HUC-JIR at a Glance - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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HUC-JIR at a Glance

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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 nearly 900 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 for the past nine years.

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. HUC-JIR’s endowment of over $500,000 per student provides for significant support of ongoing operations and the ability to successfully surmount economic cycles. HUC-JIR’s endowment of $215 million as of September 2018 experienced one year and five year returns of 7.2% and 7.1% respectively. HUC-JIR’s fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 reported net revenues of $41 million. Over the previous five fiscal years, HUC-JIR’s net revenue ranged between $41 million and $48 million with similar expectations for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. Revenue is comprised of 20% Union for Reform Judaism congregational dues, 6% student net tuition and fees, 40% gifts and grants, 23% investment income, and 11% contracted instruction and other revenue. HUC-JIR’s students received over $5.4 million in scholarship, stipends, or student assistance with scholarships covering 66% of tuition requirements. HUC-JIR continues to focus on disciplined operations, cost control, and efficiency improvement to continue solidifying our sustainable financial future. Instruction, academic support, and student stipends comprise nearly two-thirds 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
  • Rhea Hirsch School of Education and New York School of Education / M.A. in Jewish / Religious 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 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 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.

With an enrollment of about 400 full-time students and 800 part-time education students, graduate studies students, and undergraduate students at USC and Xavier University, 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 141 degrees in 2018 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 36 scholars on HUC-JIR’s full-time tenured faculty (nearly half of whom are women) represent the largest Jewish studies faculty outside of Israel. They are internationally recognized for their scholarship, teaching, and mentorship of the Reform Movement’s professional and lay leaders and for cutting-edge research in the areas of Jewish studies, Jewish educational leadership, spirituality, pastoral counseling, Judaism and sexual orientation, Judaism and health, and Jewish-Muslim engagement.