HUC-JIR Alumni Opportunity: The Gerecht Institute

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Gerecht Institute for Conversion at HUC-JIR and the URJ's Outreach and Membership present The Gerecht Institute for Alumni: January 8-10, 2012 at Glen Cove Mansion in Glen Cove, New York (on the North Shore of Long Island). Program begins with dinner at 7 PM on Sunday and concludes at 3 PM on Tuesday.

For over a decade, the Gerecht Institute at HUC-JIR has provided top-notch introductory training on the process of conversion and the role of the sponsoring clergy person to a generation of HUC-JIR students. Students often speak of the three-day retreat as one of the pivotal experiences of their student tenure. This Institute will represent a deepening and expansion of the student training, designed specifically for experienced clergy working in the field.

Over the years, many HUC-JIR Alumni have expressed interest in a similar experience for clergy who have been in the field. Now, for the first time ever, thanks to generous funding by the Gerecht family, HUC-JIR and the URJ are excited to offer this wonderful educational opportunity to clergy (rabbis and cantors) who are alumni of the College-Institute.

This retreat is open to those in the field who have not had the opportunity to experience the Gerecht Institute’s training during their student years. All housing and food costs will be covered by the Institute – participants will need only cover their transportation to and from the Glen Cove Mansion. For this reason, attendance will be limited to the first 25 applicants who meet the requirements for attendance.

Participants will:

·       Share opportunities for advanced text study with HUC-JIR faculty to understand the textual bases of the conversion process

·       Explore the stages of faith and transition experienced by the prospective convert with the URJ’s Outreach and Membership Specialists

·       Interact with panels of Jews by Choice and clergy sponsors to reflect on their experienc eand the process of bringing people to Judaism

·       Gain access to significant online resources from the Gerecht Institute

·       Learn about creating a culture of welcome within their institution that invites and encourages individuals considering conversion

·       Understand the various requirements for conversion that are employed around North America and abroad

·       Share best practices, learn from colleagues and enjoy a lovely communal setting for worship and learning

If you’d like to be considered for attendance at this inaugural Gerecht Alumni Institute, please email a response to the following three questions to no later than November 23rd, 2011:

a)     In your experience, what have been your two greatest challenges in working with conversion students?

b)     In your experience, what have been your two greatest successes in working with conversion students?

c)     What three areas of knowledge would you hope to enhance through your attendance at the Gerecht Institute for Alumni?

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 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.