We cannot escape context and conditions. At the
same time, we must not grant them sovereignty over
us and contend that the future will inexorably unfold.
Rather, the deeds we perform will guide and direct the
world that will come to be. The conviction that human
beings possess freedom and responsibility has animated
the educational endeavors that have marked Hebrew
Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion since the
days of Rabbi Wise, and they continue to serve as
the foundation upon which our school rests today.
In the pages that follow you will be introduced to many
of our students, faculty, and staff as we celebrate their
creativity and deeds during this past year. They know
that they have the freedom to shape the world, and
they recognize that their deeds will help to shape the
contours of our community in our day. They strive
in so many original and innovative ways to create a
meaningful Judaism for a Jewish people who are rapidly
evolving, yet still seek the stability and compassion
that the wisdom of our
Tradition) can and
As you now read of some of the myriad accomplish-
ments and activities of the persons who learn and
teach at our College-Institute, you will see that they
are individuals possessed and informed by a knowledge,
passion, and imagination that directs them to chart the
course and direction of Jewish spiritual and communal
life for our own time as well as for future generations.
I would express my deepest gratitude to all of you
who have given so generously in support of HUC-JIR
and our educational-religious mission. You sustain
our institution and have allowed our school and its
programs to flourish for the benefit of humankind
and our people. For this, I remain most appreciative
and grateful. Thank you, and enjoy what follows.
You have made it possible!
Rabbi David Ellenson, N ’77, Ph.D.