The Future of Hebrew Union College

The College’s Board of Governors meeting opens in New York on Sunday and the pressure is on. Whatever the outcome from this two day session, we hope Rabbi Ellenson learned a lesson from his colleague over at JTS, Chancellor Arnold Eisen, and communicates to the entire community what has transpired and the actions underway. This, by the way, is something that should be kept in mind by every single organization, particularly when major change is afoot.

For those following the College’s ongoing evaluation, here are three new links of interest:

  • Cincinnati Dean Rabbi Kenneth E. Ehrlich speaks in an extensive interview with Cincinnati TV12. One of the less known points made by Rabbi Ehrlich is the Cincinnati campus receives more support from the corporate community than either the New York or Los Angeles campus. As my daughter would say, “in-ter-rest-ing.”
  • Save publishes a letter from the students on the Cincinnati campus to Rabbi Ellenson. This one week old Website has had 5745 visitors so far; this with no publicity machine or professional staff behind them. There are numerous messages here – from stakeholder advocacy to fundraising.
  • Rabbi Phyllis A. Sommer posted a plea on her personal Website, Thoughts from Rabbi Phyllis.

As the Board convenes following Shabbat, and begins their deliberations, a thought to keep in mind from the Cincinnati student body,

“Although we are concerned with what the future will bring, we are confident that the College-Institute will conduct its affairs in a manner consistent with the core Jewish values of our tradition. In so doing we know that you will keep the students’ interests at the forefront, and that the impact of the difficult decisions ahead will be mitigated to the greatest extent possible.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Shabbat Shalom.