Developing a Sacred, Respectful Community at HUC-JIR

HUC-JIR is in the process of implementing a holistic plan of strategic and operational change to strengthen and support a sacred, respectful community of academic inquiry and spiritual exploration. Our goal is to create a stronger, more equitable future with a commitment to ensure HUC-JIR is a place of which we can all be proud.


Fostering Respect: Addressing Past Issues, Shaping Our Future

This important work to strengthen our sacred and respectful community follows an independent investigation commissioned by HUC-JIR that found credible allegations of discrimination, harassment, and other forms of misconduct that had occurred over decades within our institution.

Our work to shape a culture that is consistent with our highest Jewish values and educational mission is closely connected to our ongoing strategic planning and the report completed by the Presidential Task Force of Safe and Respectful Environments. Please read this progress report for an overview of our efforts.

Person receiving their diploma

Reissuing of Diplomas and Ordination Documents as part of HUC-JIR's Teshuvah Process

HUC-JIR is committed to providing replacement graduation and ordination documents to alumni as part of our ongoing efforts to take responsibility for past harms and create opportunities for healing within our community.

Reaffirmation of Ordination

In response to alumni in our community who have requested the opportunity to reaffirm their ordination from HUC-JIR as part of our teshuvah process, we are creating Reaffirmation of Ordination ceremonies for rabbinical or cantorial alumni who are interested in taking part in this ritual of repair and healing.

We have created four opportunities from March to June 2024 that align with pre-existing events. We are also working on a ceremony in Israel at a date to be determined in summer or fall 2024 and are working with the ACC and ARJE to explore dates that might work during their future conventions. The ceremonies will be official acts of recognition by the College-Institute. Rabbinical or cantorial alumni who would like to participate in these rituals of repair and healing may choose who offers them words of blessing: either Rabbi Andrea Weiss, in her role at the College-Institute, or a cantor or rabbi of one’s own choosing.

The first four ceremonies will take place on:

  • March 10, 2024 at 1:30 pm, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia (Before the CCAR Convention. Convention registration is NOT required)
  • May 5, 2024 at 3:00 pm, HUC-JIR, New York
  • May 12, 2024 at 2:30 pm, Stephen Wise Temple, Los Angeles
  • June 1, 2024 at 3:00 pm, HUC-JIR, Cincinnati

These ceremonies will be smaller and more private than a typical ordination and will be open to participants and their guests only. We welcome participants to invite their closest loved ones to join them. To learn more about these ceremonies and express interest in receiving reaffirmation of ordination at one of them, please complete this form.

A foundational component of creating the kind of culture to which we aspire is making clear to our community the expectations we have for everyone and the policies and practices that guide our related behaviors. Through the ongoing action plan, we will create britot which will communicate in detail our collective expectations.

Our current policies can be found on the policies webpage.

Please note specifically our Code of Ethics, information about Title IX (regarding sexual misconduct), and our non-discrimination policy.

These policies are located in the National Student Academic, Employee, and Faculty Handbooks, in addition to our website.

To ensure a sacred and respectful environment we must do more than simply set expectations. We also need to establish a process of accountability to one another. We recognize that too often in the past unacceptable behaviors were allowed to continue due to fear of retaliation, explicit or implicit.  Therefore, our behaviors and commitments to each other must be backed up by accountability, which requires that all feel free to report any instance of behavior that violates our community standards of practice.

Within each policy, we list the clear steps an individual can take to file a formal complaint of a violation of one of these policies and the process through which HUC-JIR will investigate and adjudicate reports brought forward.

Beyond these general guidelines, it is important that every individual in our community knows there are multiple pathways to report specific forms of misconduct – which can be done confidentially and anonymously, if one chooses.


You may contact the Student Support Help Desk to make a report or formal complaint.  If you would like to make an anonymous report, you may use the EthicsPoint system. Additionally, you can direct any questions to Rabbi Andrew Goodman, Director of Student Support, at


To make a report or complaint, please contact Nicole Jones, Global Director of Human Resources, at If you would like to make an anonymous report, you may use the EthicsPoint system.

Title IX:

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex and gender in educational institutions, programs, and activities. To report violations of Title IX, contact us by email at or by phone at 844-317-HELP (4357). Callers may choose to remain anonymous.

With Title IX reports, we will maintain privacy to the greatest extent possible, and information disclosed will be relayed only as necessary to investigate and/or seek a resolution and to notify the Title IX Coordinator, who is responsible for tracking patterns and spotting systemic issues.

HUC-JIR’s Teshuvah Working Group, convened under the leadership of co-chairs Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, Ed.D., and Rachel Margolis, RJE, has developed a set of recommendations designed to bring healing to those impacted by historic misconduct and strengthen institutional accountability. President Rehfeld accepted the recommendations in March 2023, and implementation plans are currently in formation.

Convened in January 2020, the Presidential Task Force on Safe and Respectful Environments was charged with ensuring that HUC maintains and strengthens safe and respectful environments for all who work, study, and connect with our institution, both on our campuses and in the field.

Composed of faculty, students, and alumni representing the full diversity of our community, the Task Force issued a report in February 2021 outlining key recommendations to make HUC a more respectful, inclusive, and responsive institution.

The Task Force was the first step in HUC-JIR’s ongoing efforts to ensure a sacred, respectful environment for our entire community. Key deliverables that came out of the task force include: appointing a Director of Student Support, creating online learning programs to deepen our community’s understanding of race, identity, and our roles in civil society, and renaming the Board of Overseers as the Board of Advisors to eliminate the use of a term with racist associations.

Task Force Members

HUC’s Presidential Taskforce on Safe and Respectful Environments has concluded its work.

Task Force Members
Rabbi Rachel R. Adler, Ph.D.
Max Antman
Rabbi Talia Avnon-Beveniste
Ze’evi Berman
Gordon Dale, Ph.D.
Rabbi Stanley Davids, D.D.
Hannah Elkin, MAJE
Richard Feldman, Ph.D
Libby Fisher
Lisa B. Frankel, RJE, MARE
Rabbi Andrew Goodman
Spencer Hirsch, MSOL
Becky Jaye
Angele Osborne
Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer, Ph.D.
Hattie Richardson-Pearson (z"l)
Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg, Ph.D.
Co-Chair; Faculty
Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot