HUC-JIR Essay Competition

2013 Competition

In honor of the WRJ Centennial Celebration, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) students were invited to submit a 1,000-word original essay on the topic: “Celebrating Our Journeys: My Spiritual Path to Reform Jewish Leadership,” which was chosen to reflect WRJ’s aim to share in the students’ spiritual journeys as we continue to invest in these future Reform Movement leaders through the YES Fund.

The winner, HUC-JIR New York student Jodie Gordon, was chosen from dozens of moving, well-written essays from each of the four HUC-JIR campuses and degree programs by a dedicated committee of WRJ staff, lay leaders, HUC-JIR faculty, and HUC-JIR alumni. Jodie received her award at the WRJ Centennial Symposium and her essay was featured on the WRJ Blog.

2015 Competition

Due to the contest's popularity, in the spring of 2015 WRJ invited HUC-JIR students to submit a 1,000-word original essay on a new topic: "Stronger Together: The Role of Women's Groups in Today's Reform Congregations." Julie Bressler, a HUC-JIR Los Angeles rabbinical student, won the competition; her essay was also featured on the WRJ Blog

If you have any questions, please contact WRJ Marketing & Communications Manager, Megan Friedlander at or 212.650.4066.