The Los Angeles campus dedicated a new Aron Kodesh (Torah Ark) in the Mercaz worship space in honor of Rabbi Richard N. Levy on the occasion of his transition from Director of the School of Rabbinical Studies to Rabbi of the Synagogue and Director of Spiritual Growth at HUC-JIR/LA. This Ark will be an integral component of the daily worship program fro students and faculty. Made possible through the generosity of friends, rabbinical colleagues in the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, students, and family, the Ark recognizes Rabbi Levy's contributions as teacher and visionary Reform Movement leader who, during his ten years as Rabbinical School Director, realized the dream of a fully ordaining Rabbinical Program on the West Coast. The Ark was designed by noted stained-glass artists David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback, who also designed the Ner Tamid (Eternal Light), which was a gift of the 2007 Ordination Class. The Ark's stained-glass doors are inscribed with Hebrew words saying "God created me (Torah) as the beginning of God's way." The HUC-JIR community expresses special thanks to the LA Enhancement Committee Co-Chairs -- Peachy Levy and Jean Abarbanel -- and Buff Given, for conceiving of this gift and for their dedicated work with the artists to bring this gift to fruition.
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