EVIL: A Matter of Intent - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Skip to main content

You are here

EVIL: A Matter of Intent

Main Content

EVIL: A Matter of Intent

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York

 

Published in conjunction with the exhibition
EVIL: A Matter of Intent
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York
September 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, New York Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director
Laura Kruger, Curator
Phyllis Freedman, Senior Curatorial Assistant
Nancy Mantell, Registrar
Susan Rosenstein, Archivist
Rose Starr, Research Director
Samantha Panken, Sonya Levine, Curatorial Interns
Cara Levine, Marissa Levine, Museum Interns
huc.edu/museums/ny

Exhibition Design/Installation: Brian Zeeger
Catalogue Design: Tabak Design

This exhibition is presented by the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Center for Jewish Learning and Culture at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, with the generous support of George, z’’l, and Mildred Weissman.

ISBN: 1-884300-52-9

2015 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher.

Front Cover:
Barbara Green, Cain, 2015; Oil on board, 18" x 24"

Back Cover:
David Newman, The Destruction of Knowledge (installation of eight works), 2013-2014; Oil on paper and wood panel, 16" x 20" each

 

Art as a Call to Action

Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Living in our post-Holocaust world, the proliferation of museums, publications, films, and educational programs documenting the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people has contributed greatly to an awareness of absolute evil. That consciousness has been reinforced by what we have learned about the targeting of others for mass expulsion and murder – the Trail of Tears, the Armenian genocide, Cambodia, Darfur, Rwanda, and Srebrenica. And if we needed a current reminder, the daily news reporting on terrorist attacks, the slaughter of Arab Christians and Yazidis fleeing ISIS in the Middle East, and tragic shootings in schools and movie theaters in the U.S. itself makes clear that the scourge of evil is still thriving today. Despite our hopes that the world would have changed after the Shoah, we find that inhumanity – racism, xenophobia, religious fanaticism, homophobia, sexual violence, senseless brutality, and indifference to innocent suffering – is flourishing.

The human capacity for evil, from biblical antiquity to the present day, is constant. In their essays for this catalogue, Rabbi Aaron Panken, Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, and curator Laura Kruger explore how evil has been a subject for human reckoning throughout the millennia. What are the roots of evil within a human being? Where is God in the face of inhumanity? What are the historical precedents of evil that endure or inspire later manifestations of such inhumanity? How are indifference and apathy the enablers of the perpetrators?

Artists grapple with these questions through the visual arts. Reflecting diverse backgrounds, nationalities, faiths, and mediums, the artists in this exhibition engage us in their search for understanding. Their art is a forum for remembering, expressing outrage, and exerting a call to action; their work serves as a powerful instrument to effect positive change in the world. As they depict acts of evil intent or their consequences, these artists challenge us to reflect upon our responsibility today. How should we aid the victims, combat the perpetrators, and rouse both the enablers and the apathetic?

In presenting this exhibition, our HUC-JIR Museum seeks to educate about the ultimate consequences of intolerance, injustice, and indifference. Our exhibition serves as an appeal for people of good will to work together to overcome the forces of evil and begin to help heal our broken world.

 

EVIL: A Matter of Intent

Laura Kruger, Curator, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
Rose Starr, Research Director, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Evil is not a cosmic accident. It does not just happen. Natural disasters happen. Disease, drought, accidents, epidemics happen. Evil is the conscious act of an individual or group committing inhumanity upon another individual or group in an effort to achieve a personal goal. Evil is not an idea or a concept, it is deliberate action or inaction. Evil is defined as a selfish act or behavior with the intent to benefit one’s self or one’s interests irrespective of harm to others and without responsibility and remorse.

The Hebrew Bible and rabbinic tradition view human beings as born with an inclination to evil (yetser ha-ra) spurred by sexual impulses and the desire to acquire material goods. In fact, these inclinations are necessary to procreate and build stable societies. If unrestrained, these natural impulses can become excessive and potentially evil. The inclination to good acts (yetzer hatov) occurs with the tension between physical and intellectual development, to reason and choose. It is an ongoing struggle in which Jews cannot and should not be passive. Jews perceive the active struggle against evil as a primary task of humanity.

The artists included in this exhibition address with clarity and passion the many faces of inhumanity. History is replete with genocides: the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia, the Trail of Tears, to name atrocities of the past two centuries. Pogroms, murder, rape, sex slavery, domestic abuse, trafficking in drugs, enslavement, lynchings, terrorist acts, destruction of knowledge and culture, obliteration of cultural heritage, kidnapping, child abuse, and deliberate poisoning of environment are rampant and unceasing. Evil is fueled by indifference, intimidation, gossip, lying, bullying, and denigration. It is achieved through drastic physical action, inflicting pain, injury, starvation, denial of education, violence, and murder. Is overcoming evil an active or passive process? Are we “delivered from evil” by a higher power? Must individuals in any society engage in a direct, adversarial struggle to quell wrong and establish right?

Evil is the violation of our common humanity. Human morality requires direct action against evil. Can we develop a society able to embrace selfless acts and behavior to benefit others irrespective of harm to one’s person or interests? The Peace Corps, Médecins sans Frontières, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, amongst many others, strive to defeat evil.

The artists in this exhibition, using an international visual language, challenge the concept of heroes and villains. Who is the hero? Who is the tyrant? Are the seeds of evil latent in a hero? Many of us have a vision of how to proceed. Less rhetoric. More action. It is up to each of us to wage war on evil.

 

Evil in Rabbinical and Medieval Judaism

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Rabbinic literature depicts evil as a force both internal and external to human beings. The internal urge to evil is termed yetser ha-ra'(the evil inclination), arising either from Hellenistic discourse on self-control or ancient demonology. External sources of evil include ha- Satan (Satan, a prosecutor for all those who sin), temptation, the angel of death (bBB 16a) and the evil eye (mAv 2:11, bSan 93a). God, despite definitively declaring the world “good” upon its creation (Gen 1-2), is recognized as creator of all these sources, and well aware of their effect on humanity (bBer 61a, bBB 16a, ARN 16). One interpretation traces the origin of the inclinations – both good and evil – to the doubled yod in vayyiṣer (“and God created”) in Gen 2:7 (bBer 61a).

