NewsBits: Around the Jewish Web

Topping the (non-Gaza) news around the Jewish Web this morning, two long established, and very different, educational organizations are trying to come to terms with their future.

from The Baltimore Sun:

Hebrew, Towson colleges in partnership talks

Baltimore Hebrew University, grappling with a long-term decline in enrollment, is in negotiations to become a part of Towson University. The state Board of Regents has informally indicated its approval of the talks.

both from the New York Jewish Week:

CAJE Seen Struggling To Survive

The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, the largest organization of Jewish educators in North America, is experiencing major financial problems and may be forced to cancel its annual conference and close its doors altogether.

UJA-Fed. Plans Launch Of Local Need Centers

UJA-Federation of New York expects the economic crisis here to deepen in 2009 and is gearing up in various ways to provide more social services for those in need of help, including dipping into its reserve funds if necessary.

from Bloomberg:

Madoff Scam Hits Hard in Boston, Home to Victim Shapiro, Ponzi

Carl Shapiro’s name is chiseled into Boston’s largest academic and medical centers, testament to the roughly $80 million that he showered on the city in the past decade. Now it comes with a Bernard Madoff-sized asterisk.

Shapiro, a 95-year-old philanthropist, lost $545 million to Madoff, ranking him among the biggest individual victims of the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Now Boston, Carlo Ponzi’s adopted hometown, is bracing for the financial fallout.

He and his wife are the largest donors to Brandeis University in Waltham, 10 miles northwest of downtown Boston, giving more than $80 million to the nonsectarian Jewish- sponsored institution.