HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, to M. Bruce Lustig

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.  Rabbi Lustig was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.

Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig is afforded extraordinary opportunity daily as Senior Rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation, the largest Jewish house of worship in the nation’s capital.

For 25 years, Rabbi Lustig’s pursuit of greater social justice, meaningful interfaith dialogue, and a more caring and inclusive congregation have been at the forefront of his rabbinate. By co-founding the Abrahamic Roundtable, Rabbi Lustig helped to create a constructive forum for dialogue with the Islamic community and Washington National Cathedral. As founder of “Mitzvah Day,” an event where thousands of Washington Hebrew members do community service, and which has now taken hold on a national level, he inspires good works. And in commemorating the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. annually, Rabbi Lustig seeks to keep the civil rights leader’s fight for justice and equality alive by inviting dozens of spiritual leaders of African American churches and their members to join him and his congregants in prayer. In recognition of his leadership, Rabbi Lustig has been included in Newsweek’s list of 50 most influential rabbis each year.

Rabbi Lustig believes, as the scholar Martin Buber taught, that the essence of meaning is discovered through relationships. “As a rabbi I am afforded the opportunity to enter into people’s lives,” he said. “I am privileged to share in the sacred and the challenging moments: to hold the hands of fellow Jews during death; to name their children and bury their loved ones; to stand under the chuppah and see the eyes that cry tears of joy; to teach their B’nai Mitzvah children and grandchildren; to laugh and to share the pain; to listen and to be heard.”

Rabbi Lustig’s programmatic excellence and creative vision foster an environment in which new and exciting opportunities abound for intellectual and spiritual enrichment, and his warmth and personal connection help to create a true sense of community.

“I am blessed,” Rabbi Lustig said, “to have embarked on this fulfilling journey.”

Click here to view the National Ordination/Investiture/Graduation press release.


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