The evil inclination forms early, either in utero or shortly thereafter, well before the development of the good inclination (bSan 91b, ARN 16, BerR 54:1). It grows stronger and more bitter during the course of an individual’s life (bSuk 52a//BerR 22:6, bShab 105b//bNed 13b, yShab 14:3, 45c). One grows mighty and achieves happiness through subduing it (mAv 4:1, bAZ 19a). Anguish, on the other hand, comes to those who do not differentiate between good and evil (bSan 103a). Evil does not remain completely powerful forever, for with the death of the wicked, a modicum of evil departs the world (bSan 113b).

Numerous laudable activities assist in confronting evil, including repentance and good deeds (bNed 32b, bAZ 5b); Torah study, saying the shema, and remembering the day of one’s death (bSuk 52b, bBer 5a, bBB 16a, bAZ 5b, ARN 16, VayRab 35:5); the direct adjuration of the evil impulse (SifDeut 33); the wearing of ṣiṣit (ritual fringes) (bMen 44a), and fasting or prayer (bKid 81b). Finding righteous companions also helps to distance a person from committing evil (tAZ 1:17, bSuk 56b, TanVa-yera 9), suggesting a communal element behind individual determinations of right and wrong.

Two standard categories of temptation to do evil are defined within the Amoraic corpus: lewdness and idolatry. Legendary material depicts numerous rabbis resisting the advances of alluring Roman women through their own steadfast resolve (bKid 40a and 81a, ARN 16), or with various forms of external and even divine assistance (bKid 40a and 81b, bAZ 17a-b, TanBḤukkat 1). In one particularly fascinating case, a high-profile Roman prostitute is redeemed when a man refuses intercourse with her, provoking her to learn Torah, convert to Judaism, and marry him (bMen 44a). If one is sorely tempted and must give in to lewd behavior, it is best to do so anonymously and far from one’s home (bḤag 16a). Those who have succumbed to lewdness are regularly punished (bKid 40a and 81b, BerRab 41:7). That the rabbis should even find themselves tested thus is explained by the aphorism: “The greater the man, the greater his impulse to evil” (bSuk 52a). In contrast, the temptation of idolatry, while seen as less inviting in rabbinic texts, apparently lingered in historical memory, with declarations that the impulse to idolatry was eventually “rooted out” (ShirRab 7:8, par. 1) or “slain” (bYoma 69b).

Paradoxically, evil was considered a necessity that resulted in some positive outcomes in rabbinic texts. After the impulse to idolatry was slain, one aggadah explains how imprisoning the impulse to lewdness led to a world without procreation, depriving humanity of its benefits – an unacceptable situation (bYoma 69b). Other texts posit that without the evil impulse, no one would “build a house, take a wife, beget children, or engage in commerce,” for all such activities come from “a man’s rivalry with his neighbor” (KohRab 3:11, par. 3, interpreting Eccl 4:4). One opinion goes so far as to say that “rivalry, lust, and mercy sustain the world” (ARNB 4), while another expresses gratitude to forbears who sinned, for had they not been prone to sin, “we would not have come into the world” (bAZ 5a).

Following the optimism of biblical precedent (Gen 4), the rabbinic interpretive tradition affirms that humanity has the potential to overcome evil. One who forswears evil even at the end of life is accepted as fully righteous, and all prior misdeeds are not to be mentioned again (bKid 40b). Those who successfully fight their evil inclinations will eventually enjoy rest and peace (BerRab 9:5). Several texts suggest that in the world to come, the evil impulse will no longer hold sway over humanity (bSuk 52a, BerRab 48:11 and 89:1, BemRab 15:16).

In the Geonic and Medieval periods, Muslim and other philosophical understandings became integrated into Jewish conceptions of evil. Responding to Isa 45:7, Se’adyah Ga’on (882-942) wrote in his Book of Beliefs and Opinions that God did not create evil, but brought into being those capable of becoming sources of peace or evil through their human choice. If a person chooses to eat according to his/her needs, that behavior redounds to his/her wellbeing. If, on the other hand, s/he consumes an inappropriately large amount, that gives rise to self-directed evil (Treatise 1, ch. 3). Evil thus meant misdirected human use of free will. In Se’adyah’s system, suffering represented either a deserved punitive response to the human commission of evil, or a test that would also engender a later reward.

In contrast, Maimonides (1135-1204) constructed evil not as the result of inappropriate human choice, but through the via negativa, as the simple absence of good. This absolved the Eternal from responsibility as an agent of creating evil. Maimonides delineates three species of evil that are present in the world: 1) the evil that results from the carnality of humanity, i.e., that while humans are made of matter in the most perfect possible way, they are nonetheless vulnerable as any such embodied creatures must be; 2) the evils that persons inflict on one another; and 3) the evils individuals inflict upon themselves (Guide for the Perplexed 3:10-12). His statements in the Mishneh Torah follow more closely those of Se’adyah Ga’on, placing ultimate responsibility for evil on the individual’s improper use of free will (Hilkhot Teshuvah 5).

Medieval Jewish mysticism understood evil in a variety of different modes. Early Kabbalists believed that evil was the result of emanations of supernal justice into the world, an instrument created in response to human sins that did not exist as an entirely independent entity. As human beings would sin, the miseries of judgment would emanate downward into the world, causing suffering to descend upon those who transgressed. The Zohar (13th century), on the other hand, presented evil (the “other side,” or “sitra aḥra”) as an array of powerful forces whose destructive acts have significant influence on both the upper and lower worlds. Such a dualistic construction deviated conspicuously from prior Jewish thought, so the teachings of the Zohar frequently dilute this problematic stance by portraying these evil forces as subservient to God. This was an attempt to remain consonant with the preponderance of Jewish tradition and avoid problems of dualism. Such ideological tempering left the Zohar with complex and contradictory elements that reflect significant dualism presented side-by-side with restrictions on that dualism.

Evil originates, according to the Zohar, from the leftover husks (qelippot) of prior worlds that were created, rejected, and destroyed before the creation of the present world. Evil may also be seen as refuse that has come away from the divine being. Images of male and female members of the sitra aḥra, Sammael and Lilith, and beguiling serpents play upon biblical themes from Genesis 2 in expressing the seductive nature of evil. In its most frightening form, evil appears in the form of animals or giant sea monsters based on Ezekiel 29:3.

