New Beginnings: Cincinnati

I-75 N coming to the Cincinnati Bridge from Northern Kentucky (Photo by Jared W. Saltz)

First off, let me say this: Cincinnati is a pretty neat city. It is both a historic city, with great old buildings, classic architecture, and old Philadelphia-style planning (look it up if you\’re not sure what I\’m talking about!). However, it\’s also a \”new\” city, there is a lot of new construction–new museums, new places for the arts, new expansion for music.  It\’s a great mix and an odd conglomeration of several cities that I\’ve lived at before (e.g., Birmingham, AL and Tampa, FL).  We\’ve moved into a nice apartment and we\’re slowly getting settled in (mostly thanks to a trip to Ikea!).

After we\’d been here for about a week and a half, it was time to start my orientation at HUC.

I\’ll post pictures of HUC later, but I can assure you–it\’s been everything I expected and more.  The orientation spanned Monday to Thursday, including social events where we met with faculty, staff, and even the board of overseers.  Throughout the entire process, myself and the other two Ph.D students were treated like part of a family.  Throughout the orientation and the social events, helpful discussions on classes, technology, and financial aid; tours of city, library, archives, and museum; and meetings with faculty, the GSA, and the rabbinical students.

The orientation culminated with one of the more nerve rattling experiences of which I\’ve been a part–the Hebrew placement exam. The \”exam\” was really more of diagnostic exercise, where I sat with Drs. Aaron and Fox sigh-tread and translated a passage of torah followed by a written exam.  The purpose of the test is to help HUC understand all of their incoming students, since previous language work can be quite disparate. The diagnostic helps identify students\’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as if they any additional Hebrew preparation.  To prepare for the test, aside from practicing my vocalization from reading straight from the Tanak, I also completely went through a first-year Hebrew grammar (and it\’s corresponding exercises; but that\’s another post!) and reviewed all of my vocabulary.  It served me well and I\’m able to proceed with my classes without interruption.  It\’s certainly nice to receive validation of my efforts and abilities!

One of the coolest things about HUC is that because of the Cincinnati consortium I can also take classes from the University of Cincinnati–particularly their history and Classics department. This, combined with HUC\’s own fantastic resources, made choosing classes incredibly difficult. That is one of the greatest recommendations for HUC I could give.  That said, I narrowed it down the below classes:

  • Attic Prose (UC)
  • Ancient Greek History (UC)
  • Introduction to Biblical Prose (HUC)
  • Book of Numbers (HUC)
I\’m excited about the new semester and look forward to my experiences!  

Published by Jared Saltz

Biblical Studies Faculty (Florida College). PhD candidate at HUC-JIR. Husband, father, student.

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