HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, to Sue Levi Elwell

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will award Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in Cincinnati on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm at Isaac M. Wise Temple (8329 Ridge Road).  Rabbi Elwell will be honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

For over three decades, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell has been exploring, teaching, and writing about spirituality, and working towards creating and sustaining healthy and open-hearted communities.  She has served congregations in California, New Jersey, and Virginia, and has taught at the University of Cincinnati, UCLA, and LaSalle University.

Rabbi Elwell edited The Open Door, the CCAR Haggadah (2002), served as the poetry editor and member of the Editorial Board of the award winning The Torah: A Women’s Commentary (2008), and as one of the editors of Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation (2001).

The founding Director of the Los Angeles Jewish Feminist Center, Rabbi Elwell was the first Rabbinic Director of Ma’yan.  She has served the Union for Reform Judaism since 1996, as Director of the Pennsylvania Council and the Federation of Reform Synagogues of Greater Philadelphia from 2001-2009 and currently as Union Rabbi, East District, and as Worship Specialist.  A Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, she continues her studies through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Elwell, a founder of B’not Esh, served as president of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, and as Co-chair of the 2010 Rabbis for Human Rights Conference.

Rabbi Elwell, the mother of two grown daughters, lives in Philadelphia with her partner, Nurit Shein, who directs The Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s pre-eminent LGBT health center.  They are third-generation members of Philadelphia’s historic Congregation Rodeph Shalom.

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 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