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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

TIME May Change ME (but I can’t Trace time)

College hires ‘Renaissance Rabbi’

Grinnell College welcomes Garson Herzfeld as the new Interim Associate Chaplain for the 2011-2012 academic year. He takes the place of Howie Stein, the former rabbi at Grinnell, in serving as a resource for not only the Jewish students on campus, but for all in need.

“I refer to myself as a ‘Renaissance rabbi’ of sorts because I have served in a number of different arenas—in congregations, on campuses, and through various Jewish organizations,” Herzfeld said.

Most recently he served for six years as rabbi of a Reform temple in Brooklyn, New York. He also was rabbi at his alma mater, Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges, and at Colgate University. He directed the Hillel Foundation at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he led a student group with over 2,000 members. Originally from Cleveland, OH, Herzfeld has spent most of his adult life working on the east coast and therefore is still adjusting to the slower pace of life in Grinnell, IA.

“I am really enjoying the friendliness of the Grinnell community and look forward to my time here,” Herzfeld said.

He was attracted by the small size of Grinnell and by its reputation as a top-notch liberal arts school. Social justice is also close to his heart and he has already begun to contribute to that important dimension of the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice. Herzfeld has goals both for the Chalutzim group and for the larger Grinnell community as a whole.

“I am looking forward to leading a Torah study, facilitating monthly bagel brunches, in addition to hosting a panel discussion of alumnus speaking on various aspects of food justice—set to occur the week before Thanksgiving—and leading a monthly Interfaith dialogue. I am most interested in hearing feedback and suggestions from Grinnellians regarding what programs students would like to participate in,” Herzfeld said.

His office hours are Tuesday, from 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and Wednesday, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. He can also be easily reached by phone at x4266, or by e-mail at Deanna Shorb and Herzfeld, as ordained clergy, are both confidential advisors to all Grinnell students.

“The Center is a wonderful open space where students are welcome to study, socialize or simply relax,” Herzfeld stated.


Tucked away in between the Robert N. Noyce Science Center ’49 and the Forum sits the statue of a Hindu god and its brand new covering. Ganesh—the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth—was first installed on campus in 2001 after the murder of Jamison Curran ’01 while he was studying abroad in India. Because of his love for the Hindu culture, and Ganesh in particular, his family along with staff agreed that Ganesh would be an appropriate way to honor the young man’s life. Within a year, Religious Studies hired a new Eastern Traditions staff member Whitney Kelting. Kelting, who no longer is employed at the College, pointed out that Ganesh needed to be covered in accordance with proper practice. Dean of Religious Life Deanna Shorb asked Kelting for examples of proper coverings for the god and then made the plans based off of photos.

“[Without a covering] it was beautiful,” said Shorb. “But it was wrong.”

Over the next eleven years Shorb worked with students to get the statue covered correctly. Despite overwhelming popularity among the student body demonstrated through student initiatives, it took President Raynard Kington to make it happen.
“I am elated that when President Kington came to town and heard of Ganesh and found out that Ganesh was not covered, he put the situation under a category of ‘just do it,’” Shorb explained.

After waiting eleven years, the Ganesh statue is now displayed as it should be. The cover used the plans that Shorb created with Kelting . There is a Puja, a religious ritual held for Hindu deities, being planned for the Ganesh statue. As of now, there is no official date for the ceremony, but Shorb said that it will happen “before the snow flies.”


Many changes and additions have been made to the walkways and sidewalks around campus.

Specifically, there are two new walkways toward the west side of campus and in between the Rosenfield ’25 Center (JRC) and Younker Hall, a number of new walkways around where the new parking lot went in, sidewalks going along Tenth Avenue, and then some new sidewalks going from Tenth Avenue up to 1600 Park St. There has also been some replacing of old broken walkways.
The 10th Ave. sidewalk used to tip, which was an accessibility problem. This is the main reason why the sidewalk was replaced, according to the Michael Burt, the Associate Director of Facilities Management.

“It was just really difficult to maintain in winter,” Burt said.

Due to the sidewalk’s proximity to the road, when the city would plow the streets the sidewalk was often covered and harder to clear.
“When the JRC came in, traffic patterns changed,” said Burt about the walkways from Younker and the Loggia.

There used to be two large mud paths between the Loggia and the JRC. It was decided that those would be the perfect place for new walkways, seeing as the area was already put to good use by students.

Walkways near the new parking lot were put in place because of the number of people who would be expected to be using the area. It is right near the gym and often has heavy foot traffic.

The new walkways are all finished. The only thing left is to touch up old, cracked sidewalks. The Facilities Management (FM) team wants to finish all of those up before it’s too cold and snowy in winter.

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