LA Times: Reform Seminary to Close Campuses in a Serious Retrenchment (or is this a fund-raising ploy?)

President Rabbi David Ellenson of the Hebrew Union College is one of our favorite people. He is a straight shooter and a practical man. That's why we take this news seriously. He's not a person who'd engage in doomsday fundraising. Anyway, it is clear that once you rumor the closing a campus, you can't expect it to flourish.

The LA Times has this catastrophic story about potential closure of the HUC campus there. It's a major setback for Jewish studies on the coast ("The Los Angeles campus, which opened in 1954, is adjacent to USC and, in a cooperative arrangement, offers credit classes for USC students in Judaic studies. Its library holds more than 125,000 volumes of Judaica as well as large holdings of microfilm and recordings.")

This is also a signal to the other Jewish seminaries to follow suit and begin closing facilities.
Jewish seminary considers closing two U.S. campuses
Facing a $3-million deficit this year, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion may keep one of three locations in Los Angeles, New York and Cincinnati.
By Larry Gordon

The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, a seminary and graduate school for Judaism's Reform movement, is facing such deep financial troubles that it is considering closing two of its three U.S. campuses, which include a location near downtown Los Angeles.

In a letter sent this week to members of the college community, its president, Rabbi David Ellenson, said pension funding problems, flat donations and declines in its endowment had placed the institution "in the most challenging financial position it has faced in its history -- even more so than during the Depression."

As a result, Ellenson wrote, Hebrew Union's board of governors will meet next month to discuss such scenarios as whether to keep just one of its three U.S. campuses in Los Angeles, New York and Cincinnati, where the college was founded. Other alternatives include merging some academic programs but keeping more than one of its U.S. campuses open, he wrote in the letter, which was released by his office. A decision is expected in June. ..more...

1 comment:

Anonymous in Teaneck said...

See the Jewish Week: Reform Seminary Bracing For ‘Radical’ Reductions