The Cincinnati Ordination Ceremony took place on Saturday, May 8 at 2:00 p.m. on the Cincinnati campus. The private ceremony was for the twelve rabbinic ordinees who completed their rabbinical studies and their families.
Rabbi Jason Samuel Cook, Rabbi Libby Louise Fisher, Rabbi Deborah Samantha Novak Goldberg, Rabbi William Paxton Hall, Jr., Rabbi Jonathan Lee Jackson, Rabbi Ross Zadoc Levy, Rabbi Zoe Mira McCoon, Rabbi Shmuel Polin, Rabbi Taylor A. Poslosky, Rabbi Samantha Frances Schauvaney, Rabbi Annalisa Grimes Stryer, and Rabbi Yair Walton were ordained as Rabbis in Israel and blessed by Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost, in front of a portable ark.
Rabbi Jonathan Hecht, Ph.D., Dean of the Cincinnati campus, welcomed the ordinees and their families. Due to the pandemic, the Ordination ceremony, usually held at Plum Street Temple, took place in a tent on the front lawn of the historic Cincinnati campus. Following the ceremony, the twelve new rabbis travelled to Plum Street Temple for the traditional photograph in front of the temple to reflect the meaningful day.
Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., President of HUC-JIR, addressed the ordinees and noted what a beautiful day it was after a traumatic year. He told them, “the symbolic moment when the change in your status occurs will be bestowed on you by Provost Andrea Weiss.” Gary Greenberg, Secretary of the Board of Governors, congratulated them, and confirmed and awarded Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters (MAHL) degrees which were unable to be presented in 2020. Each new rabbi was congratulated by Rabbi Julie S. Schwartz, Associate Dean of the Cincinnati campus, and President Rehfeld presented their MAHL hoods.
At the end of the ceremony, because there could be no live singing, Cantor Yvon Shore spoke the words of the Shehecheyanu while music played in the background. Rabbi Karen Thomashow, Isaac M. Wise Temple Associate Rabbi, gave the closing benediction, and the twelve new rabbis processed out of the tent to greet their families on the front lawn.