HUC-JIR Alumni Gather at the 2011 Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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HUC-JIR Alumni Gather at the 2011 Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention

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Thursday, April 7, 2011
Over 400 alumni from HUC-JIR gathered at the 2011 Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Convention in New Orleans on March 27-30, 2011.

100 alumni celebrating one-, five-, ten-, 18-, and 25-year reunions joined together for dinner on Monday, March 28, 2011, and were visited by  Rabbi David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR; Dr. Jane Karlin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, HUC-JIR; and Joy Wasserman, RJE, National Director of Alumni Engagement, HUC-JIR.  The evening was arranged by the Office of Alumni Engagement.  Joy Wasserman stated, "The event was a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, discuss current projects and engagements, and reminisce about the good old days at HUC-JIR."

Rabbi Scott Shpeen (CN '84), President, HUC-JIR Alumni Association, and member, HUC-JIR Board of Governors, thanked Rabbi Irwin Zeplowitz (CN '84) for his visionary leadership in the Rabbinic Alumni Association Invest-in-a-Student Campaign, which has raised over one million dollars in gifts and pledges from rabbinic alumni.  The campaign seeks to match each ordination class to one rabbinical student scholarship.  Rabbi Shpeen thanked Rabbi Amy Schwartzman (NY '90) for her three years of dedicated service as President of HUC-JIR's Alumni Association and Joy Wasserman (RHSOE '81), National Director of Alumni Engagement, for her enthusiastic and committed leadership to the College-Institute. 

In keeping with a time-honored tradition, Rabbi Shpeen called the roll of classes as alumni cheered for their fellow classmates.  Beginning with the most recent graduation year, each class year was called, and members of the class stood and were greeted with cheers and applause.  Rabbi Jack Stern (CN '52) (pictured below), the most senior alumnus at the Convention, received an enthusiastic standing ovation when he stood as his class was acknowledged.

Rabbi Shpeen hosted a lunch meeting for the Rabbinic Alumni Association Leadership Team, along with Rabbi Ellenson, Dr. Karlin, and Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, to continue the dialogue as to how the Rabbinic Alumni Association can better support the College-Institute. Team members in attendance included Alan Litwak, Randi Musnitsky, Andrew Paley, Amy Schwartzman, Joy Wasserman, and Irwin Zeplowitz.  Members not in attendance included Marcus Burstein, Matt Cutler, Ellen Nemhauser, and Jim Prosnit.

Rabbi Jack Stern (right) with his son, Rabbi David Stern (RHSOE '88, NY' 89)

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 leaders to serve 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.