Isaac Luria (16th century Safed) offered one other mystical interpretation of evil that has attracted much attention even in contemporary settings. In Luria’s formulation, the world is created when God (known as the ein sof – “the one without end”) contracts, sacrificing omnipresence in order to make space for creation (ṣimṣum). God then sends a stream of divine light into the space of creation, creating primordial Adam. Adam radiates divine light that is more than the world can contain in its vessels, which in turn leads to a shattering of these vessels (shevirah), whereupon remnants of holy light and shells of divine judgment containers (which signify evil) spread throughout creation. The task of humanity is thereafter known as tikkun – the “repair” of the world, gathering up the holy sparks of divine light and repairing the shattered vessels. Evil actions delay or upend this process, but doing miṣvot (commandments) speeds the process of restoration and brings the messianic age closer with each act. In this manner, Lurianic kabbalah harnesses the external forces of evil in the world and offers adherents the ability to influence the grandest levels of the universe through their simple daily actions.

 

Abnormal Evil

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, Senior Rabbi, Park Avenue Synagogue, New York City

Does absolute evil exist? As Jews, not only do we believe that such evil can exist in this world, but we have a word for it, and that word is Amalek. Our Torah reading states: “Remember what Amalek did to you as you came forth out of Egypt; how he met you on the way, and cut down all the stragglers at your rear, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not God.” Therefore, the text continues, “you shall blot the remembrance of Amalek from under the heaven; you shall not forget.” (Deuteronomy 25:17-19)

Amalek’s genealogy traces back to his grandfather Esau. Unlike other clans with whom the Israelites battled over territories or otherwise, the Amalekites engaged in a war of killing non-combatants. In his study on the topic, Avi Sagi explains that Amalek “transgressed every norm of a just war.” Not only did they have no cause for going to war, but they waged the war against the most fragile, the ones in the rear, behind the army. (Harvard Theological Review 87:3, 1994) At the heart of their sin, explains Nechama Leibowitz, is that “they feared not God,” a condemnatory descriptor assigned to no other people but Amalek. (Studies in Devarim, p. 253) As Jews, our love for humanity is tied directly to our relationship to God. All human beings – old/young, Jew/ gentile, rich/poor, gay/straight, tall/short, even our foes – are deserving of respect because we are all, equally, created in the image of God. Conversely, as in the case of Amalek, to not fear God signals the inability to acknowledge the divine and common spark embedded in all of humanity. Such people, to adopt Michael Wyschogrod’s language, are abnormally evil, and it is our obligation, the 614th commandment to be precise, to eradicate that evil from our midst.

Ever since, in every generation, our people have been eyes wide open to the emergence of Amalek. In the biblical and rabbinic tradition, the pedigrees of those who have persecuted Israel – Agag, Haman, Rome, and others – all trace back to Amalek. But even where there is no direct lineage, as Jews we are forewarned of the ever-present possibility for Amalek-like behavior, what Zev Garber calls amalekut. To live by the sword, to slaughter innocents, this is amalekut. (Jewish Bible Theology, pp. 147-159) Not just literally, but metaphysically, amalekut came to represent any past or current forms of extreme dehumanization. Be it in the name of nationalism, radical religion or any other cause, that is evil: That is amalekut.

Yes, I do believe that we live in an age where once again the seeds of Amalek have taken root. The tragic death and destruction in Gaza does not mitigate the evil intentions of Hamas: a charter unambiguously calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. The indiscriminate firing on civilian populations, tunnels dug for the sole purpose of abducting and murdering Israelis – this is amalekut! And were it to be the case that Israel, or any friend of Israel, demonstrated such an abject disrespect for human life, then war must be waged against the “Amalek” within. I pray for the day when Israel and her enemies turn their swords into plowshares, but until that day, Israel has every right to defend herself against those who would seek her destruction.

As other events on the world stage continue to develop daily – in Iraq, in Syria, creeping into Jordan and right up to borders of the Golan Heights – I am struck again and again that we are living through a period of amalekut: mass murder, the slaughter of innocents, and the grotesque beheadings and public executions. Not every wrong falls in the class of abnormal evil; and we need not look far back in our own country’s history to recall times when the label of evil has proven to be a self-serving abuse of the term. It might not be in our short- or long-term interests, but evil it is and if only half of what we are reading and seeing is true, then there is little doubt that our era is seeing Amalek’s latest incarnation.

As the Israeli author and peacenik Amos Oz recently reminded us, in 1945 the lives of those in Theresienstadt were saved not by peace demonstrators with placards and flowers, but by soldiers and submachine guns. Lest we forget, we are the people of “never again,” even when – especially when – the lives in question are people who are strangers to us and our direct interests.

Tolstoy once wrote: “There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone around him.” (Anna Karenina) It is far too easy to let evil become banal or ordinary, to allow ourselves to be lulled into a world of moral equivalences and willed inertia. As Jews, as human beings, as lovers of humanity, we must protect that humanity, never ever permitting ourselves to grow accustomed to acts of sheer diabolical evil. We must be vigilant, we must be responsive, and most of all, as a religious community it is our responsibility to announce the arrival of abnormal evil when we see it – thus rousing our world from its slumber.

[Excerpted from the sermon “Ki Titzei: Abnormal Evil,” delivered September 6, 2014, published in Stairway to Heaven: Selected Sermons by Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove (Park Avenue Synagogue, 2015).]

 

Andi Arnovitz

Beaten Out of Them, 2012
226 silk belts
7⁄8" x 56" each

Belts have long been a symbol of domestic violence, a form of abuse accompanied by shame and silence on the part of the abused. Arnovitz has created several hundred silk belts which present the fragility and softness of women. They stand in contrast to the cruelty effected by leather belts. The stories of female suffering written upon these belts must not be forgotten.

 

Helene Aylon

I Looked Into the Passages: Curses, The Vengeance, Blotted Out, Sin Offering, An Abomination, We Smote, 2003
Mixed media
21⁄2" x 4" x 6" each

The artist has chosen several verses from the Hebrew Bible that deal with evil and has magnified the operative evil words.

