Rabbi Scott L. Shpeen was inducted onto the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) at its meeting in Cincinnati on October 18, 2010.
“We are honored to welcome Rabbi Scott Shpeen, a distinguished alumnus of the College-Institute, whose lifelong commitment to the Reform Movement is a source of wisdom as we advance our mission as the educational, spiritual and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism,” said Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President.
Rabbi Shpeen has served Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany since 1985, and assumed the position of Senior Rabbi of the Congregation in July 1992. A native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, he is the product of the Reform Movement, having spent many summers at the URJ Camps as well as participating in the EIE (Eisendrath International Exchange) Program spending a semester at the Leo Baeck High School in Haifa, Israel. Concurrent with his High School studies, Rabbi Shpeen was awarded a Certificate in Jewish Education from Gratz College, Philadelphia.
Rabbi Shpeen was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan in 1979. He received a Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters and was ordained at HUC-JIR in June 1984. In 1988 Rabbi Shpeen completed the St. Peter's Hospital Program, Albany, NY, in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). In May 2009, in recognition of his 25th anniversary of rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Shpeen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Shpeen presently serves as President of the Capital District Board of Rabbis as well as on the Advisory Committee of the Capital District Senior Issues Forum Lifetime Achievement Award. Rabbi Shpeen was appointed in May, 2006 by Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings to serve on the Albany Human Rights Commission on which he served for three years until May 2009. He also serves on the HUC-JIR Rabbinical Alumni Association Leadership Team representing that group on the HUC-JIR Alumni Council. Rabbi Shpeen has been an Adjunct Professor at the College of St. Rose in Albany since 1994, teaching a course on the Holocaust each year.
Rabbi Shpeen is a Past President of the Capital District Board of Rabbis (1990-1992), past President of B'nai B'rith Gideon Lodge #140, past President of the Buckingham Mews Homeowners Association, and has served on the Boards of the United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center, Park Playhouse, the Martin Luther & Coretta Scott King Lecture at Siena College, the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York, The Interfaith Advisory Committee of the Bethlehem Central School District, the Sidney and Beatrice Albert Lecture Board of the College of St. Rose, the Admissions Committee of the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis), and for many years was Jewish Chaplain at the Parsons School in Albany.
Rabbi Shpeen was married to the late Susan Balan, who was the Executive Director of the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center. They have two adult children, Hilary and Adam.
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