Faculty Provide Insight and Support to Communities Across the World

HUC-JIR faculty have been providing expertise, resources, and insights to communities across the globe.

HUC Connect Inside Israel graphic

HUC Connect: Inside Israel

In our new series HUC Connect: Inside Israel, HUC-JIR faculty members bring you inside Israel from our Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem to share their expertise and add context to the ongoing crisis. Each guest delves into conversations about trauma and grief, preparing for times of crisis, and their own personal experiences during the Israel-Hamas war. The interviews will be available to listen to through the College Commons Podcast and will be available for viewing on HUC Connect On Demand.

Coping with Trauma in a Violent Reality

Hear about how our reality affects our mental health, common reactions to this reality, and the tools we have available to support ourselves and others in “Coping with Trauma in a Violent Reality,” an event by the Blaustein Center.

Report from Israel's Homefront showing images of people in Israel during the time of war

Reports from Israel’s Home Front

Rabbi Naamah Kelman and her husband, Dr. Elan Ezrachi, hosted the “Reports from Israel’s Home Front” series on November 2, 9, 16, and 30 with the guests who spoke about their actionable contributions in politics, coexistence movements, trauma support, and more. Guests included Jerusalem City Councilwoman Laura Warton, a representative of the Brothers in Arms protest organization, Rabbi Leora Ezrachi-Vered ’17, Rabbi Oded Mazor ’09, and Devora Rosner Wachs, a clinical psychologist and trauma expert.

From Activism to Emergency Aid

Michal Muszkat-Barkan, Ph.D., Head of Education and Professional Development Department, has been a leader in the protests for democracy. After October 7, she led the efforts in shifting their organized networks to help meet basic needs, creating the Jerusalem Civilian Command Center. The JCCC provides food, clothing, and other supplies to many of the tens of thousands of people who have fled their homes near Gaza and the far north. She spoke about her important work at an event hosted by Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe ’07 and Rabbi Leora Londy ’02 of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester on October 26.

Supporting Children and Families Amidst Crisis

Sivan Zakai, Ph.D., Sara S. Lee Associate Professor of Jewish Education, was joined by Rabbi Rebecca Milder ’07, Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal, and Joshua Holo, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Resources for a HUC Connect Webinar discussing how to support Jewish children and families, review best practices, and discuss the ways in which Jewish institutions and organizations are contributing to these efforts.

An Israeli Reform Rabbi's Perspective in the US

The Temple in Atlanta offered a conversation between Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Former Dean of our Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem, and Rabbi Peter Berg ’98 on October 20 during a Friday Evening Shabbat Worship service to bring a voice of Reform rabbis in Israel that is often not heard in the US.
The conversation begins at 53:30 in the recording.

Spiritual Mindfulness

Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Former Dean of our Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem, taught over 240 participants and 40 clergy on October 21 as a guest of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS)’s Daily Mindfulness Meditation.

A Rise in Antisemitism as a Result of the War

Emeritus professor Steven Windmueller, Ph.D. joined the AJC for an in-depth discussion on November 8 about how the Israel/Hamas War has unleashed a torrent of antisemitism that is both shocking and frightening and how we must respond.

The Power of Jewish Education For a Hopeful Future

Miriam Heller Stern, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Educational Strategy, Director of the School of Education, and Associate Professor, taught a session for the URJ North American Board on October 29 emphasizing three core Jewish sensibilities that undergird our resilience and creativity as a people during these trying moments in our history: Lech Lecha/Be Bold; Shabbat/Sacred Pause; and Yesh Tikvah/Affirming Hope.