HUC-JIR at the Limmud Conference in London

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, and Dr. David Ilan, Director, Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology attended the Limmud Conference in England, where they lead and participated in a week of study sessions.

Rabbi Kelman participated in:

  • A Festival of Firsts! Celebrating 40 years of Rabbinic Leadership with Four First Women. Naamah Kelman, the first woman rabbi in Israel; Jackie Tabick, the first woman rabbi in Britain; and Laura Janner-Klausner , the first woman Movement rabbi (Movement for Reform Judaism) will be in discussion led by Julia Neuberger, senior rabbi of West London Synagogue and member  of the House of Lords, about breaking through the glass ceiling - the joys and the grazes along the way.
  • Is Interfaith Dialogue Still Possible? 50 years after Vatican II where have we moved toward dialogue and where have we diverged. Who are we talking to and what have been the obstacles along the way
  • The Spiritual Questionnaire: an Assessment tool for anyone involved in Spiritual Care. Developed by our Blaustein Center for Pastoral Care, clergy, therapists, spiritual caretakers can use this tool for exploring what is sacred and what is meaningful to their clients and congregants.
  • Jerusalem-Always the trend setter: Come discover how Jerusalem keeps renewing itself. Despite the image Jerusalem is buzzing with the latest religious, cultural, and educational innovations. Civil Society and bold institutions have reversed some disturbing trends here.

Dr. Ilan participated in:

  • What’s New in the Archaeology of Israel: A Subjective Selection of the Most Significant Finds of the Last Ten Years and Why They Are Important: A number of significant new archaeological finds have been made in recent years in Israel.  Some of these were chance finds, some the products of years of research and some have generated significant controversy.  We will start with prehistory and work our way up to the Roman-Byzantine period.
  • Temples, Treasures and the Dominion of Death: Spiritual Life and Ritual Practice in Chalcolithic Culture of Canaan circa 4000 BCE: The Chalcolithic period was a time the followed the beginnings of agriculture but preceded the advent of walled cities.  It represents the first time metal (copper) was used systematically and trade with Egypt became significant.  It is also a culture of rich iconography and a complex system of beliefs about the nature of life and death.
  • How Ancient Israel Began: A New Archaeological Perspective: Over the last hundred years ago or so a number of models have been proposed to explain the origins of ancient Israel.  All these have been informed to some degree by the biblical text and all have considered the role of New Kingdom Egypt and the collapse of empires throughout the Near East circa 1200-1100 BCE.  Based on our work at Tel Dan, I will present a radical new proposal: that Egypt itself instigated "Israelite" settlement.
  • ''Thou Shalt Make No Graven Image'': An Archaeological Speculation on the Origins of the Second Commandment: Why were graven images of God prohibited in Exodus 20:4? Why do such images disappear from the archaeological record in the early Iron Age circa 1200 BCE, after being so popular in the preceding Bronze Age?  I think I have an idea, but you might not like it…


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