Rabbi David Ellenson, z”l Playlist

For over four decades, Rabbi David Ellenson, of blessed memory, enveloped generations of students in his wisdom and passion. In celebration of his remarkable life and career, HUC Connect has compiled a selection of his teachings below.

David Ellenson

A master teacher of breathtaking erudition and irresistible charisma, David Ellenson cracked open the Jewish story through the history of ideas, and he kept us all riveted along the way. We welcome you to learn from one of the great Jewish thinkers of our time.

Celebrating a Life Well Lived

In commemoration of the end of his tenure as President at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Ellenson was the honoree of the 2014 Benefit Dinner in New York. Enjoy this video in which Rabbi Ellenson discusses his upbringing, career, and inspirations.

Rabbi Ellenson on HUC-JIR's Mission

Rabbi Ellenson shares his thoughts about HUC-JIR’s mission.

Rabbi David Ellenson speaking at a podium

Prospects and Challenges for Liberal Judaism in a World of “Resacralization.”

As part of HUC-JIR’s Symposium One: Crafting Jewish Life in a Complex Jewish Landscape, which took place in November 2016, Rabbi Ellenson presented on the Prospects and Challenges for Liberal Judaism in a World of “Resacralization.” Rabbi Michael Marmur moderates the conversation and following discussion section.

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HUC Connect: Thinking Jewish in a Changing America (Webinar)

At the height of the pandemic, HUC Connect had the honor of hosting Rabbis Ellenson and Marmur on one of the earliest produced webinars in our archive. Drawing from their anthology published in 2020, American Jewish Thought Since 1934, Rabbis Ellenson and Marmur chart some of the major trends spanning generations, denominations, and ideologies and share insights that resonate with the current unfolding crisis in America.

HUC Connect: Regretfully Overlooked: Samuel Hirsch (Webinar)

Rabbi Ellenson moderates this conversation between the co-editors of Samuel Hirsch, Prof. Dr. Judith Frishman and Dr. Thorsten Fuchshuber. These three scholars discuss the ways in which Samuel Hirsch’s story is key to understanding the transnational history of Reform Judaism and the struggle of Jews to secure a place in history and society.

Second Yahrzeit of Rabbi Aaron D. Panken z”l: "How to Honor the Departed: A Rabbinic Opinion by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch" (Webinar)

In May 2020, HUC-JIR honored the memory of Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D. z”l, on his yahrzeit. Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Chancellor Emeritus, presented on a writing that deals with a question the New Orleans Jewish community posed to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) of Frankfurt, Germany, on the optimal way to honor the memory of Judah Touro, the leading Jewish philanthropist in the United States during the mid-19th century.

Alumni Learn: Using Responsa in a Modern Age (Webinar)

As part of the 8th season of Alumni Learn, Rabbi Ellenson explores the significance of Responsa literature for those engaged in the Reform Judaism today, as well as the role Responsa can and often does play within the Reform movement.

Rabbi David Ellenson headshot

What Makes Me a Reform Jew? (Podcast)

In a College Commons podcast series that accompanied Symposium One: Crafting Jewish Thought in a Complex Landscape, Rabbi Ellenson examines the tensions of Jews as they moved from seclusion in the pre-modern Jewish world to assimilation and the evolution of Reform Judaism. This conversation is moderated by Joshua Holo, Ph.D.