Notable & Quotable
Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, was cited in an Oct. 24 story on eJewish Philanthropy by Daniel Petter-Lipstein about "religious purposefulness" in Jewish education. "Without meaningful times, spaces and contexts intentionally designed to offer Jewish children of all ages the opportunities for, in Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire’s wonderful phrasing, the concurrent stages of encounter, reflection and instruction, I fear that the multiple institutional efforts to increase religious and spiritual programming in Jewish day schools will not succeed in their objectives," he wrote.
Rabbi Arthur Green, Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion and rector of the Rabbinical School, published an opinion piece, "From Pew Will Come Forth Torah" — his reflections on the recent Pew Research Center survey on U.S. Jews — on eJewish Philanthrop Oct. 23. "A Judaism that will speak to the emerging 21st century generations is only beginning to emerge. ... A radical spiritualization of Judaism’s truth, begun within Hasidism some two hundred years ago, needs to be updated and universalized to appeal to today’s Jewish seeker," he wrote.
Bernice Lerner, director of adult learning, led a panel discussion of her book "The Triumph of Wounded Souls: Seven Holocaust Survivors' Lives" at the conference Holocaust Education in the 21st Century Oct. 7 to 9 at the University of Augsburg, Germany. She also gave a presentation, "Holocaust Education in the University: Cases and Their Contexts."
Cantor Louis Treitman, associate dean of the School of Jewish Music, and Cantor Charles Osborne, a former member of the school's faculty, installed Kate Judd, a student in the cantorial program, as spiritual leader of the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community — Shir HeHarim on Sept. 30. Also in attendence were Cantor Lynn Torgove, MAJS'11, Can'12, head of vocal arts and adjunct instructor of Jewish music at Hebrew College; alumna Cantor Jeri Robins, MJEd'13, Can'13; and SJM students Bex Blumenfeld, Audrey Klein, Beth Strassler and Judy Greenblatt.
Rabbi Arthur Green, Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion and rector of the Rabbinical School, was quoted in a Sept. 21 New York Times obituary for Rabbi Philip Berg, the influential Kabbalic leader who died Sept. 16 in Los Angeles from respiratory failure and pneumonia. Green said Berg, whose modern spin on the ancient Jewish mystical tradition attracted celebrities like Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears, leaves behind a "mixed legacy." On the one hand, Green said: “Both Orthodox and liberal Jews accused him of charlatanism and hucksterism. He sold bottles of supposedly blessed water called Kabbalah Water and charged hefty fees to people taking his classes and certainly became quite wealthy, unlike any prior teacher of kabbalah in history.” On the other, he said, “There were people who derived great benefit from his teachings, who found their way back to Judaism through him.”
Rabbi Dan Judson, director of professional development and placement for the Rabbinical School, was quoted in a Sept. 17 Haaretz article about the large number of Jews attending High Holy Days services at venues other than synagogues — from comedy clubs to theaters to museums. Judson said this practice of attending "mushroom synagogues" dates back more than a century. "When immigrants came to this country in large numbers, the vast number stopped attending services regularly except for the High Holy Days," he said. "The phenomenon of the three-times-a-year Jew is not new."
Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg, assistant professor of rabbinics, published an article, "Reza Aslan's Missed Opportunity," in the Aug. 8 edition of the online daily magazine Religion Dispatches. The article discussed the religious scholar and author's recent appearance on Fox News, which was noteworthy for a combative exchange between Aslan and Fox religion correspondent Lauren Green.
Three Hebrew College employees served as presenters at the NewCAJE4 conference July 28 to 31 at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, president of the college, was a featured participant in Monday night's Point-Counterpoint discussion that looked at topics ranging from the Jewish camp experience to Jewish literacy in the 21st century. A story about this event, "Waiting for Superman: New CAJE, Old Battle," was published Aug. 7 on the website eJewishPhilanthropy.com The previous day, Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, led the intentsive "The Spiritual Lives of Children." And Emilia Diamant, director of programming and initiatives at Prozdor, gave two presentations, "Seven Values, Your Way" and "The Problem With Service Learning," during the course of the conference.
Rabbi Nehemia Polen, professor of Jewish thought, served as chair of the session "In the Wilderness: Moses as Lawgiver and Founder" at "Philosophical Investigation of the Hebrew Scriptures, Talmud and Midrash," the conference of the Shalem Center-Institute for Advanced Studies, held July 22 to 25 in Jerusalem. At the same conference, Rachel Adelman, assistant professor of Bible, served as a panelist on the session "Strangers in a Land Not Their Own: The Conditional Gift of the Land in the Covenant With Abraham."
