Saturday, October 12, 2002

College to honor rabbi's leadership

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

For more than a year, he has served as president of the nation's oldest institution of Jewish higher education, a place where leaders are trained for the largest and fastest-growing denomination in American Jewry.

[photo] David Ellenson holds Noah Lerner as his dad, Roger Lerner of Madeira, a third year rabbinical student looks on during during a September get-acquainted picnic at HUC.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
Sunday, Rabbi David Ellenson will be officially inaugurated as the eighth president in the 127-year history of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

The ceremony is open to the public at Plum Street Temple.

Rabbi Ellenson will be inducted into office amid a shortage of rabbis, a growing number of Reform Jews and rising violence in Israel.

As chief executive officer, Rabbi Ellenson will oversee recruitment and fund-raising and be the shepherd of the four-campus international institution and the only Reform seminary in the world.

“The role of an institution like the Hebrew Union College,” the rabbi says, “in helping to forge a progressive, open, liberal religious voice is genuinely more crucial than ever precisely because we have seen in recent years what some of the ill effects are of religious fundamentalism: the lack of openness, the lack of tolerance, the lack of an appreciation of pluralism.

HUC is the academic institution that trains the leadership for 1.5 million Reform Jews in America. The school provides the academic and professional training programs for the Reform movement's rabbis, cantors, educators and communal service professionals and offers graduate programs for scholars of all faiths.

“The College-Institute is a precious intellectual and religious resource for the ongoing life of the Reform Movement and the Jewish people.” Rabbi Ellenson says.


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