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Wednesday, December 1, 2004

CINCINNATI - Plans for significant enhancement of Reform Judaism's center for exemplary education, research and professional development are underway. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) has received a $6.5 million gift from The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati that will go toward major renovation and expansion of the College-Institute on Clifton Avenue.


The grant, which was awarded Monday, October 18, follows an initial gift of $5 million from Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson. This contribution brings the total funding for the $17.15 million project to nearly $12 million, an achievement of more than two thirds of the plan's goal within a week of its announcement.


Rabbi David Ellenson, president of HUC-JIR, expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for its generosity and lasting support, which further mobilizes HUC-JIR's mission. "The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati," Ellenson said, " has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to our institution through this landmark gift that maximizes our College-Institute's potential for excellence. Its gift creates a research complex of unparalleled magnitude, significantly enhancing the capacity of HUC-JIR's Cincinnati campus to serve as an international center for Jewish study, research and teaching." It previous donated $1.5 million for The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati's International Learning Center, located in the Edwin A. Malloy Education Building. This facility expands HUC-JIR's Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), one of the world's premier centers of preservation, publication and scholarship in the study of the American Jewish Experience. In addition, $150,000 had been given to the AJA for the indexing and cataloguing of the Holocaust documents of the World Jewish Congress.


The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, incorporated on November 27, 1995, has an active record of generous giving. During its nine years of existence, the Foundation has granted over $33 million in donations to causes in greater Cincinnati and Israel, including Jewish Hospital, Yavneh Day School, Camp Livingston, the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Zoo, Israel Experience travel grants, and Hadassah Hospital in Israel.


"We are pleased to help create this international research complex on Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Cincinnati campus. We know this gift will enhance HUC-JIR's services to the Cincinnati religious, educational, cultural, and corporate communities," stated Gloria S. Haffer, President of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. The construction and development plan in place for HUC-JIR features several additions and improvements to the campus: the expansion and remodeling of Klau Library, Cincinnati, transformation of the gymnasium into an auditorium and collections storage facility, renovation of the administration building and dormitories, expansion of faculty and administrative offices and an addition to Mayerson Hall that will provide a central welcoming entry point for the campus. These improvements, according to the administration of the College-Institute, are consistent with the needs of HUC-JIR, its mission and its strategic plan for progressive advancement. The project will follow the current addition and expansion of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR, scheduled for dedication in June 2005.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.