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2014 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize in Arts, Literature, the Humanities and Religion

On May 8, 2014, Rabbi David M. Posner received the Dr. Bernard Heller Prize
in Arts, Literature, the Humanities and Religion from Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion.

Richard Lobell Photography for Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Congratulations to Rabbi David M. Posner, recipient of the 2014 Dr. Bernard Heller Prize in Arts, Literature, the Humanities and Religion from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., president of HUC-JIR, and Ruth O. Freedlander, co-trustee of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation, presented the award to Rabbi Posner on May 8, 2014, at the HUC-JIR/New York graduation, held at Emanu-El. Also present were Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Ph.D., dean of HUC-JIR/New York, and Irwin Engelman, chairman of the board of governors.

About the Dr. Bernard Heller Prize

The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize in Arts, Letters, the Humanities and Religion is an international award presented to an organization or individual whose work, writing or research reflects significant contributions in these areas. Previous recipients include Dennis B. Ross, special Middle East coordinator in the U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, chief negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords; Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury and advocate for Holocaust restitution; Count Folke Bernadotte, posthumously, for rescuing thousands in the concentration camps during the Holocaust; and Shimon Peres, president of the State of Israel, for his exemplary leadership, wise statecraft and moral leadership for more than 60 years.

The Dr. Bernard Heller Prize was established by the co-trustees of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation to honor Dr. Bernard Heller’s memory, life and belief in the Jewish tradition. Dr. Bernard Heller was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1949, served on the faculty as visiting professor of Jewish ethics and the philosophy of religion at HUC-JIR/New York, was the director of Restitution of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction (the agency charged with the restitution of cultural property seized by the Nazis from European Jewry and Jewish institutions), and served the only liberal Jewish congregation in India, the Progressive Union of Bombay. Dr. Heller pursued his interests in business as one of the founders of the predecessor to the United Brands Corporation and the West Indies Investment Company in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement’s congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR’s campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish history, identity, art and archaeology, and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.

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(Richard Lobell Photography for Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion)

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