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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell campus welcomes new Rabbi

Some Grinnell students will be clawing The new Rabbi and Community Service Coordinator, Howie Stein, joined first-years and transfer students as one of the new faces on campus, this August.

After a six to eight week search, Howie Stein replaced former campus Rabbi and Community Service Coordinator Daveen Litwin resigned last Spring.

Deanna Shorb, Dean of Religious Life and Chaplain, conducted the search for a new rabbi with students and faculty over the summer, conducting phone and live interviews of a number of candidates, beginning soon after Litwin’s announcement of her resignation.
Stein’s commitment to community service appealed to the rabbi search committee.

“Across the board, everyone said they liked Howie Stein,” student leader of Chalutzim Rebecca Heller ’11, said, who was involved in the interview process.

“It’s very early on in the semester, but everyone I’ve met says they’re excited to get to know him,” Heller said.
Stein was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, OH, and attended graduate school at Brandeis University, a non-sectarian Jewish sponsored college in Massachusetts. Stein was attracted to Grinnell by the campus’s ethic of service, combined with its dedication to liberal inquiry.

“One of the things that’s always interested me about working with college students is that there is naturally that element of inquisitiveness and curiosity about the world,” Stein said. “That gives me a lot of energy in terms of teaching and advising, guiding and helping to shape that process of engagement,” Stein said.

As the Community Service Coordinator, Stein will facilitate student efforts to get involved in community service, on campus and off.
“Howie will be involved in [community service], but I look forward to seeing what other ways he creates and generates avenues for interfaith work,” Schorb said.

Stein wrote his rabbinic thesis on inter-faith dialogue, and wants to continue efforts to promote free exchange between religious groups on campus. Shorb hopes that Stein will join herself and Religious Life Intern Michael Hunt on the Religious Life Council, which invites participation from students on campus from all religious groups, welcomes students to engage in such dialogue.

“All of us should be watching in the Center for those opportunities, and encouraging students, and that’s what I ask of the staff.” Shorb said.

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