Students across HUC-JIR’s stateside campuses are beginning their studies or returning from their summer internships, chaplaincy training, and infield social responsibility projects with energy, vision, and anticipation for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The Los Angeles campus began its academic year with an all school luncheon on Tuesday, August 24, sponsored by HaKesher, the student council, during which time the calendar of events for the year was presented and opportunities for student and faculty involvement were discussed. HaKesher serves as the voice of the student body on the LA campus and initiates programming for a wide range of interests – relationship building, social justice, and professional development.
On Thursday, September 2, Rabbi Richard Levy, Rabbi of the Synagogue, Cantor Evan Kent, Cantor of the Worship Program, and Debbie Friedman, Visiting Instructor in the School of Rabbinic Studies, will present a Tefillah Fair – an opportunity to introduce the members of our community to the myriad of ways in which we can worship on the Los Angeles campus.”
Orientation for new students at the New York campus began with an introduction to all aspects of campus life and meetings with the Program Directors. New students volunteered at the Soup Kitchen, welcoming homeless and hungry guests for a nutritious meal. Students enjoyed an introduction to New York City with a visit to Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side, the congregation at which they will graduate and be invested or ordained. Students met with the congregation’s senior rabbi, Rabbi David Posner. The day continued with a walking tour of the Village, where students learned about the history of Jewish immigrants in HUC-JIR’s environs. The day culminated with a class celebration of Shabbat at Congregation Rodeph Shalom on the Upper West Side.
The entire New York faculty and student body formally began the academic year with a two-day Kallah. The Kallah, an off-site retreat, is a wonderful community building experience for new and returning students, featured creative and meaningful worship services led by faculty and students and launched the first sessions of academic classes. Planned throughout the summer by a group of students meeting regularly with Rabbi Altman, Associate Dean of HUC-JIR/NY, the Kallah’s theme was "Tekia: Preparing Ourselves for New York.” Students and faculty had the opportunity to expand their approaches to worship. Students discussed the responsibility of being a spiritual leader during the upcoming High Holy Days. Faculty members led study sessions in their subject areas, helping both new and returning students at this important time of the year. Both students and faculty were given the opportunity to build community in an informal atmosphere.