Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Annual Report
| Page 13
he community relies on exceptional professional
leaders to head the institutions, agencies, and
organizations of Jewish life – from the local
Federations and their networks of social service
agencies supporting the needs of Jews of all genera-
tions and economic strata to the communal,
cultural, and educational centers enriching and
sustaining Jewish identity. These leaders – schooled
in social work, synagogue management, public and
arts administration, gerontology, communications
management and business administration – are
the products of HUC-JIR’s School of Jewish
Communal Service (SJCS).
Ruth Ziegler is a visionary philanthropist who
understands and appreciates the critical role that
Jewish professional leaders play in advancing the
agenda of the American Jewish community,” says
Richard A. Siegel, Interim Director of the SJCS.
The complexity of Jewish organizational manage-
ment requires professional leaders with increasing
levels of business skills and sophisticated under-
standing of Judaism and the Jewish community.
Ruth Ziegler’s generous contribution to the School
of Jewish Communal Service provides critical sup-
port and encouragement for the next generation’s
Jewish professional leaders.”
Mrs. Ziegler, along with the Ziegler Family Trust,
has committed to a gift of $1 million to provide
full tuition scholarships for up to four students, to
be known as Ziegler Scholars. This follows a gift
of $500,000, which endowed the SJCS’s Scholar-in-
Residence program in memory of her beloved father
and esteemed HUC-JIR alumnus Rabbi Louis
who was ordained in Cincinnati in
Mrs. Ziegler’s newest gift establishes a “virtu-
al endowment,” which commits 6% or $60,000
annually from a $1 million fund that she set aside
for the benefit of HUC-JIR. The full $1 million will
come to HUC-JIR as a bequest to permanently endow
these scholarships. The College-Institute is deeply
grateful to Mrs. Ziegler, not only for her generosity,
but also for introducing a new model of giving.
Mrs. Ziegler is helping to offset the high cost of
tuition for future communal service professionals.
Most students at the SJCS enroll in dual degree
programs with the University of Southern
California, in a unique academic partnership with
HUC-JIR’s Los Angeles campus – a partnership
that makes the SJCS program highly desirable in
the field of professional training. These students
make the commitment to register in both schools
and enroll in expanded
coursework, and pay tuition
and fees to both institutions.
SJCS students emerge from
their studies with an average
debt of $50,000. For those
Ziegler Scholars, this schol-
arship support allows them
to begin their careers more
focused on their work than
their debt.
I am deeply committed to the School of
Jewish Communal Service and to the leader-
ship of Rabbi David Ellenson. I am pleased to
enable future generations of communal service
professionals to pursue their transformational
work,” said Mrs. Ziegler.
The SJCS, founded in 1968 by Professor Gerald
Bubis, is the oldest and most diverse professional
school of its kind. The School’s emphasis on pro-
viding students with insights into management and
business skills as well as organizational theory and
practice has placed this program in a leadership
role. Its outstanding reputation is based on an inter-
disciplinary approach that combines study of Jewish
tradition and text with pragmatic, effective tools
from the fields of the social sciences and business.
Mrs. Ziegler and her inspirational gift ensure that
the Jewish community will continue to thrive with
the leadership of communal professionals deeply
steeped in Jewish knowledge and values and profi-
cient in best practices.
Supporting Professional Leaders
for the Community
From left) Ruth Ziegler,
Anna Schwarz, MAJCS/
MPA ’09; and Richard
A. Siegel, Interim Director,
School of Jewish Communal
Service, HUC-JIR/Los Angeles