HUC-JIR Alumni Study Retreat in Cincinnati

Date: Sunday, January 7, 2024 - Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Location: HUC-JIR Cincinnati Campus
HUC-JIR building on campus in Cincinnati

Join us on the historic Cincinnati campus for our inaugural Alumni Study Retreat. Don’t miss this in-depth study opportunity with HUC-JIR's renowned faculty and the chance to connect with fellow alumni and current students.

Click here for descriptions of each session.

Shiurim led by Cincinnati professors David Aaron, Jason Kalman, Haim Rechnitzer, Rick Sarason, and Christine Thomas, who will share their most recent research on a range of engaging topics:

  • Study Avot from a new perspective with Rabbi David Aaron, Ph.D.
    • What if nothing means what it seems to mean? Coming to terms with Avot’s transactional form of Judaism
    • Should we really be equally focused on “easy commandments” and challenging ones? How Avot undermines core principles of moral action…and what to do about it
  • Delve into a range of interesting classical Hebrew texts with Dr. Jason Kalman
    • “If I started selling funeral shrouds, people would stop dying”: Poverty and Wealth in the Writings of Abraham ibn Ezra
    • She Just Can’t Handle Good News: Sarah and the Binding of Isaac
  • Grapple with theodicy and discover liturgical texts from the Cairo Genizah with Rabbi Rick Sarason, Ph.D.
    • “When Bad Things Happen to Chosen People: The Rabbis on the Problem of Suffering”
    • “Liturgical Variety and Creativity in the Cairo Genizah: Implications for Contemporary Reform Liturgies?”
  • Explore modern Hebrew poetry and piyyutim with Rabbi Haim Rechnitzer, Ph.D.
    • Poetry as Theology – Modern Hebrew “secular” poets as prophets of a new religiosity
    • Singing Piyyut – Between Ecstatic Mysticism and New Pedagogy for Jewish Education
  • Learn more about royal women in the Bible and ancient Near East with Dr. Christine Thomas
    • “To the Queen, My Mother; Message from the King, Your Son”: Royal Mothers and Sons in Late Bronze Age Syria and the Biblical David Cycle
    • Undoing Daughters: Michal, Wife of David, Daughter of Saul, in Light of the Demise of The Daughter of a Hittite Princess

The program will include a public lecture by Zelikow School (Zschool) Director Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Ph.D. and study sessions with HUC-JIR Vice President of Academic Resources Joshua Holo, Ph.D. and Provost Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D.

We’ll also have alumni-led electives, reflection groups, optional tours of the American Jewish Archives, Klau Library, and Skirball Museum.

Program Fee: $360 (meals provided)
Information on hotel rooms and special rates will be provided separately. Participants will be responsible for booking their own travel and accommodations. A detailed agenda will be provided in November. For travel purposes, note that the program will begin with an optional dinner on the evening of Sunday, January 7, and end on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 10.

Questions: Contact