103 episodes

The College Commons Podcast, passionate perspectives from Judaism's leading thinkers, is produced by Hebrew Union College, America's first Jewish institution of higher learning.

College Commons HUC-JIR

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7, 16 Ratings

The College Commons Podcast, passionate perspectives from Judaism's leading thinkers, is produced by Hebrew Union College, America's first Jewish institution of higher learning.

    Rabbi Noa Sattath: The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)

    Rabbi Noa Sattath: The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)

    Fighting for gay and civil rights, and Jewish pluralism.

    Rabbi Noa Sattath is the Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the social justice arm of the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism. She is charged with leading the staff of the organization, developing social change strategies in the fields of separation of religion and state, women’s rights, and the struggle against racism. Prior to her work in IRAC, Noa was the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT community center in Jerusalem and the Executive Director of MEET, a non-profit organization that uses technology to create a common language between Israeli and Palestinian young leaders.

    • 26 min
    Marra Gad: Racism in Progressive Jewish Communities

    Marra Gad: Racism in Progressive Jewish Communities

    The compelling journey of a biracial Jew.

    Marra B. Gad was born in New York and raised in Chicago. She is an independent film and television producer and now calls Los Angeles home. Ms. Gad is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a master’s degree in modern Jewish history from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University. She is the author of The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish girl.

    • 34 min
    Rabbi Richard Address: Jewish Sacred Aging

    Rabbi Richard Address: Jewish Sacred Aging

    Seeking meaning in a spiritual approach to aging.

    Rabbi Address was ordained at HUC-JIR 1972 and currently serves as the Director of Jewish Sacred Aging® (jewishsacredaging.com) and host of weekly podcast "Seekers of Meaning." He served on staff of the URJ for over 3 decades as Regional Director and Director of Jewish Family Concerns, in addition to serving congregations in CA and NJ. He is active in several national and local (Philadelphia-area) organizations dealing with aging, caregiving and end of life. He also serves as Dean of Gamliel Institute and teaches classes associated with Jewish Sacred Aging work at HUC-JIR in New York, Yeshiva Univ, as well a local JCC and numerous congregations.

    • 19 min
    Mental Health in the Jewish Community

    Mental Health in the Jewish Community

    Leaders of Atlanta's Berman Center and Blue Dove Foundation tackle addiction and mental health in the Jewish community.

    Alyza Berman, LCSW, is the founder, owner, and executive director of the Berman Center, a treatment program created to address the needs of individuals who suffer from addiction, mental illness, and co-occurring disorders. She is a trauma specialist as well as an individual, group, couples, and family therapist. Alyza specializes in the treatment of addiction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma. She has a passion for helping others and fully immerses herself in the people she meets and works with daily. The Berman Center doors first opened to address a problem in the Jewish community, while creating a place and program where Jewish individuals can get help for mental health and/or addiction. The Berman Center is founded on the Jewish principles of connection, community, and belonging.

    Daniel Epstein, LMHC, LPC is a licensed psychotherapist; co-founder of the Blue Dove Foundation and Director of Client Care at The Berman Center, a Jewish-based intensive outpatient treatment program for mental health and substance abuse. A South Florida native, Epstein specializes in teens, young adults and crisis intervention. In 2019, Daniel was recognized by the Atlanta Jewish Times as a 40 under 40 honoree.

    Gabrielle (Gabby) Leon Spatt is a genuine connector who is passionate about bringing people and organizations together to accomplish big dreams. A personal tragedy led Gabby to start volunteering with The Blue Dove Foundation, an Atlanta-based non-profit focusing on mental health and substance abuse education, outreach and awareness through a Jewish lens. Gabby transitioned from board member to staff member in April 2019. She devotes her time to her professional role along with community engagement through different leadership roles. In 2017, Gabby was recognized by the Atlanta Jewish Times as a 40 under 40 honoree and a member of the 2019 Outstanding Atlanta Class.

    Justin Milrad is a passionate and engaged businessman and individual who believes that we each have a responsibility through tikkun olam to make this world a better place. Justin is the CEO of the Berman Center, a mental health and substance abuse intensive outpatient program. Driven by his passion for the Jewish community, Justin is on several Jewish boards including the Blue Dove Foundation, an Atlanta-based non-profit focusing on mental health and substance abuse education, outreach and awareness through a Jewish lens. Justin is also He is also involved in the National Young Leadership Program at Jewish Federation and is currently enrolled in the Wexner Heritage Institute, a program developing Jewish leaders across North America.

    The Blue Dove Foundation's book, "Quieting The Silence: Personal Stories" is a collection of personal stories dedicated to raising awareness, understanding, support and hope for those who struggle with mental illness and addiction in the Jewish Community and is available on Amazon.

    • 28 min
    Rabbi Mike Uram: Next Generation Judaism

    Rabbi Mike Uram: Next Generation Judaism

    Exploring new community models for the next generation of Jews.

    Rabbi Mike Uram is the Executive Director at Penn Hillel and the author of the best-selling book, Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations, which won a National Jewish Book Award in 2016. He is a sought-after speaker and consultant on the changing nature of the American Judaism, Jewish innovation, cutting-edge engagement and how legacy organizations can reinvent themselves in the age of millennials. He has spent time in all of the different denominations and is most passionate about breaking down the boundaries that prevent people from having full self-actualized Jewish identities.

    • 48 min
    We All Look the Same to a Virus: Shared Human-ness in View of a Pandemic

    We All Look the Same to a Virus: Shared Human-ness in View of a Pandemic

    Off-Script: Old Wisdom, New Realty
    Audio insights from religious thinkers on the Covid-19 pandemic -- a special series of the College Commons Podcast.

    Episode Contributors:

    BART CAMPOLO is a secular minister, speaker, and writer who currently serves as the humanist chaplain at the University of Cincinnati and the host of the award-winning Humanize Me podcast. Bart has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine and, together with his famous evangelical father, he is the author of Why I Left, Why I Stayed and the subject of the documentary film, Leaving My Father’s Faith.

    Dr. LEAH HOCHMAN, PH.D. directs the Louchheim School for Judaic Studies at the University of Southern California and serves as Associate Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles.

    AZIZA HASAN is the executive director of NewGround: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change, a national model for building authentic relationships, productive engagement and social change between American Muslims and Jews. Named one of 50 people quietly changing the nonprofit world by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Aziza currently serves on L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Interfaith Leaders Collaborative and previously served on President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    Host:

    DR. JOSHUA HOLO, PH.D. is the Dean of HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles and Associate Professor of Jewish History. He served as Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at USC from 2006-2010. Dr. Holo's publications focus on Medieval Jews of the Mediterranean, particularly in the Christian realm. His book, Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009.

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Punkmouse ,

Intellectually stimulating AND heart warming

If you enjoy in-depth interviews of interest to the Jewish community that both stimulate the mind AND warm the heart, this is the podcast for you. Love it!

Ravgah ,

Give the guest some space

The host means well but simply can’t let the show be about the guest. He dominates the conversation. I felt sorry for the guest who could hardly get a word in; or at least he should be allowed to respond in full. The best host knows about tzimtzum. Less is more.

nicknamethatisnttaken! ,

Very interesting topics and discussion; too much cross-talk

Excellent, stimulating topics, host and guests. I think the podcast could be improved if it was talking over the guests by host - in podcast i.e. an audio format, it is difficult to hear what both people are saying at once.

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