“Hebrew College has successfully emerged from a period of financial uncertainty.” So wrote Rabbi Daniel L. Lehmann, the College’s president, in a letter to the community before Shabbat. However, along with eliminating their long-term debt, Hebrew College is required to place their current building for sale.
… And now, we have reached an important milestone to ensure a firm foundation for our future: a signed agreement with our creditor to eliminate our $32.1 million debt obligation. This is a tremendous accomplishment of which we can all be proud while also mindful that much work lies ahead.
Together with the nearly 50% reduction in operating expenses over the past three years, as well as changes in management and board composition, the planned resolution of our debt will pave the way for sustainable, responsible growth in the years ahead. We are grateful for our creditor’s willingness to work with us to reach this outcome.
While this agreed-upon resolution of our debt will free us to pursue a bright future, it will come with some significant change. Our agreement requires us to market our building for sale and use the proceeds of the sale to repay our debt. Many people donated generously to bring the dream of a new building in Newton Centre to fruition. Hebrew College is deeply appreciative of their support and acknowledges the sense of loss we all feel.
We strongly believe that Hebrew College’s mission reaches well beyond the four walls of a building. We are a community of learners who will continue to be nourished by the study of Hebrew language, Jewish texts and the great cultural achievements of the Jewish people. Currently, more than 1,400 people, including those in youth and adult programs, graduate programs in Jewish studies, education and communal leadership, here and around the world, come to Hebrew College to explore the complexity and richness of Jewish civilization.
… Hebrew College will remain on the Hill, leasing office, library, study, and classroom space on the Andover Newton Theological School campus; this is a logical extension of our existing administrative and academic synergies with ANTS. We will move in either August of 2011 or August of 2012 depending on the timing of the sale.