HUC-JIR's latest accreditation and assessment news and documentation

three students in a classroom

The College-Institute is currently accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). View the College-Institute’s latest Statement of Accreditation Status.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is one of the 6 accreditation bodies approved by the US Department of Education to oversee the accreditation of higher education institutions (colleges and universities). Accreditation takes place every 10 years. This is our second time doing our accreditation jointly for all campuses through MSCHE, rather than campus-by-campus. The Self-Study process began in the Fall of 2021 when the Steering Committee attended training about the process, and it will end in July 2024 when MSCHE will render a decision based on our self-study report and the evaluation team’s site visit, document review, and analysis.

Accreditation should be viewed not as a “test” but as an opportunity for continuous improvement and growth. It provides quality assurance for students, parents, donors, alumni, and the general public, and verifies compliance with federal regulatory requirements (Title IV, student records, transfer credit policies, credit hour definitions, public disclosures, identity verification, and contractual agreements).

Key Components of the Self-Study Process:

  • Assure that 15 Requirements of Affiliation are integrated into institutional policies and procedures
  • Evaluate the institution on the 7 Standards of Accreditation
  • Connect accreditation to the institution’s strategic plan and 5 Institutional Priorities that will lead to improvement and achievement of future goals

Institutional Priorities of the Self-Study:

  • Educational excellence
  • Outstanding student experience
  • Expanding our impact
  • Organizational effectiveness and fiscal sustainability
  • Ethical integrity

Intended outcomes of the Self-Study process:

  • Demonstrate how the institution currently meets the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation. We will gather evidence from all campuses and programs to attain this outcome.
  • Focus on continuous improvement in the attainment of the institution’s mission and its institutional priorities. This includes refining assessment processes to improve educational outcomes and the student experience.
  • Engage the institutional community in an inclusive and transparent self-appraisal process that actively and deliberately seeks to involve administrators, faculty, staff, students, and board members across our four campuses and many programs. The process of convening these constituencies will further the “One HUC” approach.
  • Use the Self-Study process to advance the implementation of decisions made as part of our current strategic planning process.

Accreditation Self-Study Leadership:

Steering Committee:

Accreditation Liaison Officer: Rabbi Dr. Andrea Weiss, Provost
Chair: Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor, Vice Provost
Co-chair: John Hofmann, Institutional Assessment Specialist
Manager: Sutanu Majumdar, Institutional Research Manager

Working Groups:

Group 1: Standard I: Mission and Goals; Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration

Chair: Rabbi Richard Sarason – Director of the Pines School of Graduate Studies (CN – faculty/admin)

    1. Rabbi David Adelson – Dean, New York Campus (NY – admin)
    2. Jordan Finkin – Rare Book Librarian (CN – staff)
    3. Andrea Kann – Executive Secretary to the Board of Governors (NY – staff)
    4. Dr. Bruce Phillips – Professor of Sociology & Jewish Communal Service, Chair, Faculty Council (LA – Faculty)
    5. Mandi Richardson – Associate Director of the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (LA – staff)
    6. Jessica Silver – Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives (NY – admin)
Group 2: Standard II: Ethics and Integrity

Chair: Dr. Leah Hochman – Director of the Louchheim School for Judaic Studies and Associate Professor of Jewish Thought (LA – faculty/admin)

    1. Cantor Jill Abramson – DFSSM Director (NY – faculty/admin)
    2. Alice Finkelstein – Head of Technical Services, Libraries (CN – staff)
    3. Alyssa Gray – Emily S. and Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman Chair in Rabbinics; Professor of Codes and Responsa Literature (NY – faculty)
    4. Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Hecht – Dean and Interim Rabbinical Program Director, Cincinnati (CN – admin)
    5. Rabbi Dr. David Levine – Associate Professor of Talmud and Halacha (JER – faculty)
Group 3: Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

Chair: Dr. Miriam Heller Stern – Vice Provost for Educational Strategy; National Director of the HUC-JIR School of Education; Associate Professor (LA – admin/faculty)