 

Debra Band

Psalm 32, 2006
Ink, gouache, and 24k gold leaf on paper
131⁄2" x 101⁄2"

Working in the tradition of medieval scribes, Band applies her skill to contemporary interpretations of Hebrew Biblical texts.

In ancient times, Jews believed that catastrophe derived from committing an evil deed. Psalm 32 declares that human healing only begins with the confession of sin.

 

Riva Bell

The Missed Train in 1941, 2015
Oil on canvas
11" x 14"

In 1941, Bell, a Holocaust survivor from Tomaszow-Lubelsky, Poland, hid in the woods with her family when the Nazis overran her village, shooting many Jews in the marketplace. She was separated from her family and subsequently reunited with them in Lemberg, Russia. The Russians accused Bell's father of being a spy and the family was shipped to Siberia in a dark, crowded cattle car. At one point during this agonizing journey, young Riva left the train in search of fruit for her starving family. When she returned, the train had left without her. This painting depicts the terror and hopelessness that Bell experienced as she stood alone as a young girl in a hostile and foreign town.

 

Harriete Estel Berman

The 10 Modern Plagues: Blood/Water Pollution, 2015
Recycled tin containers
20" x 20" x 3"

Berman relates the ten plagues to today’s ecological problems. Just as the Nile was polluted by blood, dam as noted in the Passover Haggadah, our rivers and waterways are polluted with refuse and contaminants. Some pollution has been quite intentional, as was the chemical pollution revealed by consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, but most pollution is unintentional – the result of indifference to the reality of harm.

 

Leon Bibel

Shoah Grogger, 1990
Painted wood
72" x 30" x 24"

A grogger (noisemaker) is sounded during the reading of the Megillat Esther on Purim to drown out the name of the evil Haman, who planned to exterminate the Jews of Persia in 356 BCE. Bibel’s monumental grogger, however, depicts the Shoah: the flames of the crematoria of the concentration camps, the cadaverous silhouettes of the faces of the millions who were exterminated, and the frightening noise of the gunshots by which the Einsatzgruppen mobile killing squads murdered Jews throughout Eastern Europe, one by one. The truncated trees symbolize the artist’s ardent hope that the Jewish people, so brutally cut down by the Holocaust, will regenerate and flourish anew.

 

András Böröcz

The Stamping Foot Grogger, 2015
Mahogany and roof screw washers
40" x 16" x 13"

While most noisemakers are hand-held, this reinterpretation of a grogger literally stands on its own. The viewer is encouraged to participate in stamping out the evil name of Haman as well as the names of all other evil-doers by using their feet to create an aural diversion.

 

Beverly Brodsky

...and hurled enormous rocks, 1976
Watercolor and gouache on paper
15" x 20"

These images come from Brodsky’s award- winning book, The Golem, which depicts a legendary superhero created out of clay by Rabbi Judah Loew in 16th-century Prague to save the Jewish community. The Golem’s excessive violence and power eventually spiral out of control, and his actions become evil. The reader thus recognizes that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

Lynda Caspe

Joseph in the Pit, 2012
Bronze relief
19" x 141⁄2"

In this sculpted bronze relief we see Joseph’s anguished hands reaching up from the pit, begging his brothers to set him free. He does not realize that they are in fact planning to return to kill him. Caspe, working in the ancient sculptural form of bronze bas relief, provides a brutal view of murder, in this case, of fratricide.

 

Judy Chicago & Donald Woodman

What Would You Have Done? Study for Wall of Indifference, 1989
32" x 64" framed. Sprayed acrylic, oil, and photography on photolinen;
The Holocaust Project© Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman

Judy Chicago confronts the evil that all have been guilty of...indifference. By 1941-1942, the United States and Great Britain had received numerous reports of the massacre of Jews, yet the allied leaders made little effort to rescue the persecuted. We continue to ignore the plight of beleaguered humans – victims of ethnic cleansing, religious intolerance, sexual mutilation, famine, dislocation, and despair. Indifference may be the most widespread evil of modern times.

 

Dorit Jordan Dotan

Feminine Evil I
Mixed media
29 1⁄2" x 27" each

In Jerusalem in 2015, Dotan came across several Jewish female settlers attacking an older Palestinian woman. To protest the violence, she photographed this modern moment of hatred. With this searing event in mind, Dotan created these prints in which murderous gargoyles and demons burst through the distorted faces of the young attackers, forcefully revealing their inner malice.

 

Rosalyn A. Engelman

Despair, 1996
Oil on canvas
27" x 33"

Engelman’s paintings cast light on the vulnerable and the forgotten. She addresses the human capacity for evil through her empathy for the innocents. Hunger and thirst are the indirect result of greed and a misuse of our natural resources, while millions of refugees who fear the evils of war and terrorism suffer hunger, death, and the desecration of their communities. Engelman’s artistic message charges the viewer to remember the past by taking action in the present.

 

Larry S. Frankel

The Choice You Make Is the One You Own
Photographs printed on aluminium
20" x 24"

Pairing good and evil, Frankel’s photographs grapple with the moral issues intrinsic to his work. He challenges us to consider the actions we take in pursuit of good or evil and to counter the evil in our midst.

 

Tommy Gelb

The Freedom Tower Besamim, 2014
Sterling silver; limited edition #2
13" x 3" x 3"

The tower is a classic form for the spice box used in celebration of Havdalah, the ritual concluding the Sabbath. This unique spice box commemorates the indomitable spirit of Jewish life. Taking the form of the Freedom Tower built upon the ashes and rubble of the Twin Towers, destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, it becomes a memorial in itself.

 

Linda Gissen

Kristallnacht Yahrzeit Lamp, 2001
Kiln slumped and engraved glass, vitreous enamel, bronze and copper
73⁄4" x 10" x 8"

Kristallnacht was the wave of violent anti- Jewish pogroms that took place on November 9 - 10, 1938, throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Two hundred and sixty-seven synagogues were destroyed by fire, 7,500 Jewish businesses were looted and their windows smashed, and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and imprisoned at Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, and other concentration camps.

The bronze figures depicted here are intertwined with glass, barbed wire, and images of smoke to depict the devastation. The candle memorializes the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.

