Rabbinical Schools Continue to Grapple With the Recession
from The New York Jewish Week
Faced with the possible closing of their seminary here, faculty and alumni of the Reform movement’s New York campus have mounted a campaign to highlight its strengths and explain why it would be a mistake to shut down the campus in the Jewish capital of the country.
The effort comes on the eve of Sunday’s meeting here of the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The board is to begin considering options designed to close the school’s widening budget gap and to make a final decision June 23.
To help them decide, The Jewish Week has learned, the faculty here drafted a series of suggestions that includes closing all three of HUC’s American campuses and relocating a combined school elsewhere in the New York area, according to Rabbi Michael Chernick, the faculty chairman here.
With income down 25 percent, the Jewish Theological Seminary said it would fire 16 staff members, cut salaries of employees making more than $60,000 and not rehire non-tenured faculty. But that still leaves the institution with a $5.5 million projected deficit for the 2009-2010 academic year.
“The gap has to be closed,” Arnold Eisen, the chancellor, said in a letter to the seminary community.
…He does not foresee anything as dramatic as the move by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which is considering closing some of its campuses.