President's Report 2016-2017

President's report 2016-2017

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ADA Version of President’s Report 2016-2017

Dear Friends,

Our 2016-2017 academic year reflected continued excellence and impact as we prepared a new cadre of spiritual, professional, and scholarly leaders to enrich Jewish life throughout North America, Israel, and around the globe, and extended our thought leadership worldwide.

We awarded 122 degrees and rabbinical and cantorial ordinations at our campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York. We ordained the 100th Israeli Reform rabbi to graduate from our Israeli Rabbinical Program. We are proud that all of our graduates have found placement and are serving congregations, communities, and institutions with intellect, integrity, compassion, and creativity as they ensure the Jewish future.

Forty-five first-year rabbinical, cantorial, and education students were guaranteed free tuition as Koret Foundation Scholars for their required year of study in Israel through a $3.75 million grant from the Koret Foundation.

The Jim Joseph Foundation awarded $1.3 million to support the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education, enabling two cohorts of working educators to pursue their graduate studies in this 24-month hybrid online and on-campus learning program.

The Weitzman-JDC Fellowship for Global Jewish Leaders, established by Jane and Stuart Weitzman, brought 25 students across all programs to engage with Argentina’s Jewish community in a JDC Entwine Mission, supported the students’ Pesach Project in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, and prepared first-year students for global Jewish leadership.

In two major national initiatives, we convened Symposium One: Crafting Jewish Life in a Complex Religious Landscape, with over 200 leading scholars, faculty, and alumni addressing how to strengthen Jewish life in the context of growing fundamentalism and disaffiliation; and welcomed college students for the Founders’ Fellowship for training as collaborative leaders to enhance progressive Jewish life on campus.

At our Cincinnati Campus, prominent national clergy, academics, and activists participated in the Poverty, Welfare, and Religion Symposium, while the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives received the records of the Association for Jewish Studies, the most comprehensive collection of the largest learned society and professional association of Jewish Studies scholars worldwide.

The Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem hosted The Teachers Room’s programs preparing Jewish, Christian, and Muslim educators to build tolerance; Healing Hatred, a conference for religious leaders, psychologists, and educators to open new paths to healing in the context of political conflict; and Fasting and Identity in Jewish and Christian Liturgy, an academic gathering of over 150 Jewish and Christian liturgy scholars and students from Europe and Israel.

At our Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management launched the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Certificate in Jewish Organizational Leadership, offering accelerated and summer programs for professionals seeking to fast-track their careers.

At our New York Campus, faculty, students, and administration in the Worship Working Group initiated a new class on spirituality in which students explore their own spiritual experience to become better leaders of prayer and participated in faculty-led services integrating diverse practices, such as meditation, yoga, and Torah study.

Our faculty produced significant volumes of scholarship, academic articles, and public lectures, and were featured in American Values: Religious Voices, 100 Days. 100 Letters, a series of 100 letters written by scholars of religion to our nation’s leaders, co-created by Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss ’93, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bible and Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Provost-Elect.

Investment Visitors of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds attended our museum exhibitions and cultural programs, including Rembrandt and the Jews: The Berger Print Collection and 12 Nazi Concentration Camps: Photographs by James Friedman at the Skirball Museum in Cincinnati; and Paint by Numbers and In a Woman’s Shadow: A Visual Essay by Nadine Epstein at the HUC-JIR Museum in New York.

It is your commitment to our mission that enables us to thrive. Thank you for your Maintenance partnership as we work together to advance Judaism’s values and universal teachings to build a world blessed with justice and peace.

With sincere gratitude and in friendship,
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken ’91, Ph.D., President



2016-17 OPERATING REVENUES: $42.4 million

Fundraising -38%

RMAC -18%

Investment Income -20%

Tuition -14%

Contracted Services -6%

Other -5%

2016-2017 OPERATING EXPENSES: $42.1 million

Academic Support -20%

Institutional Support -19%

Student Stipends & Scholarships -3%

Maintenance -10%

Institutional Advancement -8%

Depreciation -4%

Instruction -36%


  • Philanthropy provides 38% of HUC-JIR’s income, supporting students, faculty, and research resources
  • 50 continuing education programs engage alumni throughout the world
  • 4 new faculty hires
  • 80% of students receive scholarships
  • 100% of new graduates have jobs within one year
  • Our alumni and students have an impact on 50 countries, 1400 synagogues and organizations, and 7000 Jewish campers


Undergraduate Majors:

Judaic/Religious Studies -29%

Music/Performance -16%

Other -10%

English/Communications -6%

Psychology -5%

Business/Finance -5%

Spanish -3%

Sociology -3%

Hebrew -3%

French -3%

History/Political Science -16%

  • Countries represented: Australia | Canada | Israel | South Africa | United States
  • 23 states represented
  • 3.7 Median GPA
  • Selected Undergraduate and Graduate Schools Where They Studied: Brandeis | UC Berkeley | UCLA | Case Western | Dartmouth | Duke | Emory | Indiana | Macalaster | Miami University, Ohio | Michigan | Middlebury | Muhlenberg Rochester | Stanford | Texas | Wisconsin | Yale