Our priority has been the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of our students and our entire HUC-JIR Jerusalem family during this difficult time of war.
Updates as of 10/23/23
- President Rehfeld will travel to Israel this week to visit our students, staff, faculty, and alumni, both on the Taube Family Campus and in the field where they are serving in critical pastoral and humanitarian capacities.
- The Year-In-Israel program has shifted to hybrid learning to accommodate students in Israel and in different time zones. Last week, students in Jerusalem resumed in-person learning, prepared packages for families affected by the war, and worked with an arts educator on expressing experiences through art. Those who have temporarily returned to their home countries or other locations are participating fully in Zoom classes and taking part in supplemental small group Hebrew conversation sessions.
- The Israel Rabbinical Program (IRP) that was scheduled to start on October 15 with the largest cohort in its history and is now scheduled to begin on November 5. Several IRP students have been called to service in the IDF and others are receiving extra rabbinical and pastoral training to attend to the extraordinary needs of the communities they already serve. Supplemental online learning sessions are being offered to the IRP class several times a week until the semester officially starts.
- Rikma is scheduled to begin the week of November 5 in accordance with Hebrew University’s adjusted schedule and is also offering supplemental sessions in advance. Sugiyot Chayim will also wait to resume. An online beit midrash is providing a setting for current and former students to gather for sharing, study, and reflection. Teachers’ Lounge and certain other programs offered on in Jerusalem are currently paused until further notice. Ulpan Milah, a program on the Taube Family Campus that is not run by HUC-JIR, has opened for Zoom classes.
- Our Jerusalem campus remains open to staff, faculty, and students who would like to report to work in person or use our library or meeting spaces. Our campus shelters have been stocked with extra water (required by the authorities) and food (at our own initiative) and have been offered to Magen David Adom and the Israeli military should they need them. The Jerusalem leadership team continues to make daily decisions about campus operations and check in on all staff and faculty who are not working from campus.
Updates as of 10/17/23
- The Year-In-Israel program has responded resiliently to the unfolding events and is shifting to a hybrid learning modality to accommodate students in Israel and in different time zones. Our leadership and faculty are doing incredible work supporting our students and ensuring that learning and community continue, whether students are in Israel or have returned temporarily to their home countries.
- The Israel Rabbinical Program (IRP) was scheduled to start on October 15 with the largest cohort in its history. The start of this program has been delayed until November, along with all higher education and universities in Israel. Several IRP students have been called to service in the IDF and others are receiving extra rabbinical and pastoral training to attend to the extraordinary needs of the communities they already serve.
- Rikma, Sugiyot Chayim, Teachers’ Lounge, and other programs are currently paused until further notice. We have offered our campus and shelters to Magen David Adom and the Israeli military should they need, and are providing additional security on campus. Dr. Michal Muszkat-Barkan has taken a central role in working with our existing protest networks to create a city-wide clearing house of volunteer assistance, and Dr. Ruhama Weiss is running a ‘Beit Midrash of Meaning’ for Kibbutz Nirim in the South.