Rabbis Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, dean of the Rabbinical School, and Or Rose, director of the Center for Global Judaism, are serving on the faculty of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships summer program in Jerusalem in July.
Deborah Skolnik Einhorn, adjunct faculty member in the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, has been named assistant dean for academic development and advising at the school, effective Aug. 1. She will continue to teach in the program.
Joshua Jacobson, visiting professor and senior consultant at the School of Jewish Music, led the Zamir Chorale of Boston in the opening-night performance at the North American Jewish Choral Festival July 21 in Kerhonkson, N.Y.
Cantor Lynn Torgove, MAJS'11, Can'12, head of vocal arts and adjunct instructor at the School of Jewish Music performed with the Orchestra and Chorus of Emmanuel College in John Harbison's opera "The Great Gatsby" July 11 at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Prior to the performance, Torgove participated in a panel discussion, “Creating John Harbison’s Opera 'The Great Gatsby.'”
Rabbi Or Rose, director of the Center for Global Judaism, and co-editors Jennifer Howe Peace and Gregory Mobley, earned third-place honors in the 2013 Catholic Press Awards, Pastoral Ministry category, for their book "My Neighbor's Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth and Transformation." Said the judges, "Read and be blessed by this 'must-read' collection of inspiring and penetrating stories about interreligious encounters."
Joshua Jacobson, visiting professor and senior consultant at the School of Jewish Music, conducted the Zamir Chorale of Boston in "Touch the Dream: A Musical Tribute to Israel at Sixty-five," a concert commemorating the 65th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, on June 6 at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Mass. The event also honored Rav-Hazzan Scott Sokol, professor of Jewish music, Jewish education and psychology, who performed a new arrangement of the T'fillah created by Jacobson.
Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, presented at the 27th annual conference of the Network for Research in Jewish Education, held June 2 to 4 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.
Barry Mesch, provost and Stone-Teplow Families Professor of Jewish Thought, was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Hebrew College during the school's 88th commencement exercises June 2 at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Rabbi Arthur Green, Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion and rector of the Rabbinical School, delivered the 2013 Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Lecture in Jewish Civilization May 6 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Harvey Sukenic, director of the Gann Library, published a review of Jeremy Kagani's "The Choice to Be: A Jewish Path to Self and Spirituality" in the May/June 2013 issue of the Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews.
Cantor Brian Mayer, dean of the School of Jewish Music, was quoted in a May 2 Jewish Journal article on the trend of cantors assuming education roles in their congregations.
Bernice Lerner, director of adult learning, delivered a lecture, "Who Saved My Mother? Discovering Glyn Hughes, Liberator of Bergen-Belson," on April 14 at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline. The talk was an overview of Lerner's current project, a dual biography of her mother, Rachel, a Holocaust survivor, and Brigadier Glyn Hughes, deputy director of medical services for the British Second Army who was notable for his role in the care and rehabilitation of the victims of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during World War II.
Jacob Meskin, academic of adult learning and assistant professor of Jewish thought and education, and Harvey Shapiro, former dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, published an article, "To Give an Example Is a Complex Act’: Agamben’s Pedagogy of the Paradigm," in the March 2013 edition of Educational Philosophy and Theory.
Rabbis Daniel Lehmann, president of Hebrew College; Arthur Cohen, rector of the Rabbinical School; and Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, dean of the Rabbinical School were named to Newsweek and The Daily Beast's list of 50 most influential rabbis in America. The three were selected as a group at No. 14 on the list.
Rav-Hazzan Scott Sokol, professor of Jewish music, Jewish education and psychology, was elected to a three-year term as secretary of the board of directors of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, an international body that establishes criteria for board certification and is the leading force behind clinical specialization of neuropsychologists in child and adolescent neuropsychology.
Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, published an article, "Religions and Civil Society: A Jewish Perspective," in the spring 2013 issue of European Judaism, a journal that focuses on the Jewish world in Europe after the Holocaust.
Rabbi Dan Judson, director of professional development and placement for the Rabbinical School, published an article, "What One Chabad Rabbi Can Teach Synagogues About Money," Jan. 24 on ejewishphilanthropy.com. Advocating for financial transparency among synagogues, Judson writes, "At a time when transparency is such a pivotal value for all nonprofits and at an economic moment when synagogues have to do even more to convince members and prospective members to give financially, there could be no better statement of fiscal responsibility and credibility than to make their finances public." Read the full article.
Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, is serving for the month of January as the inaugural scholar in residence for the School of Education at Hebrew Union College in New York. He will present sessions to the school’s alumni, clinical faculty and student body.
Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, attended the Limmud conference Dec. 23 to 27 at the University of Warwick in the U.K. He presented sessions on pluralism in Jewish life and spirituality in Jewish education.
Rav-Hazzan Scott Sokol, professor of Jewish music, Jewish education and psychology, was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Greater Marlborough-Hudson Interfaith Association. The title of his talk was "On Hebrew Homonyms and the Universality of Thanksgiving." His composition N"igun-Oseh Shalom" was performed by the choir at the same meeting.
Joshua Jacobson, visiting professor and senior consultant to the School of Jewish Music, received favorable notices in a Nov. 27 New York Times musical review of the Clarion Music Society's performance of vocal music by Salamone Rossi. The music was "presented in an evocative reconstruction by Joshua Jacobson that places Rossi’s polyphonic settings alongside the ancient Jewish Italian melodies that would have been used in Mantua," Times reviewer Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote.
Rabbinic students Nate DeGroot and Steven Jablow, who are both working internships in Rhode Island this fall, were featured in a Nov. 23 Jewish Voice & Herald story on the pair's very different paths to rabbinical school. DeGroot, 24, decided he wanted to be a rabbi after attending a Chabad program during his junior year at Vanderbilt University, where he was majoring in marketing. "I felt like I woke up midstride running a race I’d never signed up for. I came out of that weekend with the decision to become a rabbi,” he said. Jablow, 53, knew at age 18 that he wanted to become a rabbi, but he spent the first 30 years of his professional career in Jewish education. At age 50, he applied to rabbinical school. "What I’m doing now is just a different branch on the same tree,” he said. “The whole process excites me!”
Cantor Lynn Torgove, adjunct instructor of Jewish music, received strong notices for two recent performances at Jordan Hall in Boston. The Boston Globe made note of Torgove's "wonderfully velvety dark sound" in a review of the Cantata Singers and Ensemble's Nov. 9 performance of "Et la vie l'emporta." And in a Nov. 10 performance of "The Midsummer Marriage" by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Torgove and Robert Honeysucker "ably took on the two-dimensional roles of the Ancients," the Globe said.
Barbara Cassidy, administrative director for the School of Jewish Music, performed at a benefit concert Nov. 4 to mark the release of the Barbara Cassidy Band's new CD, "Leaving Things the Way I Found Them." Cassidy and her husband, Eric Chasalow, the Irving Fine Professor of Music at Brandeis University, are the driving forces behind the band.
Rabbi Michael Shire, dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, was quoted in a front-page story in the Nov. 2 Jewish Advocate about Godly Play, an instructional game that uses simple props to teach Bible stories. Shire said the game helps develop spirituality in children. "It's not just a series of facts and skills they can discard later," Shire said, "but a holistic way to become more fully human and more fully Jewish."
Rabbi Dan Judson, director of professional development and placement for the Rabbinical School, was quoted in a Sept. 6 Jewish Journal article about the growing Jewish tent that now includes lesbian, gay, and single-parent spiritual leaders. "No matter what stripe of synagogue you are, you need to be inclusive because the people who come to the synagogue look different than they used to," Judson said. "Rabbis who cannot keep pace with that will find themselves in trouble."
David List, associate director of Prozdor, will take on the additional role of co-coordinator of the YESOD Fellows Program within the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education. This is a CJP-funded project.
Rachel Raz, associate director of the Early Childhood Institute in the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College, has been promoted to director of the institute.
Rabbi Arthur Green, Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion and rector of the Rabbinical School, had his newest book, "Hasidism for a New Era: The Religious Writings of Hillel Zeitlin," published by Paulist Press. Hebrew College will host an evening in honor of the book later this fall.
Harvey Sukenic, director of the Gann Library, published a review of "A Jewish Voice From Ottoman Salonica: The Ladino Memoir of Sa'adi Besalel a-Levi" in the May/June 2012 issue of the Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews.
Joshua Jacobson, faculty and consultant in the School of Jewish Music, conducted the Colorado Hebrew Chorale in a program commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.