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Seminary of Conservative Judaism for the training of rabbis, teachers, and cantors. Founded in 1887 with a class of seven students, its program now includes projects for the advancement of Jewish scholarship and research. Rabbi Sabato Morais, first Seminary president, and H. Pereira Mendes, its cofounder, were also its first instructors. In 1902, Solomon Schechter was brought from Cambridge University in England to become the second president of the Seminary. The establishment of the Seminary Library by Judge Mayer Sulzberger came under Schechter’s auspices, and he transformed the Rabbinical School into a graduate institution. Upon Schechter’s death in 1915, Cyrus Adler succeeded to the presidency. The Seminary then moved into its new buildings on Morningside Heights in New York City, where it presently resides. Since 1940, Louis Finkelstein became president of the Seminary in 1945, having been chancellor. The Seminary chancellor in 1979 was Gerson D. Cohen, succeeded by Ismar Schorsch in 1986. Among the activities launched by Finkelstein was the Institute for Religious and Social Studies which aims “to develop a keener awareness of the unique contributions which the various religious traditions have made to the advancement of civilization.”

Besides the Rabbinical School, the Seminary includes a Teacher’s Institute, Cantor’s Institute, Seminary College of Jewish Studies, Seminary College of Jewish Music, and the Seminary School of Jewish Studies. The University of Judaism in Los Angeles operates on the West Coast. The Bet Midrash/Seminary of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem is its Israeli affiliate. Other global affiliates include the Seminario Rabbínico Latino Americano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Hungary in Budapest.

     In more than a hundred years of existence, it has graduated thousands of rabbis and teachers who now serve synagogues and schools through­out the U.S. and Canada.

    The Rabbinical Assembly of America is the organization for rabbinical graduates of the Seminary. Two programs with strong ties to the Jewish Theo­logical Seminary are the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs which strive to instill ideals of Judaism into the lives of its members and promote youth-oriented projects.

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