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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Eddy names interim rabbi

Published: February 1, 2008
Section: Front Page, News

Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy announced on Jan. 30 the appointment of Rabbi Elyse Winick as the Interim Jewish Chaplain after the resignation of Rabbi Lehmann last spring.

Rabbi Winick graduated from Brandeis in 1986 and will be at Brandeis for the 2008 spring semester.

Unitl now, the search for a replacement, headed by Eddy, has been unsuccessful. The search committee settled on a group of finalists but no permanent rabbi was chosen.

For me, it’s a thrilling experience being from Brandeis. I have a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to the university,” commented Winick about her return to campus.

Before being appointed interim rabbi, Winick has been involved with the Brandeis University Conservative Organization.

Despite the fact that Winick feels it is difficult to bring about change as only an Interim Chaplain, she is excited to be a part of the community for a limited amount of time.

She also hopes to be a part of the process of selecting the next permanent Jewish Chaplain.

Winick is very optimistic about her role at Brandeis over the semester. She encouraged students looking for spiritual counseling to come and discuss anything that is on their minds.

Rabbi Winick also hopes to assist students in making important college decisions throughout their time at Brandeis.

The University Hillel as well as Chaplaincy staffs are excited to welcome Rabbi Winick to the Brandeis community.

Associate Director of Hillel Cindy Spungin said, “the campus has been blessed with an additional resource to support students not only in their individual Jewish journeys and community life, but also in their total experience at Brandeis.”

Spungin also said that Rabbi Winick will begin leading services tonight. She will also participate in the Chaplaincy panel discussing Jewish-Christian relations following the Hillel Shabbat dinner Friday night.

Catholic Chaplain Father Walter Cuenin said that the appointment of Rabbi Winick “brings a special dynamic spirit to our community in the Interfaith Chaplaincy.”

He added, “it is also exciting to have a woman rabbi as that brings a special dimension to our campus religious community.”

Rabbi Winick is excited to work with Brandeis students. “[They] have a real passion for creativity and open-minded thinking,” she remarked.

She described returning to Brandeis as a “homecoming for me.”

Winick went on to say, “even though the university changes, I will always feel very much at home here.”

Hillel president David Kuperstein ’08 commented via e-mail, “Hillel will be making every effort to work with Rabbi Winick for the benefit of all students at Brandeis and look forward to having an additional resource available to the community.”

Kuperstein explained that Hillel will be involved in the search for a permanent rabbi.

Originally from New York, Rabbi Winick transferred to Brandeis for two years, which she recalls as a “challenging environment, both academically and spiritually.”

Many of her fellow students during her time at Brandeis shared the same experience as her, which she feels is the defining aspect of the Brandeis atmosphere.

She met her husband and discovered her desire to work with college students while attending Brandeis.

While Winick serves as the interim rabbi, she will continue to act as the Associate Director of KOACH, the Jewish Conservative Movement’s college resources and programming department.