Rabbi Garson Herzfeld, a member of the Hobart Class of 1973, was given an honorary degree by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion during its Founders' Day celebration March 14.
The full press release from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is below.
The college community of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) paid tribute to its founders, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Sunday, March 14, 2004. The service was held in the S.H. and Helen R. Scheuer Chapel on the Clifton campus.
Dr. David Ellenson, President, HUC-JIR, awarded honorary degrees to 12 distinguished alumni of the College-Institute for 25 years of devoted service as preservers and teachers of Judaism-its faith, its culture, and its communal ethics. Dr. Michael Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History at HUC-JIR Cincinnati, delivered the annual Founder’s Day address, “Jewish Scholarship and Jewish Memory.”
Rabbi Garson Herzfeld, rabbi of the Beth El Congregation in Winchester, Virginia, adjunct assistant professor of Judaica studies at Shenandoah University, and mentor of Northwest Community Services in Winchester, Virginia, was one of the honored recipients. Rabbi Herzfeld received his bachelor of arts in philosophy from Hobart College in Geneva, New York in 1973. He went on to receive his master of arts in Hebrew letters and was ordained at HUC-JIR Cincinnati in 1979.
Rabbi Herzfeld has served in various rabbinic and Jewish communal positions. He was executive director of the Toledo Board of Jewish Education in Toledo, Ohio, 1998, assistant executive director of the Windsor Jewish Federation/Community Centre, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1994-98, Israel program director of the Jewish Federation/Community Center of the North Shore in Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1993, Hillel Foundation director for the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, 1988-93, Rabbi of Temple Israel in Brockton, Massachusetts, 1986-88, rabbi of Temple Beth-El in Geneva New York, 1981-86, and rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom Dollard Des Ormeau in Quebec, Canada, 1979-81.
Along with Rabbi Herfeld, several others received doctor of divinity degrees, honoris causa. These recipients include, Rabbi T. Gerson Blackmore, of Congregation Ner Shalom, Woodbridge Virginia; Rabbi Bruce Diamond, of Congregation Temple Beth El, Ft. Meyers, Florida; Rabbi Yossie Liebowitz, of Congregation Bnai Israel, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Rabbi James L. Sagarin, R.J.E., teacher at Field Junior High School, Northbrook, Illinois; Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, executive director of the Hillel Foundation, associate professor in the department of music and lecturer, and associate chaplain, Tufts University, Newtonville, Massachusetts; Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, of Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Potomac, Maryland; Rabbi David A. Whiman, of North Shore Synagogue, Syosset, New York; Rabbi Irvin Wise, of Adath Israel Congregation, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Rabbi Ben Alan Romer. Doctor of music degrees, honoris causa, were presented to Cantor Merrill Fisher, retired cantor of Temple Emanuel, Great Neck, New York and Cantor Janice Roger, cantor of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Founded in Cincinnati in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the oldest institution of higher Jewish education in the Western Hemisphere and the academic and professional leadership development center of the Reform Movement. The College-Institute trains rabbis, cantors, religious school educators, Jewish communal workers and scholars of all faiths at its four campuses in Cincinnati, New York, Los Angeles, and Jerusalem. In addition to training professional leadership to serve the Jewish community, HUC-JIR’s School of Graduate Studies awards masters’ and doctoral degrees to men and women of all faiths.