A charter for the establishment of the Yeshiva College, the first undergraduate college to be conducted under Jewish auspices, where the students will be instructed along parallel lines in modern sciences and in the fundamentals of Jewish lore and religion, was granted by the University of the State of New York, Dr. Bernard Revel. president of the Faculty of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, announced yesterday.
The proposed Yeshiva College for Liberal Arts and Sciences will offer a four year course leading to the degrees of B.A. and B.S. Jewish studies will be made an integral part in the course of humanities offered to the general body of students and general culture and education will be included for the rabbis and teachers who are expected to be graduated from the Yeshiva College.
It is hoped, Dr. Revel stated, that the first year of college work in the Yeshiva College may be started in September 1928, in the first group of three buildings of the Yeshiva College which are now nearing completion on Amsterdam avenue between 186th and 188th streets, erected at a cost of nearly two and a half million dollars. Each semester additional courses will be added until a full four year curriculum is provided leading to the B.A. and B.S. degrees.
The decision to grant the charter was made at a meeting of the Regents Board of the University of the State of New York held on March 28, 1928. The University of the State of New York amended the charter of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, 301 East Broadway, authorizing it to organze the Yeshiva College.
The college, it is stipulated, will admit the graduates of the Yeshiva High School and other candidates who, in addition to the general standard, will possess the necessary qualifications. The additional qualifications which will be required for admission to the Yeshiva College will consist in a specific amount of Jewish learning. In addition to the standard requirements for college entrance, applicants for admission to the Yeshiva College will be required to possess the following qualifications: a knowledge of the Pentateuch and the early prophets with readings from Rashi commentary; a knowledge of the elements of Hebrew grammar and language; a general knowledge of Jewish History during biblical times; a knowledge in one tractate of the Mishna, a part of the Talmud.
In outlining the plan and scope of the first Jewish college in the United States, Dr. Revel stated that its sponsors aim at providing for Jewish students a harmonious education, blending without conflict, general and Jewish instruction.
The curriculum requires a total of 128 credits to be completed by the students for graduation. Of this, approximately 90 credits are prescribed, the rest being elective. Hebrew will be a required language and the study of the Bible a required subject. One of the main divisions of the Yeshiva College curriculum will offer to the students intensive courses in Bible, Jewish History and Literature, Jewish Philosophy and Ethics, Rabbinic literature, the Hebrew language, Semitic Philology and Cognate subjects.
These studies are intended to bring the Yeshiva College students in direct contact with the sources and teachings of Judaism and its mode of life. The curriculum aims. Dr. Revel stated, to instill in the students a sympathetic understanding of Israel’s spiritual interpretation of human destiny and of Jewish history, so as to help American Jews to make their contribution “to maintain and enhance Israel’s spiritual heritage and to make valuable contributions to mankind’s culture and civilization.