Professional headshot of HUC JIR President Andrew Rehfeld smiling in a blue suit

Today marks the first day of my tenure as the thirteenth president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the first day of what I hope will be a magnificent journey together.

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.
Rabbi Larry Raphael

I’m writing too many eulogies for my teachers these days. But when Larry Raphael died on Sunday, I wanted to put some thoughts into writing, for he was truly special.

Rabbi Neal Gold
Recent HUC JIR Founders Fellows pose together

The Founders’ Fellows can teach us all about solving the problems in our own communities.

Rabbi Ana Bonnheim
Rabbi David Ellenson holding the face of Rabbi Aaron Panken as he passes on the presidency of Hebrew Union College at Rabbi Pankens 2014 installation

Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D, was interviewed by the editors of Reform Judaism magazine on the occasion of his assuming the presidency of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on January 1, 2014.

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Author Rabbi Billy Dreskin and his mentee Rabbi Jason Fenster smiling with their arms around one another in celebration of Rabbi Fensters ordination

When an intern leaves us, we miss them but we can’t wait to meet the next one, to welcome them in, and to let them know, again and again, “You’ve got this!”

Rabbi Billy Dreskin

Rabbi Sally Priesand, North America’s first female rabbi, spoke to the Canadian Jewish News about pursuing her dream and how Jewish feminism has evolved.

Sheri Shefa (CJN)

Making sweeping historical generalizations is easy. Lots of people make them, even the best of historians.

Broad statements can be a “necessary evil” when one is faced with limited time or space to make an historical point. But generalities can easily mutate into over-simplifications that ultimately obscure – if not distort – historical narratives of particular moments or communities.

Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein, Ph.D.

by Kara Liu

Youth engagement is about more than just teens. Rather, effective youth engagement is a whole organism made up of parents, leaders, and the young people themselves.

That’s the main takeaway from my experience at a recent day of professional development at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, organized by Rabbi Bradley Solmsen, director of youth engagement for the Union for Reform Judaism. At the seminar, I came to fully appreciate the network of colleagues who are doing youth engagement work – and I learned that I, too, am a bridge connecting all the entities of youth engagement to my temple family and our youth group.

Three years ago, my congregation set out on a journey to try to create an active teen presence, something our community had been missing. As a part of this effort, we sent our new ninth grade class to a regional NFTY kallah. At the event, our excited teens made new friends, experienced NFTY’s shared history and culture, and immersed themselves in the joys of Reform Judaism. They were a little bit lost when they arrived, but by the end of the weekend, the teens knew one thing: They wanted to bring the magic of NFTY back to our synagogue.

That’s how our youth group began.