Rabbi Samuel K. Joseph, Professor of Jewish Education and Leadership Development at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he teaches in the Rabbinical School, has been named to the Eleanor Sinsheimer Distinguished Service Professorship in Jewish Religious Education. Rabbi Joseph’s special interest is how Jewish institutions and organizations, from schools to synagogues to national groups, can be most excellent as they seek to fulfill their mission and vision. Toward this end, Rabbi Joseph works with such groups throughout the world.
Dr. Michael Marmur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated, “For decades Rabbi Samuel Joseph has occupied a central place in the life of Reform Judaism in North American and worldwide. Surely fewer individuals in our times can have had as much experience or as profound an impact on congregations, Jewish professional organizations, and entire communities as Sam Joseph. He is most certainly an appropriate holder of a chair recognizing distinguished service. This is what he has always given and continues to demonstrate. He will sustain the values and commitment of the chair's previous distinguished holder, Dr. Paul M. Steinberg, z”l, and it is a great encouragement and consolation to see the tradition of leadership and distinguished service continued in this way. In honoring Sam Joseph, we are honored.”
Most recently he received a grant to train lay leaders for the Jewish Community of Germany. Two such seminars occurred in Bamberg, Germany. Rabbi Joseph also taught at the first rabbinical seminary in Germany since the Holocaust, the Abraham Geiger Kolleg in Potsdam as the Jacobs Fellow. He also taught at the new Liberal Rabbinical Seminary in Amsterdam, the Levisson Instituut.
In past years, Rabbi Joseph worked with the Jewish community in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Argentina. He is the founding rabbi of the liberal congregation in Hong Kong. Rabbi Joseph consults with rabbis, educators, administrators, communal leaders, and lay leaders, supporting them as they lead their institutions and organizations. He is the author of four books and more than fifty articles in the area of education and leadership.
Rabbi Joseph is a national co-chair of the HUC-JIR and CCAR Institute for Rabbinic Mentoring. He is also a co-chair of the Reform Movement’s Task Force for Goals of Life-Long Learning. Rabbi Joseph represents HUC-JIR on the executive of the Joint Rabbinical Placement Commission and the Joint Educators Placement Commission, on the Reform Movement’s Think Tank, and on the Commission Granting the Reform Jewish Educator Title.
At HUC-JIR he is currently a representative to the Faculty Council and chairs the Cincinnati faculty committee on academic affairs and the faculty welfare committee. He is a past chair of the Cincinnati faculty.
Rabbi Joseph directs the Reform Day School Externship program, a joint effort of HUC-JIR and PARDeS. He also partners with Xavier University in Cincinnati on their M.Ed. program in Educational Administration. As a faculty member teaching in the Jim Joseph Foundation- sponsored HUC-JIR Executive M.A. in Jewish Education, he was one of the first HUC-JIR faculty members to teach a “for credit” online course.
Involved in many facets of the Cincinnati community, Rabbi Joseph is a past president of the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati.