Graduation 2020 | Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Graduation 2020

Graduation 2020

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With great pride and joy, we introduce the graduating class of 2020/5780. It has been a privilege to serve as their teachers and to accompany them on their journeys to the rabbinate. The people they serve will be blessed to call them rabbi and we, their teachers, are blessed to call them colleagues.  

While we need to wait until next spring to celebrate their graduations in person, we have conferred upon them the title of rabbi and send them into sacred service with this blessing: 


May you who came to learn, now go and teach.

הַבָּאִים לִלְמוֹד, תֵּלְכוּ אַף לְלַמֵּד 

 

 

 


 

Annual Prizes and Awards

 

THE RABBI DEVORA BARTNOFF MEMORIAL PRIZE FOR SPIRITUALLY MOTIVATED SOCIAL ACTION

Through the generosity of the members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Rabbi Devora Bartnoff Memorial Prize for Spiritually Motivated Social Action is awarded annually to a third-, fourth- or fifth-year student whose rabbinic work best demonstrates how ru’akh hakodesh (sacred spirit) inspires tikkun olam (social action).

The 2020 recipient is Donna Cephas.

 

THE RABBI KENNETH BERGER AND AVIVA BERGER MEMORIAL PRIZE IN PRACTICAL RABBINICS

Through the generosity of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Rabbi Kenneth Berger and Aviva Berger Memorial Prize in Practical Rabbinics is awarded annually at graduation exercises to a fourth- or fifth-year student who exemplifies those qualities of rabbinic service that enhance the quality of congregational life.

The 2020 recipient is Lily Solochek.

 

THE YEHUDA BERGER PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN BIBLICAL STUDIES

The Yehuda Berger Prize for Excellence in Biblical Studies is awarded from time to time to a student who demonstrates significant scholarly mastery of, and insight into, biblical civilization and biblical texts. This prize is named in memory of Yehuda Berger, z”l —an intellectual, a scholar of Jewish  contributions to civilization, a dedicated teacher himself and a mentor to teachers, who was deeply committed to the Jewish people. He helped found, lead and shape Congregation Beit Simchat Torah of New York City, where he was highly respected and widely loved, and where he is still fondly remembered.

The 2020 recipient is Zachary Wiener.

 

THE EVELYN R. MEHLMAN JEWISH MUSIC AWARD

In memory of Evelyn R. Mehlman, z”l, whose dedication to Judaism and to Jewish music was unparalleled, and who brought light to everyone she befriended, a prize is awarded annually to a full-time RRC student who advances the study or performance of cantorial or seriously intentioned music addressed to Jewish themes.

The 2020 recipient is Solomon Hoffman.

 

THE JOSEPH L. AND ANN W. PINKENSON PRIZE IN RABBINICS

Through the beneficence of the Pinkenson family, the Joseph L. and Ann W. Pinkenson Prize in Rabbinics is awarded at graduation to a student who has excelled in the study of rabbinic literature and civilization.

The 2020 recipient is Miriam Geronimus.

 

THE A. WALTER SOCOLOW WRITING PRIZE

Through the beneficence of the children of A. Walter Socolow, z”l, the annual Socolow Writing Prize is awarded to a student for a paper, essay or monograph. The work must have been written expressly as part of the RRC course of study during the previous 12 months on a theme of interest to the Jewish people, with special attention to American Jewry, Reconstructionism and family life. It must be an articulate work, excellent in its conception, method, content  and style.

The 2020 recipients are Mikey Hess Webber, Donna Cephas and Zachary Wiener for their essay,  “Lament to Liberation: A Liberation Theology for the Future of Holocaust Education.”

 

THE FRED LOUIS STAMM MEMORIAL PRIZE

Through the generosity of the family of Fred Louis Stamm, z”l, the Stamm Memorial Prize is awarded annually at the RRC’s graduation exercises to a student who writes an essay that most contributes to the field of Jewish history and culture. The essay must consist of original research written during the previous year, focusing on any period of Jewish history and culture.

The 2020 recipient is Rachel Davidson for “ ‘She is a Tree of Life’: Creating a Historically Inspired Divine Feminine Liturgy.”

 

THE ALICE STEIN PRIZE IN CONTEMPORARY JEWISH CIVILIZATION

Through the generosity of the Joseph F. Stein Foundation, the Alice Stein Prize is awarded annually at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s graduation exercises to a student who creates an innovative project that explores relevant cultural and social issues, including but not limited to issues of gender, race, class and identity. A variety of formats will be considered as long as the project includes a clearly stated application to the reconstruction of contemporary Jewish life.

The 2020 recipient is Sarah Brammer Shlay for “God Cafes.”