Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will award Rabbi Paul Michael Yedwab the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in Cincinnati on Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Isaac M. Wise Temple. Rabbi Yedwab will be honored for 25 years of dedicated service to the Jewish people as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Yedwab is the spiritual leader of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, MI. He was the editor of his synagogue’s groundbreaking “Shema Yisrael,” Judaism’s first fully illuminated siddur and the first prayer book to introduce the concept of a single prayer rubric being presented on a two-page folio. Rabbi Yedwab’s Shabbat Unplugged services at Temple Israel were the first to utilize a PowerPoint prayer book. He was the co-founder of many innovative new programs and organizations, including several hunger initiatives, most notably “Forgotten Harvest,” a food distribution organization serving Oakland and Wayne Counties.
Rabbi Yedwab is Past President of the Michigan Board of Rabbis. He serves as member of the Michigan Board of Ethics, ARZA Rabbinic Council, and Governor’s Statewide Faith Based Steering Committee. He serves on the Board of the Fresh Air Society, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, and Jewish National Fund. He is co-founder of MAZON Council of Metropolitan Detroit-a Jewish Response to Hunger. He is a Founding Board Member of Forgotten Harvest. While a student at HUC-JIR, he was a CLAL intern and went on to spearhead many programs bringing Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jews together, including a combined trip to Poland and Israel for teens and another to Prague and Israel for young leadership couples and his community’s Miracle Mission for Teens.
At the forefront of the movement to bring primary texts back into Reform Jewish classrooms, Rabbi Yedwab has always believed that it is more effective to teach Judaism directly rather than to teach about Judaism.