A Storied Chicago Institution Works through a Financial Crisis

from Chicago Tribune:

Spertus Institute reinvents itself

When Hal Lewis became president of Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, in July 2009, the future of the place looked grim.

Spertus owed $43.6 million of the $51.6 million it had borrowed to build its architecturally stunning site at 610 S.Michigan Ave., which had opened to wide critical praise in 2007.

The timing, however, was unfortunate, for the ensuing economic crash meant that Spertus’ endowment plunged 22 percent from the previous two years, to $6 million. As a result, Spertus’ operating budget for fiscal 2010 took a commensurate nose dive: 23 percent down from the previous year, leaving the institution with a projected operating deficit of $500,000 (against a budget of $5.2 million).