Rabbi William Cutter Receives Honorary Degree at HUC-JIR Graduation

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rabbi William Cutter, Ph.D., Founding Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health; Steinberg Professor Emeritus of Human Relations; and Professor Emeritus of Modern Hebrew Literature and Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, received the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at HUC-JIR’s Graduation Ceremony in Los Angeles. The convocation took place on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the College-Institute’s Jack H. Skirball Campus, 3077 University Avenue.

Rabbi Cutter also gave the address at Ordination on Sunday, May 13, 2012. That ceremony took place at 10 a.m. at Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Boulevard. Click here to read his address.

Since 1965, Rabbi Cutter has inspired generations of students and has done more than enrich HUC-JIR in the classroom. His creativity has molded the institution by launching three on-going programs: the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, the MUSE Program of the Skirball Museum, and the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health.

Furthermore, Rabbi Cutter was the Founding Director of the Jerome H. Louchheim School of Judaic Studies, a unique partnership with the University of Southern California. More than 600 USC undergraduates annually take Jewish studies courses with HUC-JIR faculty through the School.

As a scholar, Rabbi Cutter has given the academic world an appreciation and deeper understanding of literary theory, Modern Hebrew Literature, educational programming, and pastoral care. He has written nearly 200 articles on such topics and is the editor of Midrash & Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition and Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health. Rabbi Cutter also is one of the editors of Mishkan T’filah: A Reform Siddur.

Other organizations have benefitted from Rabbi Cutter’s service as well. He has served on the Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and helped establish the Academic Coalition for Jewish Bioethics. He served as academic chair for the Association of Reform Zionists (ARZA).

Rabbi Cutter received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. from UCLA. He was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1965.


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