 

Grace Graupe-Pillard

Boy with a Gun: Saturday Night Special, 1992
Pastel, cutout canvas
82" x 51"

Boy with a Gun: Homeless Man, 1987
Pastel, cutout canvas
72" x 42"

Graupe-Pillard's powerful works call attention to the urgent need for gun control laws. In her series, Boy with a Gun (1987-1992), she suggests that a child's game can become adult gun violence. What will it take to thwart the gun industry and stop the killing?

 

Barbara Green

Cain, 2015
Oil on board
24" x 18"

Throughout the millennia, the mark of Cain has come to symbolize evil overcoming good. In this striking painting, Green depicts the struggle of Cain, torn between jealousy and hatred of his brother Abel, and the biblical instruction to care for him.

 

Debbie Teicholz Guedalia

Krakow: Jews Forbidden, 2010
Archival and original photographs
20" x 24"

This triptych of photographs is included in Guedalia’s book, The Earth Has Not Forgotten – A Journey to Poland, a photographic essay about her trip to Poland with her daughter’s high school class. She explains that she became “profoundly aware that only people, not time, can perpetuate, change, or erase the effects of evil.”

 

Karen Gunderson

King Boris III, 1998
Oil on linen
68" x 48"

After Bulgaria’s adhesion to the Axis pact (March 1941), Tsar Boris III maintained a modicum of independence; even after Bulgaria’s entry into World War II on the side of the Axis and its assistance with the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece, he was able to resist declaring war against Russia. During the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler demanded the deportation of Bulgarian Jews, who numbered some 50,000. Within Bulgaria there was grassroots opposition to this demand, and in the spring of 1943, Boris canceled all agreements for the deportation. Earlier, however, he did not halt the deportation of 11,000 Jews from Macedonia and Thrace. Boris died in August 1943, shortly after a stormy interview with Hitler. Whether his death was caused by heart attack or by assassination is uncertain.

 

Carol Hamoy

Good Girls/Bad Girls: Dr. Mazeltuv Barukhova, 2013
Mixed media
11 1⁄2" x 13" x 4"

In 2007, during a bitter custody battle, Dr. Mazeltuv Barukhova hired her cousin to kill her husband. Hamoy, a staunch feminist and advocate for women’s rights, uses the visual irony of delicate lace and embroidery to challenge traditional postures of femininity in this brutal act of murder.

 

Nathan Hilu

Hermann Göring and A Portrait of a Jewish Rabbi by Rembrandt, 2000
Crayon, marker, and collage on board
11" x 18"

In 1945-1946 P.F.C Nathan Hilu was a guard at the Nuremberg Prison during the Nuremberg Trials. While guarding Hermann Göring in his cell, he observed that the Nazi war criminal liked to read books on Rembrandt and art. “Göring I see, you only like the painted Jew – yet you killed the living Jew,” said Hilu.

 

Tamar Hirschl

Exodus II, 2005
Mixed media on vinyl
94" x 33 1⁄2"

This large work, with the map of France as the background, depicts the Nazis’ conquering of both land and people in their insidious march across Europe and North Africa. Hirschl builds on memories of her childhood during the Holocaust to highlight the misery and destruction that accompany imperialistic and genocidal ventures. Her work comments on the evil that continues to divide and destroy human connections.

 

Elizabeth Langer

The Mothers of Beslan, 2004
Lithograph, A/P
11" x 14"

On September 1, 2004, armed Islamic separatist militants took over a school in the town of Beslan in the Republic of North Ossetia. The militants took hundreds of young children as hostages. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces attempted a rescue. The rescue failed and 334 were killed, including 186 children. Three days later, a photograph of the mothers of Beslan grieving for their dead children appeared in the International Herald Tribune.

 

Judy Glickman Lauder

Bunks, Birkenau Concentration Camp, Poland, 1988
Photograph
18" x 24"

“When I first entered Auschwitz and Birkenau, I could almost hear the cry and feel the presence of what had occurred before me, years ago. The buildings, the rooms, the objects, the earth itself, the stones, the trees, the mass graves, and the ashes – all bore witness to the darkest period in our human history.

All that I see and photograph speaks to me of its past, as if each object is bearing witness, a silent witness, to the evil and tragedy that was this period of the Holocaust.”

 

John Lawson

Portrait of the Philosopher Daniel Klein, 2014
Mixed media including survey maps, architectural drawings, wall paper samples, inked paper, magazine cuttings, stamps, and typed text mounted on archival substrate.
40" x 30"

British-born John Lawson, artist/author/poet, has created an insightful portrait of the philosopher/author, Daniel Klein (1939- ). Excerpts from Klein's writings on the nature of good and evil are incorporated into the portrait.

 

Ruben Malayan

The Dark Chain of Human History, 2010
Computer-generated copy of a poster
16" x 20"

Malayan, an artist of both Armenian and Jewish descent, depicts five examples of genocide in the 20th century in his poster. Despite the declarations of “never again” in the aftermath of mass killings, he points to the never-ending scourge of racism that links the succession of crimes against humanity and poses the question: where does history repeat itself?

 

Margalit Mannor

Human Trafficking, 2013
Manipulated photograph
24" x 24"

Israeli-born Mannor has chosen to juxtapose two recognizable images, George Washington on U.S. currency and a Barbie doll bride, suggesting that the lust for money causes malice, wickedness, evil, and human abuse. The human trafficking of young girls, who should be playing with dolls, forces them into brothels and into the slavery of unwanted marriages.

 

Paul Margolis

Burning Towers, 9/11/01, 2001
Photograph
14" x 11"

Margolis says that he photographed “the tip of the TV antenna on the north tower briefly emerging from the smoke. The first tower collapsed about 10 minutes after I took this picture.” He was witness to the explosion of burning debris and human victims falling over surrounding buildings and streets below.

 

Richard McBee

Absalom’s Sin, 2013
Oil on canvas
50" x 40"

David’s son Absalom rebelled against his father and invaded Jerusalem, driving David from the city and forcing him to abandon his concubines. Absalom’s advisor Ahithophel told him to secure his power by raping all of David’s concubines. Absalom did so on the roof of the palace, “in front of all Israel.” (2 Samuel 16:20) The portraits of the abused women are framed by the main narrative players (upper left, Absalom; upper right, David; lower left, Ahithophel; lower right, Bathsheba).

