Westboro Baptist Church Helps Raise Funds :for Target of their Protest at : Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Friday, October 8, 2010

Contact: Jean Rosensaft, 212-824-2209; jrosensaft@huc.edu
             Allison Glazer, 212-824-2293; aglazer@huc.edu

 

Statement:

Westboro Baptist Church Helps Raise Funds for Target of their Protest at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

 

Responding to the Westboro Baptist Church’s (WBC) threat to protest at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's (HUC-JIR) on October 11, staff, faculty, students and alumni have rallied to pledge contributions to the very kind of program that WBC chooses to picket: GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), an organization that works to ensure safe schools for all children. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to accept and respect all people. In addition to resources for parents, teachers and students, GLSEN facilitates several programs including The National Day of Silence, and No Name Calling Week. www.glsen.org

HUC-JIR is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism.  HUC-JIR educates students for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals, and offers graduate and postgraduate degree programs for scholars of all faiths on its campuses in New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and Jerusalem.

"HUC-JIR's policies advocate on the behalf of inclusivity for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity - one of the core values of the Reform Movement of Judaism," stated Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President.

HUC-JIR's commitment to inclusivity is manifested by the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (IJSO), based on its Los Angeles campus. The mission of the IJSO is driven by Jewish religious values and the spiritual quest for holiness. The IJSO seeks to achieve complete inclusion, integration and welcoming of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews, their families, friends and allies in congregations and communities. It trains and empowers Jewish professionals, educates students, and supports scholars and researchers in their quest to develop a theology and practice of inclusion. www.huc.edu/ijso

HUC-JIR's IJSO works to repair one aspect of the hatred that threatens the world and is espoused by Fred Phelps, Founder of the WBC, and his followers, and their hate-based targeting of Jewish and any group supporting LBGT people’s struggle for equality.


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, 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