Newton Centre, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES

NEWTON CENTRE, Mass., April 1, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hebrew College announced at its annual gala last week the establishment of the Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership, made possible through a generous gift by Dan Miller, a member of the Hebrew College Board of Trustees and husband of the late Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller.

Highlighting the urgent need for interreligious engagement, Dan Miller commented, "It will be vital… to our future as we seek to build a world that Betty Ann dreamed it could be — a world of wholeness and understanding."

Over the last decade, Hebrew College has distinguished itself as a national leader in the field of interreligious learning and leadership. Much of this work was inspired by the pioneering efforts of a small group of outstanding graduate students, including Betty Ann, who earned a Master's Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College in 2005. Recognizing Hebrew College's unique capabilities and attributes, among them the opportunity to partner with neighboring institution Andover Newton Theological School, Betty Ann and her peers initiated a series of transformative educational programs for students from both schools.

Building on these early efforts, Rabbi Or Rose, director of the new center, and his Andover Newton counterparts worked with students, faculty, and administrators, creating CIRCLE, the Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership. Over the last decade, CIRCLE has taught and mentored hundreds of students and professionals, reaching thousands more through conference presentations, public lectures, and print and digital media.

With Andover Newton's recent announcement that it will sell its campus and pursue an affiliation with a university-based seminary outside of Greater Boston, Hebrew College has committed to carry forth the legacy of CIRCLE, creating an independent and firmly-rooted interreligious educational center, serving current and future Jewish, Christian, and Muslim professionals and laity. The two schools will also continue to work together closely during an extended transition period.

Commenting on the establishment of the new Greenbaum Miller Center, Rabbi Rose said, "We are deeply honored to be able to renew the vital work that Betty Ann and her peers helped to catalyze on our hilltop over a decade ago." Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, president of Hebrew College, added, "We are so thankful to Dan Miller for this generous and visionary gift, as it ensures the continuity and growth of the outstanding interreligious work our faculty and students have been doing for many years."

Hebrew College, founded in 1921, promotes excellence in Jewish learning and leadership within a pluralistic environment of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement and spiritual creativity. Its programs include a Rabbinical School, a School of Jewish Music, a School of Jewish Education, and graduate degrees and courses in Jewish studies; community education for adult learners; and a supplemental Hebrew high school and middle school. For more information, visit www.hebrewcollege.edu.


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