Update: Campuses To Stay Open?

June 24, 2009

According to a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer today,  the board decided last night to keep all four campuses open.

The story continues that all four campuses will continue to recruit.  While this is certainly welcome news, we would like to know how, if the financial crisis was grave enough to suggest closing campuses in the first place, HUC plans on cutting costs.

The full article is available here

Possible Outcomes

May 12, 2009

There has been almost no new details to emerge.  Anecdotally, a certain number of the Cincinnati are taking the decision for granted.  Between the frenzy around ordination (in particular around Alyssa Stanton, to whom we wish Mazal Tov), and relative lack of interest in the news media, we are all pretty much in the dark.  If any one has media contacts, please try to reclaim some of the buzz.  In the midst of this historic ordination, there will be a dark cloud floating overhead.  

Please continue to encourage your friends to write letters and gather media coverage of the HUC situation.

If you can, please make an online donation to help Hebrew Union College maintain its ability to educate and create the future of the Reform Movement.

The Board Speaks

May 5, 2009

Below find the transcript of HUC’s press release offering a commitment to the three campuses:

The Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion met in New York on Monday, May 4th, 2009.  There was a discussion of many constructive approaches to resolving HUC-JIR’s financial issues.  The Board decided that the restructuring plan would proceed on three principles:

·       Financial sustainability

·       Academic integrity of programs and excellence of faculty and students

·       Service to the Reform Movement, Klal Yisrael, Israel, and world Jewry

The Board has charged the administration to devise a plan that will attain financial sustainability and enhance our academic excellence while preserving our presence in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York.  The model being developed includes innovative strategies for learning and teaching, increased use of technology, a firm commitment to the Klau Library and American Jewish Archives, and an evolving vision of education that will meet the needs of the 21st century. Significant financial restructuring will establish a sustainable, balanced budget, ensuring the future of the College-Institute.  

The Board and administration have been heartened by the outpouring of thousands of expressions of support and concern by alumni, Reform congregants, and the larger community.  The College-Institute is grateful for this groundswell of support.

On June 23rd, 2009, the administration will bring its recommendations to the Board of Governors. 

The College-Institute affirms its commitment to strengthening and fulfilling its mission of training and sustaining Jewish professionals throughout their careers of service to Reform Judaism and Klal Yisrael – the Jewish people worldwide.  

Rabbi David Ellenson, President                   Barbara Friedman, Chair, Board of Governors

Earlier, the Cincinnati Enquirer had the following to say on this story:

The decision to keep all three campuses open came after an aggressive campaign by leaders of Cincinnati’s Jewish community to save the Clifton campus, where Reform Jewish rabbis have received training since the school opened here in 1875.  A group of lobbyists, rabbis and alumni mobilized quickly last month when school officials in New York said the Cincinnati campus was in jeopardy because HUC could not afford to maintain three campuses.

Thank you to everyone who wrote comments, sent letters, and passed the word along.  Your efforts have changed the facts on the ground and influenced the Board’s decision.

There is still a great deal of work to be done, and we believe that the time is now to put our money where are mouths are and to donate to HUC.   If you can do so, please click here to donate.

The Situation

April 21, 2009
The Hebrew Union College was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1875, making it the oldest Jewish educational institution in the United States.  While it has now expanded to New York, Los Angeles, and Jerusalem, the Cincinnati is the only institution of its kind servicing the entire Midwest, and large parts of the South.

Due to recent financial struggles, HUC is considering closing the Cincinnati campus.  This would be a tragedy for Cincinnati, HUC, and the entirety of Midwest Jewry.

But the decision has not yet been finalized. You can have your voice heard. The board of governors meets in New York on May 3/4; and on June 23, the board will vote on a restructuring plan.

How can you help? You can express your opinions to President Ellenson dellenson@huc.edu or to the chair of the board of governors: Barbara Friedman bfriedman@huc.edu

Please write letters to the editor of local newspapers.  If you are comfortable letting the world know how you feel, BCC your email to savehuc@gmail.com and we’ll post it on this site.  Leave a comment below and join the conversation

Learn about supporting HUC financially  Or if you are able, donate now  (be sure to specify where you want the money to go)

This story in:  The Cincinnati Enquirer  and again 4/21

The Jewish Week, The LA Times, The Jerusalem Post, The AP