With Chanukah marking the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees’ defeat of Judea’s Seleucid rulers more than 2,000 years ago, the week of the holiday turned out to be the perfect time for the Academy of Jewish Religion, California (AJR-CA) to celebrate the opening of its new campus in Koreatown.
For the first time since the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA (AJR-CA), was founded 13 years ago, the pluralistic institution that trains rabbis, cantors and chaplains has its own space. The school moved from Westwood into the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles earlier this month.
Ron Li-Paz certainly took the long way to the rabbinate. The experienced cantor and spiritual leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue (VOS) describes his recent ordination at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJR-CA) as one of the most transformational experiences of his life. But it was never obvious that the now-44-year-old would one day take a spiritual path.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles named recent UCLA graduate Brianna Fischer of Oak Park as its inaugural Fishel Fellow last month. As part of the two-year paid fellowship, she will participate in hands-on community-service experiences in both Jewish and non-Jewish settings throughout the world, including in Israel, India and Germany. The program culminates with a 10-month paid position at Federation in Los Angeles.
In a groundbreaking appointment, the Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJR,CA), has selected Tamar Frankiel as its new president, making her the first Orthodox woman to lead an American rabbinical school. Frankiel, 66, is a professor of comparative religion and an expert on Jewish mysticism.
The Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJR-CA), graduated its 10th class of rabbinic and cantorial ordinees last month. The transdenominational seminary has graduated close to 90 rabbis, cantors and chaplains since 2003, and nearly all have found work in Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and non-denominational synagogues, as well as in schools, hospitals and other institutions.