Donor Spotlight: Rabbi David Ellenson '77 and Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson '83

Monday, November 7, 2022

Rabbi David Ellenson ’77, Chancellor Emeritus,
and Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson ’83

Beloved former President Rabbi David Ellenson ’77 and his wife, Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson ’83, have participated in the life of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in countless ways over the years– as students, professionals, volunteers, and proud parents. Recently, they made an even more lasting impact on the College-Institute, by making commitment of support through their estate.

The Ellensons share their inspiring view on supporting HUC-JIR:

“Jewish tradition teaches that one must show appreciation and gratitude to one from whom one has learned even a single letter of the alphabet. How much more so it is for us, as our lives and the lives of our family have been formed by the learning we received at HUC-JIR.

“The College-Institute provided us with an education that allowed us to understand who we are as human beings and as Jews and has fostered a lifelong commitment on our parts to God, the Jewish people, and the values inherent in Torah. Not only we, but two of our children, have attended HUC-JIR as they engaged in preparing for the tasks of Jewish leadership. For these gifts, we are eternally grateful.

“Our joint commitment and acknowledgement of these gifts found its deepest expression during the years of David’s presidency. The College-Institute has been, for us, our most consistent source and resource. The learning we gained there has formed our life-long organizing principles; the connection we sought and found there has been ever-present source of companionship and community.

“We cannot imagine our lives without the abiding presence of the College-Institute.

“Beyond this personal indebtedness, we also recognize that no Jewish community in history has ever thrived without a great house of study at its center. For over 145 years, the learning and the students who have been fostered within its walls have been crucial to the maintenance of the Jewish community in the modern world. We are therefore honored to provide a bequest to the College-Institute for general purposes in our will. We pray that HUC-JIR remains strong for generations to come.”

The College-Institute community is grateful to the Ellensons for their deep and continued generosity. For more information on how may include HUC-JIR in your estate plans, please contact Melissa Greenberg,