2009-03-25 / Federation

Lions to roar into NYC


On Wed., April 29, the Jewish Federation's Lions of Judah (LOJ) will visit Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion (HUCJIR) in New York. They will enjoy a private tour of the institution, a view of the museum exhibits and a talk by Dr. Wendy Zierler, associate professor of Feminist Studies and Modern Jewish Literature at HUC-JIR.

Peggy David, LOJ chair, has a special relationship with HUC because her husband, Rabbi Jerome David of Temple Emanuel attended HUC-JIR's Cincinnati school and her son, Rabbi Benjamin David, was ordained at the NY school.

"It is a place I feel Jewish women should recognize," she said. "HUCJIR was among the first to accept women as fully equal members of the student body and board of trustees. "I really look forward to our visit."

Founded in 1875, HUC-JIR is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and is the academic, spiritual and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. The institution educates men and women pursuing professional careers as rabbis, cantors, educators and communal service professionals. The New York City school is one of four HUC-JIR institutions in the United States and has ordained 552 women rabbis and 184 women cantors.

David seeks to incorporate Judaic aspects within the Lions' social activities, giving the group a balanced educational and recreational experience. Since HUC-JIR was the first institution to ordain women and because its dean is a woman, David finds it especially appropriate for the Lions to visit and to hear from highly educated Jewish women.

Professor Zierler, who earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University, will give a presentation on "To Speak Her Heart", a book of prayers and poems, drawn from the biblical Hannah and representing a wide range of Jewish women's voices and concerns.

The Lions will also tour the school and see two of its museum exhibits. The first, Arbit Blatas' "A Centennial Celebration," is a major exhibit that highlights "The Monument to the Holocaust" and includes opera and theater stage set designs, landscapes and portraits. Blatas' memorials to the Holocaust have been installed in historic sites such as the Ghetto of Venice, the Shrine of the Unknown Jewish Martyrs in Paris and at Fort Nine in Lithuania.

The second, "Envisioning Maps," includes paintings, sculptures and prints by contemporary American and international artists who use actual maps, real or imagined, as metaphors for human relationships, historical experiences, social values, global politics and issues of identity and heritage.

Later, the Lions will enjoy lunch in lower Manhattan plus shopping, relaxing and additional touring on their own.

Lions of Judah are women recognized for making individual commitments of at least $5,000 to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign. There are currently 94 women recognized as Lions in Southern New Jersey.

For more information about this event please contact Martha Karasick, Annual Campaign Director at 751- 9500, ext. 214 or mkarasick@jfedsnj. org

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