Hebrew Union College

Our History

HUC-JIR is the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. Founded in 1875, HUC-JIR cultivates scholars, leaders, and change-makers transforming Jewish communities worldwide.

About Our Founding

In 1875, the Hebrew Union College was founded in Cincinnati by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise as the first permanent Jewish institution of higher learning in America. In 1950, HUC merged with the pluralistic Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, founded in 1922 by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. The Los Angeles campus opened in 1954 to serve the second-largest Jewish population. The Jerusalem campus opened in 1963, today serving as the center for stateside/Israeli academic programs.

A Timeline of Firsts

Slider right arrow
Slider left arrow