HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, to Paula Jayne Winnig

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig 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 Winnig was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

Rabbi Winnig currently serves as the Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education for Indianapolis, IN, and Vice President and Organizational Consultant for Jboomers.  Previously, she served as the management and fundraising consultant for a variety of not-for-profit organizations and fiber artists. She founded "Torah Threads—Knitting the Threads of Torah into the Fabric of Our Lives," a weekly podcast and online learning community devoted to Torah study and its relevance to our lives as we pursue paths to Tikkun Olam-repairing the world.   She has served as the spiritual advisor for the Open Door Institute for Reform Jewish Outreach and the Sinai Havurah. 

For 16 years, Rabbi Winnig served as senior rabbi of Temple Sinai of Long Island, located in Lawrence, New York.  She previously served congregations in Floral Park and Roslyn, New York as well as in Los Angeles, California and Auckland, New Zealand. 

Rabbi Winnig received her MBA from SUNY-Empire College.  She was ordained at HUC-JIR in 1986.  She received her MAHL from the Jack H. Skirball Campus at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles and her Bachelor's degree with Honors in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a visiting graduate student to the Department of Talmud.

Rabbi Winnig is active in many community organizations.  She is the Vice President of SULAM-LI: The Religious School for Jewish Children with Special Needs.  She has served as president of the New York Association of Reform Rabbis and the Long Island Association of Reform Rabbis and as convener of Five Towns and Rockaway Interfaith Clergy Council. 

Rabbi Winnig is a member of the Board of Governor's of the New York Board of Rabbis.  She served on many committees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.  Rabbi Winnig is a founding member of the Jewish Support Committee of Carecen (The Central American Refugee Center) and served on the advisory committee of the Queens College People to People project promoting dialogue between the Black and Jewish communities. Rabbi Winnig was also a member of the Jewish Leaders’ Council for MAZON-A Jewish Response to Hunger.

Rabbi Winnig was a regular guest on the Television program “Father Tom and Friends” for three years.  She has appeared in several Television and radio programs and is in the film “Heaven and Earth” about the Abuyadaya of Uganda and “The Gates Opened,” about the ordination of Women Rabbis, which received an EMMY award for Religious Programming in 2006. Rabbi Winnig contributed a chapter to the book “The Women’s Haftarah Commentary,” published by Jewish Lights publications and has written many other articles. 

In addition to her professional involvements, Rabbi Winnig is an avid cyclist, down hill and cross country skier, cook, and fiber artist using fleece from her own flock at Frisky Lamb Farm in Glen Aubrey, New York.

Rabbi Winnig is the mother of two sons, Karmi and Shai.

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