 

Meadow

Thief of Dreams, The Written Word Series, 2005
Three-paneled drawing of collaged archival prints, graphite and colored pencil
50" x 116"

Meadow’s work is fueled by her horror of the practice of female genital mutilation. The collage elements in the work comment upon the subjugation that many women experience, as well as self-censorship to protect against further acts of aggression. The ironic quote, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” is the summation.

 

Leonard Meiselman

Hiroshima, A Child’s Shirt, 2005
Oil on canvas
60" x 41"

A child’s shirt, intact but browned from the flames that engulfed Hiroshima when the atom bomb dropped, challenges us to reflect on the painful reminders resulting from war and its related necessary evils. Inspired by the Peace Museum in Japan’s display of such frayed, burned children’s shirts, this has become a life subject for Meiselman.

 

Linda Motzkin

Amalek 1: Tree of the Field, 2012
Ink on deerskin parchment
24" x 18"

In Deuteronomy 20:19, the rhetorical question is asked: “Is a tree of the field human to flee before you...?” The biblical context is about the laws of warfare: in particular, the prohibition against cutting down fruit trees when besieging a city. Trees, unlike human beings, cannot run away in time of war. The human figure in this piece is attempting to flee entanglement in the tree of the Amalekites, who engaged in a war of killing non- combatants and transgressed every norm of decency.

 

David Newman

The Destruction of Knowledge (detail), 2013-2014
Oil on paper and wood panel
One of eight works: 16" x 20" each

A book is a fundamental structure, an organizing schema, an open and receptive form. These books – even as shadows or residue – affirm a structure amidst chaos and destruction. As “People of the Book,” we are appalled to see the destruction of books on our walls.

 

Jacqueline Nicholls

Who is Righteous?, 2015
Giclee print
20" x 16"

This drawing is from an on-going series in which the artist is drawing the Talmud, a page a day following the daf yomi cycle. On this page, Shabbat 55, the Talmud discusses a strange story: that the righteous will be branded with a tav in ink on their foreheads, and the wicked will have the same letter, but in blood.

 

Hedy Pagremanski

The Day Was Bitterly Cold, 2012
Pencil drawing
71⁄2" x 93⁄4"

Indifference to the plight of the homeless and destitute is an alarming form of evil. The artist does not look away but sketches her subjects with compassion, humanity and dignity.

 

Mark Podwal

Providence, 2013
From the portfolio All this has come upon us... Archival pigment print
30" x 22"

The wicked will see it and be angry; he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the hope of the wicked will amount to nothing. (Psalm 112:10)

Providence is God’s governance of the world in accordance with justice. Yet, how can we explain the prosperity of the wicked and the suffering of the just? An explanation may be found in the doctrine of reward and punishment in an afterlife, in which it is said the good will be well-rewarded and the wicked severely punished.

 

Archie Rand

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (After Will Eisner), 2015
Acrylic on vinyl leatherette
48" x 68"

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an anti- Semitic hoax purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. Adolf Hitler was a major proponent of this publication, which was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazis came to power in 1933. Despite having been exposed as fraudulent by The Times of London in 1921, it is still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet.

 

Faith Ringgold

Here Comes Moses, 2015
Lithograph, 1/1
22" x 30"
Courtesy of the New York Print Club

“Aunt Emmy said he’d find us one day. That boy came North to Freedom in a storm. He lost his mother and father on the way. ‘They’ll never find me in this storm, but we will all find Freedom. God willing. We were born to be free. I will never give up,’ said Moses. Moses was only twelve years old when he came to Jones Road on Thanksgiving Day in 1793.”

 

Trix Rosen

Sin Street, 2013
Photograph of performance artist Fred Koenig
Archival digital inkjet print
29 1⁄2" x 20"

This photo has its roots in the shadows and violence depicted on pulp fiction book covers and film noir movie posters. At the core of these stories is an edgy morality tale, with temptation dripping from the lurid images and titles. ‘Bad girl’ characters live in a place and time where good is not always rewarded nor is evil inevitably punished.

 

Marilyn R. Rosenberg

Remember Babi Yar, 1997
Mixed media, artist’s book
15" x 11 1⁄2"

On September 29-30, 1941, SS and German police units and their auxiliaries, under the guidance of members of Einsatzgruppe (mobile killing unit) C, murdered the Jewish population of Kiev at Babi Yar, a ravine northwest of the city. This was one of the largest mass murders at an individual location during World War II. As the victims moved into the ravine, Einsatzgruppe detachments shot them in small groups. According to reports, 33,771 Jews were massacred in two days. In the months following the massacre, German authorities stationed at Kiev killed thousands more Jews at Babi Yar, as well as non-Jews including Roma (Gypsies), Communists, and Soviet prisoners of war. It is estimated that some 100,000 people were murdered at Babi Yar.

 

Joachim Schmid

One Day in May, 2014
Artist’s book
6" x 4"

In May 2014, a killing spree occurred in Santa Barbara, California, claiming seven lives. One Day in May looks at the wider context of that very day in which forty-nine other deliberate shootings happened, starting in Connecticut and ending in California. The Santa Barbara shooting, one of a multitude, was covered by the international news media because of the number of the victims. Forty-nine other families were also devastated. Schmid expresses a call to action for stronger gun control.

 

Ben Shahn

Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By, 1965
Lithograph
26" x 21"

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once asserted that the entire ethical teachings of the Hebrew Bible could be condensed into one sentence: “Thou shalt not stand idly by” – an excerpt from Leviticus 19:16, “Thou shalt not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” Shahn illustrated this admonition by depicting a white hand reaching out to raise a black hand.

 

William Sharp

Suffer the Little Children, 1940
Etching, #6/10
81⁄2" x 10"
The Sigmund R. Balka Collection at HUC-JIR

As a soldier during World War I, Sharp witnessed war’s devastating impact on young children. This etching depicts young children, with the weary faces of old men, who were orphaned, forced to grovel, beg, and live by their wits on the open streets.

