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David Ellenson RSS

is chancellor of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was its president from 2001-2013.


  • Why we invite political debate over Israel at a Jewish university

    (JTA) — At the 2018 commencement of the Skirball Campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, graduation speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon spoke out strongly, even provocatively, against Israeli policies in the West Bank. In the same address, Chabon also articulated deeply Jewish and Zionist commitments (not merely…

  • Eugene Borowitz, teacher to generations of rabbis, defined dilemma of the modern Jew

    Rabbi David Ellenson offers a remembrance of his teacher, whose charge to question one’s obligations to God was not an academic exercise but an existential demand.

  • Remembering Leonard ‘Leibel’ Fein, ‘a great man in Israel’

    Above all, liberal scholar and activist Leonard Fein was a learned and feeling Jew steeped in the values and teachings of the tradition, Rabbi David Ellenson writes.

  • Op-Ed: Shalit, Israel and rabbinic debate

    A position enunciated by a leading Sephardic rabbi in a 1985 prisoner exchange involving Israel and Lebanon provides a rationale for understanding why the current Israeli government made the decision on the swap deal that freed Gilad Shalit, the president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion writes.

  • Op-Ed: A plea for inclusion and religious liberty on LGBT rights

    The president of the Reform movement’s main rabbinical seminary argues that if Orthodox Jews are serious about protecting religious liberty, they should back proposals to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • Remembering Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk

    The Reform leader’s life and accomplishments were legendary, with his deepest commitments to humanity, the Jewish people and the State of Israel, writes the president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.