Israel studies and the
Israel experience lie
at the core of educating
the future leaders of the
Rabbi David Ellenson, N ’77,
There is no better way to understand the narrative
of the Jewish people and to explore the diversity of
Jewish peoplehood than through a direct and profound
encounter with the land, history, and people of Israel,”
says Rabbi Ellenson.
UC-JIR’s Year-In-Israel Program is required of all first year
rabbinical, cantorial, and education students. Israel Semi-
nars and intensives in Israel are required for students in
the School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and for stu-
dents in HUC-JIR’s new Executive M.A. Program in Jewish
Education. Israel archaeological studies are offered to Ph.D.
students focusing on Bible and Ancient Near East Studies.
These initiatives are now strengthened by a grant from
UJA-Federation of New York, which supports a new joint
program for students in HUC-JIR’s and the Jewish Theo-
logical Seminary’s (JTS) Israel programs. Its purpose is to
deepen students’ Israel engagement while also bringing
these future leaders of the Reform and Conservative
Movements closer together.
For the first time in the history of HUC-JIR, a sustained
program of joint encounters between HUC-JIR and JTS
Udi Tzemach (second from right) HUC-JIR/
Jerusalem’s new Israel Engagement Program
Coordinator, leads students on a walking tour of
Jerusalem sites found in Yehuda Amichai’s poetry.
Students (from left) Jeremy Gimbel, Stacy Petersohn,
and Arielle Branitsky celebrate Simchat Torah with
the members of Kehillat Birkat Shalom, a Progressive
Judaism congregation at Kibbutz Gezer.