No one taught Rabbi Ahud Sela how to read a budget when he was in the seminary. Talmud and pastoral counseling took precedence over the basics of planned giving.
Rabbi Daniel Gordis, I’m told, is perhaps the single most popular speaker on Israel to American Jewish audiences. He moved to Israel in 1998, after serving as founding dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and in Jerusalem he serves as Senior vice president of the Shalem Center, a think tank. Gordis is thought to be a man of considerable distinction, but I fear we have here a case of a whole that is smaller than the sum of its parts, as a consideration of three of his recent essays will show.
We've been sitting at Starbucks over iced drinks for 20 minutes, and the subject of the University of Judaism (UJ) has yet to be brought up. We're schmoozing, Robert Wexler and I, and he asks a lot of questions about me -- where my grandparents are from, where I went to college, where my kids go to school. We talk about how parenting today is so different from how it was when we were each growing up, and we weigh the pros and cons of teens being tethered to their parents by the flip of a cell phone.
Three bouncers, two lawyers and a musician among them, the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies class of 2002 brings a new leadership to the Conservative movement this week with the ordination of eight rabbis. From backgrounds as different as the paths on which they are about to embark, together Mark Ankcorn, Micah Caplan, Andrea Haney, Daniel Greyber, Baruch HaLevi, Barry Leff, Eric Rosin and Ranon Teller received ordination on Monday, May 17.
As the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (ZSRS) at the University of Judaism (UJ) in Los Angeles completes its fifth year, it marks not only a transition within Conservative Judaism but the emergence of Los Angeles as a center for Jewish intellectual life. While it used to be that the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) in New York City was the one center for training Conservative Rabbis (with the University of Judaism as an appendix established in 1947), the development of the ZSRS reflects a maturation of the UJ as its own entity, much like a younger sibling emerging from the shadows of an accomplished older child.
Scenes from Lishma, a joint project of Camp Ramah and the University of Judaism's Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, in which young adults engage in a six-week program of serious spiritual practice and text study.
Last year, as summer approached, Julie Pelc was moving towards a master's degree in education, with plans to go on to rabbinical school. Andrew Weitz was serving as the northeast field representative of the United Jewish Communities, working with Jewish student leaders on outreach and social action projects. Jonathan Dorff was finishing up his first year of medical school. All three of these young Jewish adults found themselves faced with the luxury of a free summer, what Dorff calls, "my last summer off ever." All chose to take part in Lishma, the six-week egalitarian yeshiva-study program newly inaugurated by Camp Ramah in California.