Educational resources, including libraries, archives,
museums, and research centers, are the heart and soul
of academic institutions,” says Rabbi Ellenson. “They
offer the insights of centuries of scholarship. As a
guardian of Jewish heritage and learning, the College-
Institute has a sacred responsibility to sustain and
preserve these collections and resources and to expand
their accessibility to students and scholars around the
world.” Rabbi Ellenson spoke these words at a press
conference announcing the receipt of two historic gifts
that will transform the Cincinnati campus into an
unparalleled, dynamic national center for research,
teaching, and learning for the Reform Movement of
Judaism and for students and scholars worldwide.
Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson’s gift of $5 million is
one of the largest non-testamentary contributions that
the College-Institute has received in its 129-year history.
A gift of $6.5 million gift has been made by The Jewish
Foundation of Cincinnati, the lead institutional
benefactor for this project. With additional gifts from
James and Sue Klau, Twink and Charles Carothers, and
from members of HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati Board of
Overseers, a record $12 million has been raised for
the $17.2 million project through an unprecedented
demonstration of local generosity. HUC-JIR now has
the funding required to kick off this major campus
improvement initiative, which will offer creative uses for
existing campus buildings, renovation that will maximize
the use of these aging structures, and construction that
will ensure the College-Institute’s academic excellence.
The Master Plan and its adoption by the Board
of Governors express HUC-JIR’s commitment to:
strengthen the vitality of Jewish life in
Cincinnati, the birthplace of Reform Judaism;
provide new opportunities for cooperative
programming and learning for religious,
educational, and communal institutions and
organizations in Cincinnati and throughout
Ohio’s greater tri-state area;
bring the treasures of the Klau Library and
The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American
Jewish Archives and the expertise of the faculty
to communities worldwide through state-of-the-
art electronic classrooms and new venues for
distance education; and
enhance the intellectual and cultural life of
the city’s larger community, thereby
strengthening economic development and
tourism on the local and regional levels.
Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise first established HUC-
JIR in 1875 in Cincinnati in the basement of the
Mound Street Temple, then moved it to its own
building downtown on 6
Street, and ultimately
made its home in Clifton in 1912 with the
construction of a mixed-purpose classroom/
administration/chapel building and a library
building. Numerous additional facilities were
added during the course of the ensuing
decades. Since the 1990s, however, the
campus has experienced burgeoning initiatives,
expanding library and archives collections,
growing faculty and student bodies, and
increasingly popular community and professional
education programs, which have outgrown the
space available. In addition, it has not been
possible to adequately adapt the aging facilities
to accommodate the advent of the computer
age’s new technologies.
The Master Plan will transform more than
buildings, however. The revitalization of the
Cincinnati campus will greatly enhance its
academic environment and boost efforts to
support its distinguished faculty, whose
publications and innovative scholarship as well
as gifted teaching and mentorship ensure the
training of the spiritual, educational, and
communal leaders of tomorrow.
The Master Plan will reconceive the entire
campus and its functions through innovative
design features:
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Annual Report
Schematic blueprint for
the Master Plan.
Major Gifts and Master Plan Advan