Sh'loshim Ceremonies to Mourn and Remember Debbie Friedman, z''l

Friday, February 11, 2011

When Aaron, the first spiritual teacher of Israel, died, the community mourned him 30 days. It is hard to believe that 30 days have passed since the death of Debbie Friedman, who was such a vital spiritual teacher for all of us. The HUC-JIR community has been sharing words and music to reflect on the influence she had in life and to share the conviction that though her physical presence is gone, her neshama as immortalized in her music and her teaching will live on.

HUC-JIR/Cincinnati held a tribute service immediately following Debbie's passing. The Cincinnati campus community has read her name at each service in the Chapel and will continue to do so through the Sh'loshim. The HUC-JIR/Los Angeles community marked the Sh'loshim at tefilot on Thursday, February 10, 2011. Cantor Evan Kent, Director of the Cantorial Music Program at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and Dr. William Cutter, Steinberg Emeritus Professor of Human Relations, were among those offering teachings around some of Debbie's works. Together, they sang some of her music as part of the worship that meant so much to her. On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, the HUC-JIR/New York community joined together for a Sh'loshim ceremony to mourn and remember their teacher, friend and colleague. Personal stories and words of remembrances of Debbie were shared during the ceremony.

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 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.