HUC-JIR Announces Graduation and Ordination of the Class of 2023 / 5783

Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, North America's premier institution of Jewish higher education and the center for professional leadership development of Reform Judaism, announces the Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies of its 148th academic year.

Graduates and honorees of the Class of 2023/ 5783

This inspiring cadre of ordinees and graduates are the newest professional leaders for the Reform Movement, the Jewish people, and the larger world. They will build and transform communities throughout North America, Israel, and around the globe.

Distinguished communal and civic leaders and alumni will be awarded honorary degrees and prizes in recognition of their service to Reform congregations and North American Jewry, and in honor of their humanitarian work.

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., HUC-JIR President, stated, “Congratulations to our ordinees, graduates, alumni honorees, and recipients of our honorary degrees and Joseph Prize at our upcoming Ordination and Graduation Ceremonies! In their vital roles transmitting Jewish values, tradition, and culture, these individuals help those seeking meaning and purpose grounded in our shared history and community. They have had, and will continue to have, a profound impact in strengthening inclusive, dynamic, and spiritually nourishing communities, while their advocacy for justice and human rights makes a tangible difference in our world. May the courage of their convictions and ideals guide their sacred paths to building a bright, just, and promising future for the Jewish People and all humankind.”


Rabbinical School:

Ordination of 35 rabbis in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, New York
10 Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters
13 Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature

Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music:

Ordination of 11 cantors in New York
7 Master of Sacred Music

Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management:

15 Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management
4 Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Innovation
2 Certificate in Jewish Organizational Leadership

School of Education

3 Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
1 Master of Arts in Jewish Learning
12 Master of Arts in Religious Education, Executive M.A. Program
7 Master of Arts degrees in Teaching
8 Certificates in Day School Teaching
14 Rikma Certificates/M.A. in Pluralistic Jewish Education, Jerusalem

Pines School of Graduate Studies:

1 Doctor of Philosophy in Judaic, Hebraic, and Cognate Studies
2 Doctor of Ministry;
1 Master of Arts in Jewish Studies

Pastoral Care Programs:

2 Interfaith Doctor of Ministry for Education in Pastoral Care
11 Certificates in Sugiyot Chayim/Bibliotherapy, Jerusalem


Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, will be bestowed upon:

R. Marie Griffith, Ph.D., John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities; Director, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis

Sue Neuman Hochberg, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Governors, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Anat Hoffman, Executive Director, Israel Religious Action Center; Graduation Speaker in Jerusalem

Daryl Messinger, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Trustees, Union for Reform Judaism

Featured Speakers:

R. Marie Griffith, Ph.D., Graduation Speaker, Cincinnati

Anat Hoffman, Graduation Speaker, Jerusalem

Rabbi Jocee Hudson, Clergy and Formation Lead, LA Voice; Ordination Speaker, Los Angeles

Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Founder and President, Yeshivat Maharat; Graduation Speaker, New York

Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, Taube Familly Campus, HUC-JIR/Jerusalem; Ordination Speaker, New York

Sharon S. Nazarian, Ph.D., President, Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation; Graduation Speaker, Los Angeles

Rabbi Gary P. Zola, Ph.D., Executive Director, Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives; Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience & Reform Jewish History; Ordination Speaker, Cincinnati

Roger E. Joseph Prize:
Center for Reproductive Rights

Accepted by Nancy Northup, President and CEO

Alumni honors will be bestowed upon 69 alumni for 25 years of dedicated service to the Jewish People and the larger world:

Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa

51 rabbinical alumni of the Class of 1998

Doctor of Music, honoris causa

9 cantorial alumni of the Class of 1998

Doctor of Jewish Religious Education, honoris causa

4 education alumni

Doctor of Jewish Nonprofit Management, honoris causa

3 Jewish nonprofit management alumni

Graduate Studies Medallion:

2 doctoral alumni

The Graduation and Ordination Ceremonies of the 148th Academic Year:

Register to attend these events in-person or online

Jerusalem Ordination and Academic Convocation:

Thursday, November 10, 2022; Jerusalem international YMCA, 26 King David Street,

New York Graduation:

Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 4 pm ET; Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York, 10 East 66th Street, New York;

New York Ordination:

Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 9:30 am ET; Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue at 65th Street, New York

Los Angeles Ordination:

Sunday, May 14, 2023, at 10 am PT; Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles

Los Angeles Graduation:

Monday, May 15, 2023 at 10 am PT; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles

Cincinnati Graduation:

Friday, May 19, 2023 at 11 am ET; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati

Cincinnati Ordination:

Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 9:00 am ET; Plum Street Temple, 720 Plum Street, Cincinnati


New York Graduation and Ordination:
Contact Meredeth Kelly at or (212) 824-2236.

Los Angeles Ordination and Graduation:
Contact Yvette Joffe at or (213) 765-2149 or Amanda Sissman at

Cincinnati Graduation and Ordination:
Contact Autumn Wheeler-Peterson at or (513) 487-3231.


Contact the National Office of Communications and Public Affairs at