Education Day 3-30-13
Cincinnati Chapter of Hadassah held its annual Education Day on Sunday, March 30th from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Teller Lounge at Hebrew Union College, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH. Rabbi Judy Chessin led us in "Celebrating Different Passover Seder Traditions" and related little-known facts about the differences in Passover observance from around the world. Hadassah members brought a variety of dishes to sample at a Passover buffet. Bobbi Handwerger and Bea Goodman are Education Day Co-Chairs. Bonnie Juran Ullner is Cincinnati Chapter President of Hadassah.
Rabbi Judy Chessin is well known to local Hadassah members, having been guest speaker at Hadassah Coffee Talk as well as the last two years’ Education Days. Originally from Orlando, Florida, Rabbi Chessin received her undergraduate training at the University of South Florida. After studying in Jerusalem, she went on to complete her Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio. There she received ordination as Rabbi in June of 1984 and was awarded the Morris H. Youngerman Prize for Homiletics. During her tenure at HUC-JIR, she served pulpits in Owensboro, Kentucky, and Brookhaven, Mississippi. Chessin also directed the seminary’s Youth and College Programming for three years. In 2007, she received a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from HUC-JIR at its Cincinnati Graduation ceremony on June 7, 2009 at Isaac M. Wise Temple.
Rabbi Chessin also studied graduate level psychology at the University of Cincinnati, and worked as a caseworker at both the University of Cincinnati’s Walk-in Clinic and Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati. From 1984-1985 she received pastoral counseling training and supervision at the Pastoral Counseling Center at Miami Valley Hospital. In 1984 she was asked to guide 35 South Dayton families to create a Reform Jewish synagogue in the Centerville area. Together they created Temple Beth Or (a member congregation of the Union for Reform Judaism) which has now grown to 225 families and serves the needs of Reform Jewish families from all over the Dayton area.
Along with her duties at Temple Beth Or, Rabbi Chessin speaks extensively in Dayton area universities, churches, synagogues and organizations on topics of Jewish interest. She also serves as a mentor to rabbinic students at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion who are preparing for a career in the rabbinate. Additionally, she spends a several weeks each summer teaching Jewish youth at the Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana. She is currently the President of the Synagogue Forum of Greater Dayton and was honored in 2004 as a Woman of Influence by Dayton’s Y.W.C.A. Rabbi Chessin is married to Professor Michael Cook, who teaches at the Hebrew Union College. Together they have two grown sons: Brett and Chad Chessin.