In many respects, Cincinnati is the birthplace of American Reform Judaism. In 1873, a prominent local rabbi, Isaac Mayer Wise, helped create the Union for American Hebrew Congregations. Two years later, the first rabbinic seminary in America, Hebrew Union College, was established in Cincinnati with Wise as its president.
The first class of Reform Rabbis was ordained in 1889. Many years later, after completing my rabbinic studies, I too was ordained in Cincinnati.
In the beginning of April, I look forward to celebrating the 130th anniversary of the CCAR at a national conference being held in the Queen City.
As always, a rabbinic convention offers numerous opportunities for learning. I especially look forward to studying with my thesis advisor, Professor Michael Meyer. He is offering a seminar entitled “Commandment, Conscience, Controversy: The Reform Rabbi in the Corrupt Society.”
I also welcome the opportunity to celebrate Rabbi Steven Fox as he approaches retiring from his position as Chief Executive of the CCAR. Steve and I were study partners and friends prior to his national appointment. He has been a transformative leader these past 13 years and he will be honored for his exemplary service.
I am sure there will be many highlights during the conference. I will do my best to soak in as much as I can while I am there. Perhaps I will even find time to enjoy a local favorite - Graeters ice cream. It’s the best ice cream on the planet IMHO.