    1. Julia Berg – Rabbinic-Education student (LA – student)
    2. Dr. Gordon Dale – Assistant Professor of Jewish Musicology and Dr. Jack Gottlieb Scholar in Jewish Music Studies (NY – faculty)
    3. Rabbi Dr. Jan Katzew – Director of Service Learning; Blended Track Associate Professor of Education and Jewish Thought, Cincinnati; EMA Senior Educator (CN – faculty/admin)
    4. Rabbi Dr. Dvora Weisberg – Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Professor of Rabbinics; HUC-JIR Rabbinical School Director and Rabbinical Program Director, Los Angeles (LA – admin/faculty)
Group 4: Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience

Chair: Rabbi Andrew Goodman – Director of Student Support (NY – admin)

    1. Cantor Sarah Grabiner – Coordinator of Cantorial Studies and Worship for the Year-In-Israel Program (JER – faculty)
    2. Rabbi Dr. Laura Novak-Winer – Director, Master of Educational Leadership Program (LA – faculty/admin)
    3. Aaron Torop – 4th Year Rabbinical Student (CN – student)
    4. Tracey Ward – Coordinator of Enrollment Management and Recruitment Communications (CN – staff)
Group 5: Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment

Chair: Rabbi Dr. Lisa Grant – Eleanor Sinsheimer Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish Education, Rabbinical Program Director, New York, Coordinator of Seminary Special Projects (NY – admin/faculty)

    1. Dr. Lauren Applebaum – Director of DeLeT (LA – admin/faculty)
    2. Erin Binder – Alum, Rabbinic, Education (NY/LA/CN – alum)
    3. Aaron Blasband – Rabbinic student (NY – student)
    4. Dr. Daniel Fisher-Livne – Assistant Professor of Bible (CN – faculty)
    5. Rabbi Dr. Reuven Greenvald – Director of the Year-In-Israel Program (JER – admin)
    6. Dr. Lesley Litman – Director, Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education; Online Instructional Support Coordinator (National – admin/faculty)
Group 6: Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement

Chair: Tal Rosen – Major Gifts Officer (National – staff)– left HUC, replaced by John Hofmann, Institutional Assessment Specialist, August 2023

    1. Dr. Joshua Holo – Dean, LA Campus; Associate Professor of Jewish History (LA – admin/faculty)
    2. Bryan Weng – Director of Financial Planning and Analysis (CN – staff)
    3. Serena Young – Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement (NY – staff)
    4. Karen Martin – (CN – 3rd-year Rabbinic student)


Our former MSCHE liaison, Dr. Idna Corbett, and current MSCHE liaison Dr. Anne G. Wahl conducted a virtual campus visit in May 2022 to meet with various constituencies and provide feedback on our Self-Study Design. Our Self-Study Design was successfully approved in June 2022.

In October and November 2022, we conducted surveys of students, staff, and faculty, and after that we continued working on interviews and document review for the Self-Study.

From January through July 2023, the Working Groups drafted their reports based on their research.

From July to October 2023, the Steering Committee compiled the Working Groups’ reports into one Self Study Report and edited it. Several administrators gave input.

In October 2023, the HUC community – students, staff, faculty, and governors – was invited to read the report and give input via email.

On October 30, 2023, the Evaluation Team Chair visited the New York campus.

In late November, we held community forums to collect feedback on the findings and recommendations.

On January 31, 2024, we submitted the self-study report to MSCHE.

February 26-27: An Evaluation Team member visited the Los Angeles campus.

March 17-20, 2024: The MSCHE accreditation Evaluation Team visited the New York campus and met with students, staff, faculty, and Board members in person and via Zoom.

Members of HUC-JIR leadership

Some members of HUC-JIR leadership and accreditation steering committee on March 20, following the New York site visit: Lisa Grant, Andrea Weiss, Sarah Benor, John Hofmann, Andrew Rehfeld, Jessica Silver, Andrew Goodman

July: The Commission will issue its determination.


This page will periodically be updated with the latest accreditation news.