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Reform rabbinical seminary founded in Cincinnati in 1875 by Isaac Mayer Wise. After two earlier failures, Wise succeeded in starting the school under the auspices of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations which he helped establish in 1873. Meeting first in the basement of Rabbi Wise’s Temple Bnei Jeshurun, the school graduated four rabbis in its first class in 1883. Since its founding the school has ordained more than 1,879 Reform rabbis, of which 72 are women.

Merged in 1950 with the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, the school, now known as HUC-JIR, has four campuses: one in Cincinnati which includes the American Jewish Archives; another in New York which includes the Jewish Institute of Religion building; a third in Los Angeles, and a fourth in Jerusalem. The New York and Los Angeles campuses include schools for the training of cantors and religious teachers; in addition, the Los Angeles campus has a training school for pro_fessional workers in American Jewish community agencies. In 1996, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman became president of HUC, replacing Dr. Alfred Gottschalk. He was succeeded by Rabbi David Ellenson, current President.

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