HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Jewish Religious Education, honoris causa, to Debra Ann Cohn, RJE

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will award Debra Ann Cohn, RJE, with the Doctor of Jewish Religious Education at Graduation Ceremonies in Los Angeles on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jack H. Skirball Campus.  Cohn will be honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

Debra Ann Cohn, RJE is passionate about learning, teaching, ceremony, and helping others discover, cultivate, and celebrate their uniqueness, life purpose, and relationship with the Sacred. She has a strong background in World Religions, Judaism, and Education, including a B.A. from UCLA (1979) in Anthropology and the Study of Religion with emphasis in Judaism, a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles and Jerusalem (1986), a Masters in Counseling Psychology with certificates in Creative Expression and Spiritual Guidance from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) in Palo Alto (2002), and a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology with certificates in Clinical Studies and Creative Expression also from ITP (2009).

Cohn has worked in Jewish educational settings, including classrooms, camp, and tutoring since 1979, and served as a congregational educator for ten years in Danbury, CT; Tulsa, OK; and Lafayette, CA. While working on her doctorate, she taught, tutored, and served as Bar/Bat Mitzvah Studies Coordinator at several congregations in the San Francisco Bay area.

Cohn is a student of Mussar, the Jewish path of spiritual transformation through character building and is a member of the Topanga Blue Flag Dare’ community of healers and peace builders, where she is learning indigenous life-ways and shamanic practice with writer and healer Deena Metzger.

Cohn lives in La Canada Flintridge, CA, where she helps care for her elderly parents and is seeking work in congregational consulting and teaching at the college and graduate level.

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