About the Institute Director
Dr. Joel L. Kushner is the first Director of the the Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also heads the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center (JHVRC) on Sexual Orientation Issues in the Jewish Community.
Dr. Kushner sits on the National Religious Leadership Roundtable of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and on the Advisory Board of the Human Rights Campaign's Faith and Religion Program. He is the co-editor of a new book, Kulanu: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusion Guide for Congregations to be published in April of 2007 by the URJ Press.
Dr. Kushner brings a unique educational and profession background to his position. Prior to coming to HUC-JIR, Dr. Kushner worked with both profit and non-profit organizations as a behavioral healthcare consultant focusing on crisis management, performance, training, and policy development. He has a 17-year history of dedication to counseling, training, and education and a passion for cultural issues and diversity. His training includes graduate degrees in counseling and clinical psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York and from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Dr. Kushner has a lifelong interest in pastoral care developed originally from coursework at the University of Edinburgh Divinity School, Scotland. He completed an extended unit in CPE at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City and continued in its on-call rotation for another year as a lay chaplain. In the mid 1980s, Dr. Kushner volunteered for GMHC in New York, participating in several of the first AIDS education programs conducting outreach as well as leading groups focused on education and behavior change. He also volunteered with the Deaf AIDS Project in New York focusing on curriculum design to help bring information to a population that, at that time, had no access to AIDS education.
In Los Angeles, Dr. Kushner served for three years on the Board of Directors of LAGPA, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy Association. For eight years, Dr. Kushner co-led education bereavement groups for adults at St John's Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA.
About the Institute Program Associate
Kenna Cottrill, Ph.D.
Kenna recently accepted a full-time position at City of Hope in Duarte, CA as an Organizational Development and Diversity Specialist. She will continue to work with the Institute with the Welcoming Synagogues Project.
Kenna Cottrill joined the Institute in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Social Services emphasis and a minor in Women & Gender Studies from University of California, Davis. Her passion for working with college students led her to Miami University (OH) where she obtained a Master of Science in College Student Personnel. While at Miami University, Kenna worked in residence life, student activities, LGBT organization advising, and leadership development.
After graduating, Kenna worked for three years at Occidental College in Los Angeles in the Office of Student Life. She worked with clubs and organizations, programming, leadership development, and student government. In January 2008, Kenna returned to school to pursue her vision of helping people work better together. In June 2012, she graduated with her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Alliant International University. She completed her thesis on inclusion and commitment, which was accepted as a poster presentation at the 2011 National Multicultural Conference and Symposium in Seattle, WA. Her dissertation focused on inclusion, organizational citizenship behaviors, authentic leadership, ethical organizational climate, and self-esteem.
Rabbi Nancy Wiener, DMin.
Rabbi Wiener is the Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR New York Campus
Rabbinic Student Scholarships:
The Institute provides partial scholarships for field placements in institutions serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community to help train emerging Jewish professionals.
Student Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp
Los Angeles County Mens Central Jail
Prison Chaplaincy Intern: 2008-2009
Miriam Terlinchamp was raised in Bellevue, Washington. She graduated with honors from Scripps College with a BA in both Studio Art as well as Religious Studies. She has a MAHL from HUC-JIR. In her first year at HUC-JIR, which she attended in Jerusalem, she received the Jason Huebsch Award for Excellence in Community Service, given to one student in their first year who has been central to bringing community awareness and service to both campus and the outer community. She has served as Temple De Hirsch Sinai, in Seattle, Washington, as their rabbinic intern two weekends a month for the past three years where she works on special programming for students in grades 6 through 12 and young professionals. She also served a community in Santa Maria, CA where she worked with issues that concern an aging congregation. Currently, she is a fourth year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, CA. She will continue this year as TDHS's rabbinic intern and will also be serving as a Jewish intern chaplain at LA County's Men's Central Jail.
Student Rabbi Joe Hample
Congregation: Beth Chayim Chadashim
Los Angeles, CA
Joe Hample is a recently ordained rabbi from Hebrew Union College. He served as the Student Rabbi at Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, the oldest gay and lesbian synagogue in the world. Joe received his BA in Russian from Harvard in 1978. Before coming to HUC, Joe worked for many years as a systems analyst at Wells Fargo Bank. Joe's past internships included Congregation Or Ami (in Calabasas, CA), Temple Beth Zion (in Buffalo, NY), Congregation Beth Haverim (in Spokane, WA), student chaplaincy in the LA County jail system, and a student chaplaincy program with St. Luke's Hospital (New York, NY). Among other things, he hopes to work with the sick and the bereaved, with prospective Jews-by-choice and prospective lay leaders, as well as with children's education and updating our prayerbooks.
Student Rabbi Reuben Zellman
Congregation Sha'ar Zahav
San Francisco, CA
Reuben Zellman is a candidate for rabbinic ordination at the Hebrew Union College -
Jewish Institute of Religion in 2008.
He was the Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York City and is currently the
rabbinic intern at Congregation Sha'ar Zahav in San Francisco. He received his BA in linguistics from UC Berkeley,
and worked in
disability services before doing his post-baccalaureate work in music theory and classical voice at San Francisco State
University. He has been involved with transgender activism since 1999, and writes and teaches about transgender and intersex
issues and Judaism.
Past Scholarship Recipients:
Summer 2007 L.A. County Jails Chaplaincy Internship Joe Hample
Student Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg, 2006-2007
The IJSO is grateful for the generous in-kind support from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, particularly for the wisdom and services of the staff of the National Department of eLearning and the Development Department including:
National Department of eLearning:
Gregg Alpert, National Director of eLearning
Barbara Lehman, Director of Design for Digital Learning
Michelle Lazarow, Educational Technologist
Adam Greenwald, Assistant Director of Development & Public Affairs, Western Region