israel as rabbi of the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa.
Rabbi Schwartz is actively involved in Jewish environmentalism. He was a founding member of the Washington, DC chapter of Shomrei Adamah, the first national Jewish environmental organization. He serves on the grassroots advisory committee of COEJL, the Coalition of Environmental and Jewish Life, and helps lead the Environmental Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Rabbi Schwartz is a prolific writer, the author of three books, a prize winning short story, and articles that have appeared in the Journal of Reform Judaism, American Jewish History, and the Hebrew Union College Annual. His latest textbook, Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values (1996), is currently used in over 300 religious schools nationwide. A previous text, Jewish Theology: A Comparative Study (1991), explores Jewish denominational thinking. Honi The Circlemaker: Eco-Fables from Ancient Israel (1993) is a series of folktales for children.
Rabbi Schwartz enjoys hiking, cycling, and photography. He is an avid tennis and table tennis player. He is married to Deborah A. Schwartz, an occupational therapist specializing in hand rehabilitation. Their three children are Nadav, Talia, and Noam.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first 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 American Jewish Archives, 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