Hebrew College

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Hebrew College
Hebrew College Current Logo.jpg
Established 1921
Location Newton Centre, Massachusetts, United States
Hebrew College

Hebrew College is an accredited college of Jewish studies in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. Founded in 1921, Hebrew College is committed to Jewish scholarship in a pluralistic academic environment. The president of the college is Rabbi Daniel Lehmann. Hebrew College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, Hebrew-language training, summer institutes, a rabbinical school, a cantorial school and continuing-education programs. Internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie designed and built the institution's facilities located in Newton, Massachusetts.[1] Hebrew College successfully refinanced its real estate debt in 2012, reducing its original bond obligation by 75% and securing its ownership of the campus. Hebrew College is post-denominational.[2]


Founded in November 1921, as the Hebrew Teachers College, Hebrew College was one of eleven Hebrew teachers colleges established in the United States in keeping with the Hebraist model of Jewish teacher training. Hebrew College was originally located in Roxbury, Massachusetts and moved to Brookline, Massachusetts in 1952. The school opened with 23 students, with registration doubling by the following year. The founder of Hebrew College was Louis Hurwich,[3] superintendent of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Boston.[4] Nissan Touroff, former director of the Hebrew school system in Palestine, was appointed as its first dean. The Hebrew High School ("Prozdor") opened in 1923.[5]

Eisig Silberschlag became the dean of Hebrew College in 1947 and was named president in the late 1960s.[6]

In the early years, all classes, regardless of the subject matter, were taught in Hebrew. In the early 1980s, as Jewish studies programs opened at more colleges and universities around the country, the policy began to change. Increasingly, classes were held in English, and Hebrew was reserved for language courses and advanced Jewish text study. [7]

During the 15-year tenure of Eli Grad, the fifth president of Hebrew College, the focus moved from teacher training to an emphasis on Hebrew culture programs and courses for the wider community.[8] In January 1987, after a period of decline, Samuel Schafler became the sixth president of Hebrew College and introduced new programming that expanded the student body significantly.[9] In the late 1980s, adult education classes were introduced that became the forerunner of the Me'ah program.[10] In 2001, Nehemia Polen established the Hasidic Texts Institute for the study of foundational Hasidic texts.[11] In 1993, David M. Gordis became the seventh president of the College. Daniel Lehmann was appointed the eighth president in July 2008.

Academic partnerships[edit]

In 2011, Hebrew College became a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of 10 theological schools and seminaries in the Boston area, including Boston University, Andover Newton Theological School, Boston College, Episcopal Divinity School, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Harvard University, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and St. John's Seminary. When Hebrew College moved to its new campus in 2002, cooperation with the nearby Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) led to the creation of the Interreligious Center on Public Life[12] and several interfaith programs.[13] In July 2007, it formed a partnership with Northeastern University in Boston and collaborates in offering an Ed.D. from Northeastern with a specialization in Jewish educational leadership. Hebrew College has established a partnership with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem to prepare Jewish Studies teachers for Jewish Day Schools in North America. It is also partnered with the revolutionary NETA Hebrew-as-a-second-language, hosting with NETA three certificate programs for Hebrew language educators. In 2012 Hebrew College established a partnership with Boston University's School of Management to provide a certificate in nonprofit management for Rabbis and rabbinical students.

Library facilities[edit]

The Rae and Joseph Gann Library has over 125,000 books, including special collections in modern Hebrew literature, Jewish medical ethics, Jewish education, Jewish genealogy, Holocaust studies, Hasidism, and Jewish children's literature. Through the Research Libraries Information Network students can access a database of 53 million books, journals, maps, records and cassettes drawn from Judaica collections across the United States. In addition, the College is a member of the BTI Library consortium and the Fenway Library Consortium, allowing access to local college, museum and public libraries.

Youth programs[edit]

In keeping with the idea of Jewish education as a lifelong pursuit, Hebrew College runs the Prozdor high school; and Camp Yavneh, an overnight summer camp in Northwood, New Hampshire.[14] is an affiliate of the College.

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Hebrew College Courses of Instruction
  2. ^ Meskin, Jacob (2002). "Answers Divide Us, Questions Unite Us". Retrieved March 9, 2007. 
  3. ^ Hurwich, L. Zichronot Mechanech Ivri (Memories of a Hebrew Educator), Jerusalem, 1960.
  4. ^ Hebrew College history[dead link]
  5. ^ History of Hebrew College[dead link]
  6. ^ "Eisig Silberschlag, 85, Hebrew College Chief". The New York Times. October 6, 1988. 
  7. ^ A Call to Revolution - Hebrew College Today[dead link]
  8. ^ "Chicago Educator to Head Hebrew College", The Jewish Advocate, Lawrence Harmon, August 1986
  9. ^ "Samuel Schafler, 62, Rabbi and Educator". The New York Times. April 5, 1991. 
  10. ^ Hebrew College Today - It's Never Too Late[dead link]
  11. ^ Hasidic Text Institute - Jewish Studies at Hebrew College[dead link]
  12. ^ Center Profile: The Interreligious Center on Public Life
  13. ^ Righteous Persons Foundation Supports Hebrew College/ANTS Interfaith Initiatives - Hebrew College Today[dead link]
  14. ^ Hebrew youth programs, Prozdor, Camp Yavneh[dead link]
  15. ^ http://hebrewjudaic.as.nyu.edu/object/yaelfeldman.html
  16. ^ http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Judaism/Her-story-is-over-Paula-Hyman-1946-2011
  17. ^ Vitello, Paul (December 17, 2011). "Paula E. Hyman, Who Sought Rights for Women in Judaism, Dies at 65". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ http://lts.brandeis.edu/research/archives-speccoll/findingguides/archives/faculty/manuel.html#IDAIMA1
  19. ^ http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/nejs/faculty/sarna.html
  20. ^ http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/soc/CVs/Manny.PDF
  21. ^ http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1997/10.16/IsadoreTwerskyR.html

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°19′32″N 71°11′20″W / 42.3256°N 71.1890°W / 42.3256; -71.1890