Sunday, April 6, 2008

CCAR Convention

Hello! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I couldn't wait to tell you all about the CCAR Convention that I attended last week (see the photo in the last post). The CCAR is the Central Conference of American Rabbis - basically, it is the organization for all Reform Rabbis in North America. They hold a convention every year in a different part of the continent, and this year's was in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why Cincinnati? In many ways, it is considered the birthplace of American Reform Judaism. Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise established both the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now known as the Union for Reform Judaism) in 1873, and the Hebrew Union College (a seminary for rabbis), in 1875, in Cincinnati. Rabbi Stephen Wise began the Jewish Institute of Religion, another seminary, in New York City in 1922. These two institutions merged in 1950, becoming HUC-JIR.
HUC-JIR is now the school for all who wish to become a Reform rabbi, cantor, educator, or other Jewish professional. There are two more campuses - one in Jerusalem, where all students must spend their first year, and one in Los Angeles.

I began school at HUC-JIR in the summer of 1999. I graduated in college in May, then left for Israel in June. It was the most incredible experience to live in Jerusalem for a year, and I am sure that I will tell you more about it at another time. All students then return to one of the stateside campuses. I came back to the NY campus for my remaining four years, and I was ordained as a rabbi in 2004.

All Reform rabbis become members of the CCAR upon ordination. Next year's convention is in Jerusalem - I hope that I can go!! I hope to be totally healthy and strong by then so that I can truly and fully enjoy the trip to Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.

No comments: