A New Way Forward – Update #1 – July 20, 2009
In order to implement A New Way Forward, adopted by the Board of Governors (BOG) on June 23, 2009, to make Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) financially sustainable while maintaining outstanding academic quality as “one institution” with a presence on all four existing campuses, a Board Oversight Task Force (BOTF) has been established. The BOTF consists of 10 committees: Academic Programs and Faculty; Accreditation and Assessment; Administration; Constituent Relations; Fundraising and Development; Information Technology; Jerusalem Savings, Reductions, and Revenue Enhancements; Properties and Buildings; Programmatic Partnerships with Sister Institutions; Student Support Programs.
The BOTF and committees will carry forward the process of identifying, evaluating, and planning sustainable approaches to effect A New Way Forward. Each of the committees are comprised of Governors and, in some cases, Overseers; faculty, deans, and staff from all four campuses; and student representatives. Howard W. Bell, Jr. and Sheila Trice Bell will continue to be involved in the work of implementation. The BOTF and committees are committed to viewing and analyzing their work through the prism of HUC-JIR as “one institution” with four geographical locations. Each of the committees has been provided with specific assumptions with respect to their work and specific charges for establishing goals and objectives and how to meet those goals and objectives.
The role of the BOTF is to review and coordinate the efforts of the 10 Committees, identify the progress of the Committees towards meeting the goals for this stage of planning HUC-JIR’s future, and identify potential risks to attaining the goals. The chair of each committee is a member of the BOTF, which meets every Thursday to go over the progress of each of the committees. The Constituents Relations Committee will issue status reports frequently and on a regular basis on the progress of the various committees. It is the goal of the BOTF to make this phase of the implementation of A New Way Forward as transparent and open as possible.
The committees will present their comprehensive and detailed reports to the Board of Governors at their meeting on their September 9, 2009 meeting. Some final decisions on the implementation of A New Way Forward will be made at the November 2, 2009 meeting of the Board of Governors.
The success of implementation of A New Way Forward depends on the active involvement and commitment of all of the constituents of the HUC-JIR community – Governors, Overseers, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The committees are hard at work to make HUC-JIR not only financially sustainable but to remain the premier Jewish seminary in North America and Israel and the source of academic and intellectual excellence and thought for the Reform Movement.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest 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 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, 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 history, identity, art, and archaeology, and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.