Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s premier institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates individuals for service to the Reform Movement and the Jewish people worldwide as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths.
Each year, HUC-JIR students serve more than one-third of the 850 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) congregations (many of which are small synagogues that would otherwise not have professional leadership). They fulfill internships in educational institutions, Jewish communal organizations, camps, healthcare and military chaplaincy, and the institutional arms of the Reform Movement. Over 200 students have served Progressive congregations throughout the Former Soviet Union during Passover over the past decade.
HUC-JIR campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York facilitate student internships by proximity to congregations throughout these regions, strengthen recruitment efforts, and significantly enrich the educational, spiritual, and cultural lives of Jewish and wider communities.
The College-Institute is committed to advancing academic excellence while supporting fiscal sustainability. In the fiscal year 2021-2022, HUC-JIR’s students received over $7.1 million in scholarships, stipends, or student assistance with scholarships covering approximately 71% of tuition requirements. Instruction, academic support, and student services comprise nearly 55% of our operating budget.
HUC-JIR’s academic programs include:
- Rabbinical School / Rabbinical Ordination and M.A. in Hebrew Letters / Literature
- Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music / Cantorial Ordination and Master of Sacred Music
- School of Education / Master in Educational Leadership / M.A. in Jewish Education; Executive M.A. in Jewish Education; DeLeT Fellowship – Day School Teachers for a New Generation
- Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management / M.A. in Jewish Nonprofit Management; dual M.A. degrees with the University of Southern California in Business Administration, Social Work, Public Administration, and Communication Management; M.S. in Organizational Leadership; Certificate in Jewish Organizational Leadership
- Joan and Phillip Pines School of Graduate Studies / Ph.D., M.A. degrees for students of all faiths; Doctorate in Hebrew Letters for rabbinical alumni; Interfaith Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling for clergy of all faiths
- Undergraduate Judaic Studies / HUC-JIR provides undergraduate Judaic Studies programs for students at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) and Xavier University (Cincinnati)
- Year-In-Israel Program for all first-year rabbinical, cantorial, and education students from North America
Students have joint degree opportunities in our Rabbinical, Cantorial, Jewish Education, and Jewish Nonprofit Management Programs and can go on to earn a Ph.D. at our Pines School of Graduate Studies.
100% of our students find meaningful employment serving communities throughout North America, Israel, and around the globe within one year of their graduation in a broad array of settings, leading 850 North American Reform congregations and Progressive synagogues in Israel and worldwide; College Hillels, academics at universities, congregational schools, Jewish day schools, bureaus of Jewish education, Jewish camping, JCC’s, Jewish museums, and youth programs; national and regional Jewish communal organizations, Israel advocacy, philanthropic foundations, and Jewish startups; and military and healthcare chaplaincies.
With an enrollment of about 400 full-time students, 135 part-time education and graduate studies students, and over 700 undergraduate students taught by HUC faculty at USC, HUC-JIR has the largest number of rabbinical, cantorial, Jewish education, Jewish nonprofit management, and graduate studies students of all Jewish seminaries in North America. Students benefit from HUC-JIR’s exceptional resources, including the Klau Library (the second largest Jewish library in the world) and the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives with its 15 million documents recording American Jewish history and preserving Reform congregational and institutional records.
HUC-JIR awarded 155 degrees and certificates in the fiscal year 2021-2022 in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York; these graduates join the nearly 4,000 active HUC-JIR alumni serving the Reform Movement, the Jewish people, and wider communities.
The 31 scholars on HUC-JIR’s tenure-stream faculty are internationally recognized for their cutting-edge research in a wide range of areas of Jewish studies, their teaching and mentorship of our students at the College-Institute, and their thought leadership and public scholarship for the Reform Movement and the wider Jewish world.
Click here to access the Regulations of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.