Naomi Levine Receives Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), awarded Naomi Levine with the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at HUC-JIR’s Graduation Ceremonies at Congregation Emanu-El in the City of New York.

Rabbi Ellenson stated, “Naomi Levine's distinguished career has shaped a new paradigm for civic outreach and nationwide standards for uniting a private university with the public domain.  She holds a unique place among university colleagues for her expertise in donor relations and her dynamic leadership in campus life."

Naomi Levine serves as the Chair and Executive Director of the George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising; Special Advisor to the President of New York University; and Chair of the Boards of the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life and the Taub Center for Israel Studies.

For 22 years, Levine was Senior Vice President for External Affairs at New York University. In this capacity, she was responsible for development and fundraising; press and public relations; alumni relations; and all special events relating to and involving alumni, trustees and donors.

Previously, Levine was the National Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, a national organization concerned with the political, social and economic needs of Jews in the United States and the security of people in Israel and the Diaspora. She was the first woman to hold this position. For many years she was Assistant Professor in Race Relations at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Levine is a lawyer, a graduate of Columbia Law School (1948), where she was an editor of its Law Review. She is expert in constitutional law as it relates to civil rights, civil liberties, church-state separation, discrimination and the rights of minorities.

Prior to her work with American Jewish Congress, Levine practiced law in New York City. She received her undergraduate education at Hunter College (1944) and is the author of several books and articles on intergroup relations. She recently published a scholarly biography of Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State to India 1917-1918, who played an important role in the history of England before and during World War I.

Click here to view the National Graduation and Ordination press release.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation'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


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