CHICAGO, IL and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 17, 2014) - The Central Conference of American Rabbis will honor Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., at the Crown Family Symposium on Rabbinic Leadership on Monday, March 31, 2014, as part of the 125th annual CCAR Convention, in Chicago. The CCAR is the representative organization of nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, the world's largest group of Jewish clergy.

The Symposium will commemorate Rabbi Ellenson's career and his retirement after 12 distinguished years of service as President of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Rabbi Ellenson earned international recognition for his publications and research in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history. As President, he invigorated HUC-JIR's program agenda, developing Fellowships, and instituting social responsibility and service to the Jewish and larger world as core pillars of students' professional development. Rabbi Ellenson has been at HUC-JIR for a total of 23 years, and was named Chancellor upon his retirement from the position of President.

Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP) contributed a grant to support the Symposium. CFP is a Chicago-based philanthropic organization whose program areas include the Arts, Civic Affairs, Education, Environmental, Health, Human Services, and Jewish causes.

"Rabbi Ellenson is a reminder that rabbinic leadership education does not conclude at ordination -- rather, it continues throughout a rabbi's lifetime of service with personal and professional support from the CCAR," said Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive of the CCAR. "Throughout his career, Rabbi Ellenson found ways to strengthen this tradition of post-rabbinic education, and he worked to foster interdenominational and interfaith relations."

"The goal of the event is to celebrate rabbinic leadership as the driver of an exciting and engaging Jewish life, and to recognize that rabbinic leadership is grounded in a deep and broad understanding of Jewish texts and literatures," added Rabbi Fox. "Rabbi Ellenson is a once-in-a-generation leader who has spent his career building an engaging and sustainable North American Jewish community."

The Symposium will feature five rabbis who will each read a chosen text that has influenced them as leaders and that can inspire rabbis as leaders today. Rabbi Ellenson will also respond to questions. Speakers include:

  • Rabbi Andrea Weiss, the moderator and a Professor of Bible at HUC-JIR
  • Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, Dean of the Cincinatti Campus of HUC-JIR
  • Rabbi Shirley Idelson, Shirley Idelson, Dean of the New York campus of HUC-JIR
  • Rabbi Dalia Marx, Professor of Liturgy and Midrash at the Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR
  • Rabbi Josh Garroway, Professor of New Testament and Second Commonwealth Judaism

Other events at the CCAR Convention will feature Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Irene Rosenfeld, Dr. Yakir Englander, and others.

To speak with Rabbi Steven Fox, please contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications at (212) 255-8386 or To attend the Symposium, please visit

About The CCAR
The Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. As the professional organization for Reform Rabbis of North America, the CCAR projects a powerful voice in the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities. Since its establishment, the CCAR has a rich history of giving professional and personal support to Reform rabbis, providing them opportunities for study, professional development and spiritual growth beginning while they are still in seminary, through mid-careers, and into retirement. The CCAR is uniquely positioned to meet the ongoing needs of its nearly 2,000 member rabbis (virtually the entire Reform rabbinate) and the entire Reform Jewish community. For more information please visit the CCAR's website at

Contact Information:

Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller
Sommerfield Communications, Inc.
(212) 255-8386