Hebrew Union College

Panken Stressing ‘Creative Outreach’

Tech-savvy rabbi says Reform movement and its 900 congregations are strong, but must meet young people where they are.

08/01/2013
Managing Editor
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Rabbi Aaron Panken, 49, the newly tapped president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, likes to mention that he was trained as an electrical engineer and is an amateur pilot. It’s his way of saying he’s tech-savvy, a focus he’s likely to bring to the job as he takes over the Reform seminary at a time of great educational change.

Rabbi Aaron Panken

Westchester Rabbi Aaron Panken Elected President Of Hebrew Union College

08/01/2013
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Rabbi Aaron Panken was elected president of The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform movement’s rabbinical school.

Rabbi Aaron Pankin, a resident of Mamaroneck, will succeed Rabbi David Ellenson in running four HUC campuses.

Praying For Peace: A Rabbinical Student Reports On Rosh Hodesh At The Wall

05/10/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

As I pushed through the jampacked Kotel on Rosh Hodesh Sivan, thousands of religious girls pointed at my kippa and screamed in my face. Not only did they stick out their tongues, but they made the shape of a gun with their hands and rotated between pointing it at their heads and pointing it at mine. Scanning through the faces of the young girls, I wondered if in a different setting, we could’ve been braiding challah or lighting Shabbat candles together as friends. Some of their eyes leaked with hatrid and disgust, while some overflowed with intrigue, curiosity, and at times boredom. A large portion of the girls seemed to be mulling about, happy to be spending time with friends, and waiting for us to leave.

Jenn Maggin

New York Education Programs Receive $744,000 From Covenant Foundation

01/14/2013
Associate Editor

Six New York programs will receive a total of $744,000 this year from the Covenant Foundation. The grants are among $1.2 million in grants the foundation, which seeks to “support and advance excellence and impact in Jewish education,” approved last week.

B'nai Mitzvah: A Revolution, Not A Graduation

11/28/2012
Associate Editor

From the Russian to the Chinese to the Sexual to, most recently, an eponymous sci-fi post-apocalyptic TV series, the past century has witnessed its share of revolutions.

Now, with just a bit less tumult (one hopes) comes B’nai Mitzvah Revolution, a Reform Movement pilot initiative to “radically rethink” the Jewish rite of passage and its place in synagogue life and education.

The Reform Movement wants to recast the b'nai mitzvah, which is often viewed as a graduation from Judaism. Getty Images

I’ve Got a Secret: You Don’t Need a Rabbi!!

09/26/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Just a few more days….Can you begin to picture it? We will all gather together, in anticipation of the New Year, and the new beginnings that come with it. The melodies we wait for all year will be surrounding us. Our prayers and supplications will rise towards the heavens and we will pray “Sh’ma Koleinu” - that God will hear our voices. The Shofar will wake us from our physical and spiritual slumber. The sweet apples and honey will delight taste buds of all ages.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Alienation From Israel Hitting Liberal Seminaries

Rabbinical students, in generational divide, seen disenchanted with Jewish state; time to rethink year-in-Israel study?

05/03/2011
Editor And Publisher

A second-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary says her year-in-Israel experience, as part of her academic training, has been “enriching and incredibly painful” in terms of what she sees of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.

“The Israel I see does not seem to reflect so many of the Jewish values that my family and community raised me with,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Jewish Week.

Gary Rosenblatt

Reform Cantorial School Named After Debbie Friedman

01/28/2011

(JTA) -- The Reform movement’s cantorial school has been named after the late Debbie Friedman.

Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, made the announcement Jan. 27 in New York at a memorial tribute to Friedman, who died Jan. 9 at 59.

Friends of the late singer-songwriter have made possible an endowment to the school, which will henceforth be known as The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, Ellenson said.

Grant Pushes Historic Partnership of Seminaries

05/25/2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Spurred by a major grant from one of the largest Jewish foundations, the rabbinical seminaries of three major synagogue movements are forging a groundbreaking partnership to train Jewish educators.

The Jim Joseph Foundation announced Monday that it was giving a combined $33 million to the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion, the Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University and the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

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