Posts Tagged ‘HUC’

 

“Investing” or “Ordaining” Cantors: What Does it Really Mean?

Posted on: May 6th, 2012 by Hayim Herring No Comments

A few days ago, the JTA carried an article about Hebrew Union College’s decision to change the title of cantors from “invested” to “ordained.” Based on some interviews that it conducted with rabbis and cantors, HUC explained that one of the reasons for the change was to reflect the reality that cantors and rabbis studied for the same length of time and that cantors had multi-faceted roles and were not just “singers.”

Having just spent some time learning with a group of Conservative cantors, the article peaked my interest because of what it didn’t say. What I heard from the group of cantors I was with was a desire to re-conceptualize their roles so that congregations would understand the true value that they added. Their concern seemed to stem as much from a need to appropriately acknowledge a lengthy course of study as it did from anxiety over a profession that is contracting.

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Questions of Ultimate Importance

Posted on: August 17th, 2010 by Hayim Herring No Comments
Since this past Sunday, I’ve had the real joy of being together with two different groups of Schusterman Rabbinical Fellows. Each group has four distinguished students from HUC and four from JTS, learning together about leadership, outreach and inclusion. In one session, the students heard from an outstanding facilitator who worked with them on speaking authentically, that is, not being pontificators but genuine communicators.
One part of that session triggered three questions that seemed so appropriate to think about as we ready for Rosh ha-Shanah:
when were you recently at your best?
when do you think that the Jewish people acted at its best?
when do you think a significant part of the world behaved at its best?
I hope that you will find these questions pointing to issues of ultimate importance. And I hope that some of you will want to respond to them on this blog. And for anyone who is speaking before a congregation on the holidays about some related topics, please send me your sermons or summarize the key ideas below.
Thank you,
Rabbi Hayim Herring

Since this past Sunday, I’ve had the real joy of being together with two different groups of Schusterman Rabbinical Fellows. Each group has four distinguished students from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and four from The Jewish Theological Seminary, learning together about leadership, outreach and inclusion. In one session, the students heard from an outstanding facilitator who worked with them on speaking authentically, that is, not being pontificators but genuine communicators.

One part of that session triggered three questions that seemed so appropriate to think about as we ready for Rosh ha-Shanah:

  1. When were you recently at your best?
  2. When do you think that the Jewish people acted at its best?
  3. When do you think a significant part of the world behaved at its best?

I hope that you will find these questions pointing to issues of ultimate importance, and I hope that some of you will want to respond to them on this blog. And for anyone who is speaking before a congregation on the holidays about some related topics, please send me your sermons or summarize the key ideas below.

Thank you,

Rabbi Hayim Herring

image from Flickr, Horia Varlan