Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded George M. Goodwin with the Doctor of Jewish Communal Service at Graduation Ceremonies in Los Angeles on Monday, May 17, 2010 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles (3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles). Dr. Goodwin was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Dr. Goodwin’s studies at HUC-JIR enabled him to combine his deep interests in art and architectural history with many facets of American Jewish history. For example, he has been able to shed new light on the complexities of synagogue architecture.
Dr. Goodwin has created exhibitions, archives, and oral history collections for numerous religious and cultural institutions. He has written on a rich variety of topics for such journals as American Jewish Archives Journal, Modern Judaism, and Encyclopedia Judaica. Having co-edited The Jews of Rhode Island and having written extensively for and edited Rhode Island Jewish Historical Notes, Dr. Goodwin has become the historian of Rhode Island Jewry.
His training in Jewish communal service, inspired by his great uncle, Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin, and his mother, Madeline R. Goodwin, has resulted in many leadership positions. In addition to serving as a trustee of Temple Beth-El, he has been President of Hebrew Free Loan Association of Providence and the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association. He has also demonstrated leadership skills as a trustee of Heritage Harbor Museum and the Rhode Island Historical Society.
Having been inspired by HUC-JIR mentors as Gerald Bubis, Stanley Chyet, David Ellenson, Norman Mirsky, and Michael Signer, he feels empowered to ask penetrating questions but also humbled to accept partial answers. Loving what he does, which is often the unexpected, he hopes to spend the next 25 years refining his skills as a thinker, dreamer, and builder.