Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Carolyn Moore Mooso with the Doctor of Jewish Religious Education at Graduation Ceremonies in Los Angeles on Monday, May 17, 2010 at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles (3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles). Moore Mooso was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.
Carolyn Moore Mooso grew up in Arroyo Grande, a small town on California’s central coast. Originally planning a journalism career, she earned a B.A. in English literature at the University of Redlands, followed by a Master’s degree in journalism from UCLA. While at Redlands, she became active at Congregation Emanu El of San Bernadino, where she studied liturgical music as a regular cantorial substitute and taught in the religious school.
After a stint as a reporter proved unsatisfying, she moved to Los Angeles to study cantorial music at HUC-JIR. She served various congregations as High Holy Days cantor and then became the regular cantor of Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada. Because this position included various teaching responsibilities, she petitioned HUC-JIR to take its graduate education course for rabbinic students, in order to develop her teaching skills. This key experience ultimately inspired her to pursue the field of Jewish education seriously and to choose that line of professional service in the Jewish community over the cantorate. She holds Master’s degrees in Jewish education from HUC-JIR and in secular education (M.S.Ed.) from USC, and is glad to be receiving an honorary doctorate, as everyone has told her she needs to stop earning Master’s degrees. She has been the educator at Temple Sinai of Glendale since 1983, twice being honored with its Woman of Valor award. She has raised her two children in the congregation, and anticipates continuing contributions to this vibrant community’s progress.