Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is implementing a major campus improvement plan, which will greatly enhance the capacity of the College-Institute to serve as the international center for research and leadership development of Reform Judaism. Within a week of the plan's announcement, a record $12 million was raised for the $17.15 million project, representing an achievement of more than two thirds of the estimated cost - an unprecedented demonstration of local generosity.
The first pledge of $5 million from Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson is one of the largest non-testamentary contributions the College-Institute has received in its 129-year history. The second pledge of $6.5 million came from The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati - the lead institutional benefactor for this plan. With additional gifts from the Klau and Carothers families and members of HUC-JIR's Cincinnati Board of Overseers, HUC-JIR now has the funding required to kick off this major campus improvement initiative.
Rabbi David Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR, expresses his deepest gratitude to all of the donors for their valued contributions to the College-Institute and its time-honored dedication to the advancement of religious study. 'The support you have shown us is deeply moving,' said Ellenson, 'and I thank you for your generosity in helping HUC-JIR Cincinnati become the international center for leadership, scholarship, and the advancement of Reform Judaism.'
This project of renovation and expansion will revolutionize the educational and leadership development resources the College-Institute is able to provide for the City of Cincinnati, the Reform Movement and Jewish community, and students and scholars of religion and Jewish studies worldwide. The plan will create state-of-the-art facilities for scholarship, teaching and dialogue in an institution long esteemed for its world-class library and archival holdings. As a leading institution for the research, study and advancement of the moral and ethical values of the Jewish faith, HUC-JIR also supports the City of Cincinnati's efforts to strengthen its local and national identity as a center for intellectual and cultural diversity.
The construction and development plan in place for the Cincinnati campus features several renovations and improvements: the expansion and remodeling of the Klau Library, transformation of the gymnasium into an auditorium with conference rooms, 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 expansion of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives at HUC-JIR, scheduled for dedication in June 2005.
Manuel D. Mayerson, a member of HUC-JIR's Board of Governors and long-time committed supporter of the College-Institute reflected on his recent pledge, 'Thank you,' said Mayerson, 'for the opportunity to make the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR the most important Jewish institution in the world.'
The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati's donation further cultivates the close bond it shares with HUC-JIR. Gloria S. Haffer, President of The Foundation, shared her thoughts: '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.'