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  • Writer's picturedanaevankaplan

Visit to Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem

I received my rabbinic ordination from The Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, abbreviated as HUC-JIR. HUC-JIR has three locations in the United States and one location in Jerusalem, which is where I studied. HUC-JIR is the oldest Jewish seminary in North America and the only educational institution in the USA for training Reform rabbis, as well as cantors, educators, communal workers and other Jewish professionals. The photos are of the Jerusalem campus. The school was founded in Cincinnati in 1875 under the leadership of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, regarded as the founder of American Reform Judaism.

I spent a number of years studying on this campus. There were some wonderful professors including Yaakov Ariel and Uri Regev. I was able to see Yaakov who was coincidentally in Israel on a brief personal trip and I plan to see Uri in the next few weeks.

HUC-JIR has campuses in Cincinnati, New York City, Los Angeles and Jerusalem. The Jerusalem campus is the only seminary in Israel for training Reform rabbis. Unfortunately, the school recently announced that the Rabbinic program in Cincinnati -- the original program established in the late 19th century-- will be closed in a number of years.

The architecture is stunning.

I was certainly surprised to see that HUC-JIR is expanding the Jerusalem campus at the same time that they are beginning to shutter up the Cincinnati campus.

Most of the campus is made of Jerusalem stone but there are some pretty flowers as well.

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