 

Linda Soberman

First They Came for......, 2014
Lithoprint
20" x 30"

Soberman comments on the complicit indifference of those bystanders who witnessed evil during the Holocaust. The image of the “winking” woman whose face is covered by the quotation by Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor and outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler, who spent seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

 

Arthur Szyk

Do Not Forgive Them, Oh Lord, For They Do Know What They Do, 1949
Print
8" x 51⁄2"
Courtesy of Irvin Unger

This image reveals the evil of the Klu Klux Klan as they torture an African-American man simply for the color of his skin. Szyk had previously used this title for a work depicting Hitler’s destruction in Europe and draws a parallel between the horrors of the Nazi regime and the racist ideology of the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Deborah Ugoretz

The Box, 2014
Mixed media construction
18" x 18" x 14"

Jewish thought states that every person is born with both a good inclination and an evil inclination. We spend our lives fighting between what we are told are selfish and violent impulses and the desire to do good, to be supportive and kind. These inner battles bubble to the surface at various degrees. How do we react to the revelation that underneath the cover of goodness and beauty there might be something evil lurking? What is our capacity to do harm? And when the depths of that darkness is reflected back at us, what are we to do?

 

David Wander

There Arose a New King Who Knew Not Joseph, 2014
Mixed media
20" x 37"

Evoking the biblical passage from Exodus 1:8, Wander ponders the repetition of history. He contrasts the collapse of the 20th-century golden age of German-Jewish culture with the enslavement of the Israelites in antiquity. As governments and political powers shift, ranging from benign and supportive to deadly, they impact the entire status of the population.

 

Grace Bakst Wapner

Certainty, 2011
Mixed media
31" x 21"

Wapner stitches together remnants of velvet, burlap, silk, cotton stuffing, and paint to create a mélange of the icons and symbols that have been used throughout history to justify violence. Belief in these religions and philosophies has resulted in expulsion, torture, maiming, and death while simultaneously proclaiming the path to “truth.”

 

Paul Weissman

Yesterday’s Children, 2015
Inked woodcut, lockets, photos, and resin
16 3⁄4" x 22 1/8"

A tour de force of printmaking techniques underlays a collage of baby pictures. These seemingly innocent children, on closer inspection, turn out to be (clockwise from top center) Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Kim Jong-il, Saddam Hussein, and Joseph Stalin. The backdrop woodcut depicts the chaos of destruction they caused. Are genocidal maniacs born or bred, is it nature or nurture that is to blame?

 

Checklist

Andi Arnovitz
Beaten Out of Them, 2012
226 silk belts
7/8" x 56" each

Helene Aylon
I Looked Into the Passages: Curses, The Vengeance, Blotted Out, Sin Offering, An Abomination, We Smote, 2003
Mixed media
2.5" x 4" x 6" each

The Women’s Section, 1997
Linen scroll
30" x 71⁄2"

Debra Band
Psalm 32 and Psalm 79, 2006
Ink, gouache, 24k gold leaf on paper
13 1⁄2" x 10 1⁄2" each

Riva Bell
The Missed Train in 1941, 2015
Oil on canvas
11" x 14"

Harriete Estel Berman
The 10 Modern Plagues: Blood/Water Pollution, 2015
Recycled tin containers
20" x 20” x 3"

The 10 Modern Plagues: Dever/World Hunger, 2015
Recycled tin containers
32" x 43" x 2"

Leon Bibel
Shoah Grogger, 1990
Painted wood
72" x 30" x 24"

András Böröcz
The Stamping Foot Grogger, 2015
Mahagony, roof screw washers 40" x 16" x 13"

Beverly Brodsky
...and hurled enormous rocks, 1976
Watercolor, gouache on paper
15" x 20"

The Golem watched as the crowd lost their reason, 1976
Watercolor, gouache on board
13" x 191/8"

Lynda Caspe
Joseph Being Sold Into Slavery, 2012
Pencil on paper
20" x 161⁄2"

Joseph in the Pit, 2012
Bronze relief
19" x 14 1⁄2"

Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman
What Would You Have Done? Study for Wall of Indifference, 1989
From The Holocaust Project
Sprayed acrylic, oil, and photography on photo linen
32" x 64"

Dorit Jordan Dotan
Feminine Evil I
Mixed media
29 1⁄2" x 27"

Feminine Evil II
Mixed media
291⁄2" x 27"

Rosalyn A. Engelman
Hunger and Thirst, 1998
Oil on canvas
25" x 37"

Despair, 1996
Oil on canvas
27" x 33"

Larry S. Frankel
The Choice You Make Is the One You Own
Photographs printed on aluminium
20" x 24"

Tzedakah Boxes
Acrylic and photographs
81⁄2" x 81⁄2" x 21⁄2" each (3)

Tommy Gelb
The Freedom Tower Besamim, 2014
Sterling silver, #2
13" x 3" x 3"

Linda Gissen
Kristallnacht Yahrtzeit Lamp, 2001
Kiln-slumped and engraved glass, vitreous enamel, bronze and copper
7 3⁄4" x 10" x 8"

Grace Graupe-Pillard
Boy With a Gun: Saturday Night Special, 1992
Pastel, cut-out canvas
82" x 51"

Boy With a Gun: Homeless Man, 1987
Pastel, cut-out canvas
72" x 42"

Barbara Green
Cain, 2015
Oil on board
18" x 24"

Debbie Teicholz Guedalia
Krakow: Jews Forbidden, 2010

Plaszow: Field of Mass Graves, 2010

Auschwitz II: Original Controls and Gas Canisters, 2010

Sunset in Poland: Original Zyklon B Canisters, 2010

Archival and original photos
20" x 24" each

Karen Gunderson
King Boris III, 1998
Oil on linen
68" x 48"
Courtesy of the Sol Lewitt Collection

His Decision, 2000
Charcoal and chalk on linen-backed paper
60 1⁄2" x 120"

Carol Hamoy
Good Girls/Bad Girls: Dr. Mazeltuv Barukhova, 2013
Mixed media
11 1⁄2" x 13" x 4"

Queen Athalia, 1995
Mixed media
54" x 19" x 12"

Nathan Hilu
Herman Göring and A Portrait of a Jewish Rabbi by Rembrandt, 2000
Crayon, marker, collage and board on board
11" x 18"

