Archie Rand, Job, acrylic and marker on canvas, 1992.  Collection of the artist

Archie Rand, Job, acrylic and marker on canvas, 1992.  Collection of the artist


As a part of its ongoing virtual education offerings, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is pleased to offer online learning opportunities throughout the summer.  HUC-JIR will present a four-week Summer Arts Series: Ritual, Resilience, and Renewal on Wednesdays during the month of July.  

On Wednesday, July 8 from noon – 1:00 pm, David Ilan, Ph.D., Director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology on the Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR, will speak on The Archaeology of Hallucinogenic Substances in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean.   The texts of the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean Bronze and Iron Ages hint at the use of psychotropic substances ("hallucinogens") in religious and shamanistic rituals.  But the archaeological evidence for this is thin on the ground.  This talk will itemize the available hallucinogens and reexamine a series of artifacts that are believed to be related to the consumption of psychotropic substances.

Rebirth After the Holocaust: The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950 will be presented by Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director of the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at HUC-JIR/New York on Wednesday, July 15 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  The largest Jewish refugee camp in post-war Germany, this vibrant self-governed community’s political, cultural, religious, educational and social activities renewed the survivors' return to life and played a pivotal role in the struggle for the creation of the State of Israel. Through archival film, photographs, and documents, learn how the survivors’ resilience and optimism offer us stories of hope and healing for our day.

Abby Schwartz, Director, Skirball Museum, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, will discuss The Book of Job in Art: From Byzantium to Blake and Beyond on Wednesday, July 22 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  From Byzantine manuscripts of the 9th century to paintings by Albrecht Dürer and Georges de la Tour, the Book of Job has inspired artists through the ages. Most notable is the cycle of illustrations produced by the nineteenth century English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake. Also included will be representations of the Job story in works from the Skirball Museum's collections and temporary exhibitions. 

The final program of the series will be Wednesday, July 29 from noon – 1:00 p.m.  Cantor Richard Cohn, Director, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, HUC-JIR, New York, will present Curating Cantorial Education: Breadth and Depth in Jewish Musical Life.  The profusion of Jewish musical creativity over the last two centuries has only accelerated in our time, and the antecedents of that abundance date to antiquity.  What music do cantors learn while studying at HUC-JIR, and how do those repertoires influence their leadership of contemporary communities?  We’ll frame the foundational elements and explore emerging musical forms, while viewing and listening to selected examples in representative styles.

Registration is required.

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