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Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D. Min., Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/New York Presented with the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Pictured: Dr. Alan Steinberg; Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Dean, HUC-JIR/New York; Dr. William Cutter, Steinberg Distinguished Professor Emeritus, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles; and Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener


Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D. Min., Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/New York, was presented with the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling at Services on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 10 am.  Dr. Wiener presented the sermon, and a reception in her honor followed Services.

“It is most fitting to present Rabbi Nancy Wiener with this Chair in recognition of her dedication to teaching, mentorship, program development, and research in the areas of pastoral counseling, all of which truly reflect the values and commitments of Dr. Paul M. Steinberg, in whose honor this Professorship was established,” says Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President.

The Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling was inaugurated in 2004 through a generous gift from the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Charitable Trust.  Irma Croll was a lifelong Reform Jew and member of Temple Emanu-El and its Sisterhood.  Throughout her twenty-year-long association with Dr. Steinberg and the College-Institute, she enjoyed meeting with students and became a very generous scholarship donor.  The inaugural recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Professorship was Dr. William Cutter, who served for many years as Professor of Education and Modern Hebrew Literature at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and as Director of the Lee and Irving Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health, a national center for public discourse on health, religion, and public policy.  Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener is the second recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Professorship.


Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D. Min.

Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min., is Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/New York, where she is Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Fieldwork Coordinator.  She was ordained by HUC-JIR/NY, where she also earned a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling and an M.A. in Hebrew Letters.  Dr. Wiener is certified as a chaplain by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and holds a certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, NY.  Prior to rabbinical school, she earned an M.A. in History from Columbia University and a B.A. magna cum laude from Brandeis University.

As the Clinical Director of the Blaustein Center, Rabbi Wiener has created a comprehensive program integrating coursework, fieldwork, supervision, and mentoring.  Supervisors at HUC-JIR help students connect concepts covered in classes with their fieldwork experiences, while both students and mentors benefit from their enhanced reflective practices.  Dr. Wiener’s innovations serve as a model and inspiration for HUC-JIR’s other campuses and for other Jewish seminaries.  A consultant to the College-Institute’s Blaustein Center in Jerusalem from its inception, she taught its first cohort of Israeli professionals during a sabbatical there.  In addition, for the past 20 years Rabbi Wiener has enjoyed serving as the Pound Ridge Jewish Community’s rabbi.  She feels that her congregational work immeasurably enriches her life, her appreciation for the pastoral demands of the congregational rabbinate, her supervision, and her teaching.  

Rabbi Wiener helped draft the resolution passed by the CCAR on officiation at ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.  She has served on the CCAR Human Sexuality committee, UAHC Gay and Lesbian Inclusion Committee, and committees of the URJ Departments of Jewish Family Concerns and Outreach and Inclusion.  She has also served on a range of UJA/Federation Task Forces and conference planning committees.  She is associated with HUC-JIR’s Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health in Los Angeles and was one of 18 selected nationally by the National Center for Jewish Health to be a SeRaF (Senior Research Fellows) Fellow.  She has led workshops and lectured on issues of pastoral care and counseling at national and international conferences.  Following 9/11, she worked with the Red Cross Disaster Unit by offering support and counsel at Ground Zero to first responders and to individuals and families at emergency family centers.  For the first seven years of her rabbinate she served as a part-time chaplain at a New York nursing home.

Dr. Wiener has published three books on creating, celebrating, and maintaining long-term committed relationships: Judaism for Two: A Spiritual Guide to Strengthening and Celebrating Your Loving Relationship (co-authored with Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kraemer),  Beyond Breaking the Glass: A Spiritual Guide to Your Jewish Wedding, and Meeting at the Well: A Jewish Spiritual Guide to Being Engaged (co-authored with Rabbi Daniel Judson).  She has also authored and co-authored articles on many topics including pastoral care, relationships, and GLBT issues in the Jewish community.  She lives in New York City with her spouse, Judith Tax.


Dr. Paul M.  Steinberg, z”l, and Trudy Steinberg

Rabbi, teacher, mentor, Dean, and Vice President of the College-Institute, Dr. Paul Steinberg served HUC-JIR for decades with dedication, passion, and skill.  Dr. Steinberg's service to the College-Institute began in 1955.  At HUC-JIR/New York, he served as Dean of the Rabbinical School, the School of Education, the School of Sacred Music, and as Dean of the New York School, where he served the longest tenure of a Dean in the history of the College-Institute. Dr. Steinberg also assumed responsibilities for the development of the Jerusalem School and was appointed its first Executive Dean. At the time of his death, Dr. Steinberg served as Vice President for Communal Development. He also served on the Boards of the Jewish Braille Institute, the Albright Institute of Archaeology in Jerusalem, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, and Dorot.  He was the President of the Gimprich Foundation.

Dr. Steinberg earned his B.S. in Social Science with Honors at the College of the City of New York and the M.S. in Educational Psychology at the School of Education at City College.  He was ordained and received the Master of Hebrew Literature Degree from the Jewish Institute of Religion in 1949.  He received his Doctorate in Psychological Services from Columbia University and taught at Hebrew University, New York University, Baruch College, and the Army Management School.

After serving for twenty years as spiritual leader of Temple Adas in Sag Harbor, the oldest congregation on Long Island, Dr. Steinberg was named Rabbi Emeritus.  He received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Baltimore Hebrew University.

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise officiated at the marriage of Trudy and Paul Steinberg at the Jewish Institute of Religion.  Trudy Steinberg has taught at Hunter College Elementary School, and at schools in Brooklyn, NY, and Berkeley, CA, and served as a social worker.  In 1949, she administered a project for Hadassah Hospital in Israel. Trudy worked as a key facilitator with Youth Aliyah, concerned with the integration of young people into Israeli society.  She is a founding member of the National Council for Jewish Women in Berkeley, CA. During their fifty years of marriage, Trudy was at Paul’s side in the creation and implementation of the College-Institute programs in the United States and overseas.

The Steinbergs were honored by the College-Institute in 1998 with a special academic convocation and the establishment of the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Endowment Fund for the Teaching of Human Relations.  In 2004 they were honored by the establishment of the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling.

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.