Hiroshima... See What the Atomic Bomb Did
Marker on paper
18" x 11"

Tamar Hirschl
Exodus II, 2005
Mixed media on vinyl
94" x 331⁄2"

Elizabeth Langer
The Mothers of Beslan, 2004
Lithograph, A/P
11" x 14"

Judy Glickman Lauder
Bunks, Birkenau Concentration Camp, Poland, 1988
Silver Gelatin Print
18" x 24"

Cell, Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland, 1988
Silver Gelatin Print
18" x 24"

John Lawson
Portrait of the Philosopher Daniel Klein, 2014
Mixed media
40" x 30"

Ruben Malayan
The Dark Chain of Human History, 2015
Poster
16" x 20"

Margalit Mannor
Human Trafficking, 2013
Manipulated photograph
24" x 24"

Paul Margolis
Burning Towers, 9/11/01
Photograph
14" x 11"

Richard McBee
Absalom's Sin, 2013
Oil on canvas
50" x 40"

Amalek Attacks, 2015
Oil on canvas
48" x 36"

Meadow
The Written Word Series: Thief of Dreams, 2005
Mixed media
50" x 116"

Leonard Meiselman
Hiroshima, A Child's Shirt, 2005
Oil on canvas
60" x 41"

Linda Motzkin
Amalek 1: Tree of the Field, 2012
Ink on deerskin parchment
24" x 18"

David Newman
The Destruction of Knowledge, 2013-2014
Oil on paper and wood panel
16" x 20" each (8)

Jacqueline Nicholls
Who is Righteous?, 2015
Giclee print
20" x 16"

Hedy Pagremanski
The Day Was Bitterly Cold, 2012
Pencil on paper
7 1⁄2" x 9 3⁄4"

A Bench in Central Park, 2003
Pencil on paper
8 1⁄2" x 11"

NYC, Near a Construction Site, 1989
Pencil on paper
7 3⁄4" x 10"

A Bench in Central Park, 2003
Pencil on paper
7 1⁄4" x 10 1⁄2"

Mark Podwal
Shoah Torah Mantle: Study for Congregation Agudas Achim of Austin, Texas, 2001
Velvet embroidery fabricated by Penn+Fletcher, NY
37" x 31 1⁄2"

Megillah in an Empty Wine Bottle, 2012
Silkscreen print
30" x 22"

Providence, 2013
Archival pigment print
30" x 22"

Archie Rand
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (After Will Eisner), 2015
Acrylic on vinyl leatherette
48" x 68"

Faith Ringgold
Here Comes Moses, 2015
Lithograph, 1/1
22" x 30"
Courtesy of the New York Print Club

Trix Rosen
Sin Street, 2013
Archival digital inkjet print
29 1⁄2" x 20"

Marilyn R. Rosenberg
Remember Babi Yar, 1997
Mixed media, artist's book
15" x 11 1⁄2"

Joachim Schmid
One Day in May, 2014
Artist's book
6" x 4"

Ben Shahn
Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By, 1965
Lithograph
26" x 21"

William Sharp
Suffer the Little Children, 1940
Etching, #6/10
8 1⁄2" x 10"
Sigmund R Balka Collection ar HUC-JIR

Linda Soberman
First They Came for ...... 2014
Lithoprint
20" x 30"

Arthur Szyk
Do Not Forgive Them Oh Lord, For They Do Know What They Do, 1949
Print
8" x 51⁄2"
Courtesy of Irvin Unger

Deborah Ugoretz
The Box, 2014
18" x 18" x 14"
Mixed Media Construction

David Wander
There Arose a New King Who Knew Not Joseph, 2014
Mixed media
20" x 37"

Grace Bakst Wapner
Certainty, 2011
Mixed media 31" x 21"

Paul Weissman
Yesterday’s Children, 2015
Inked woodcut, lockets, photographs, resin
163⁄4" x 221/8"

Arsenic, 2006
Lithograph, woodcut
28" x 221⁄2"

Additional materials:

The New Yorker
8 magazine covers about the impact of terrorism, 2001 to 2015

American Committee for Relief in the Near East
Lest We Perish, 1917
Poster
18" x 12"

Unknown Artists
Reproductions of Children’s Drawings from Darfur, 2009

Books:
The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion
Published by The Beckwith Co., New York, 1920
Courtesy of Klau Library

The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Will Eisner
Published by W.W Norton and Company, Inc.

Maus I and II
Art Spiegelman
Published by Pantheon Books, 1986, 1992

In the Shadow of No Towers, 2004
Art Spiegelman

 

HUC-JIR Museum Advisory Committee

Laura Kruger, Chair

Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director

Suzette Acar

Judy Becker

Sherry Berz

Phyllis Cohen

Elaine Corwin

Robin Cramer

Gail Davidson

Gloria Dobbs

Cynthia Greener Edelman

Vicki Reikes Fox

Ruth O. Freedlander

Phyllis Freedman

Susan K. Freedman

Cantor Mimi Frishman

Betty Golomb

Joy G. Greenberg

Barbara Gross

Cathy Heller

Peggy Heller

Ann Holland

Marissa Hollander

Andrew Joscow

Teela Lelyveld

Liz Levine

Nancy Mantell

Marjorie Miller

Kevin Penn

Fran Putnoi

Susan Rosenstein

Joan Salomon

Samuel Simon

Helene Spring

Rose Starr

Shirley Steinhauser

Livia Straus

Mildred Weissman

 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America'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 communal service professionals, and offers graduate and post-graduate programs to scholars of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise its renowned Klau Library, the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of 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 an array of cultural and educational programs which illuminate Jewish history, identity, and contemporary creativity and which foster interfaith and multiethnic understanding. huc.edu

 

Administration

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., President

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus

Rabbi Michael Marmur, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost

Jane F. Karlin, Ph.D., Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Sandra M. Mills, C.P.A., B.B.A, Chief Financial Officer

Elizabeth Squadron, M.S., Vice President for Program and Business Development

Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, Vice President for Special Projects

Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs; Director, HUC-JIR Museum, New York Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Ph.D., Dean, HUC-JIR/New York

Rabbi Renni Altman, M.A.H.L., Associate Dean, HUC-JIR/New York