HUC Connect Presents "Past is Present: JIR and the Reinvention of American Liberal Judaism"

JIR 100HUC Connect presents “Past is Present: JIR and the Reinvention of American Liberal Judaism” on Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 6:00 pm ET. It will take place in person at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Brookdale Center, One West Fourth Street, New York, NY, and on Zoom. Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Ph.D., Director of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University will speak with HUC-JIR President Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.

This session will explore how in 1922, Stephen S. Wise and the Free Synagogue launched the Jewish Institute of Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical seminary in the heart of New York City. Bucking denominational trends of the time, JIR held freedom of thought and practice paramount. Yet the school had a definite ethos, borne by the cadre of JIR rabbis who responded to the global crises of their era by fighting for klal yisrael, social justice, and Zionism. Many of these rabbis joined the CCAR, and within a few decades the seemingly counter-cultural ethos of their fledgling seminary came to pervade Reform Judaism. In conversation, President Rehfeld and Rabbi Idelson will explore this history and its resonance today, and the power of seminaries to shape the future.

Register here to attend on Zoom.

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