Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities Established by Conservative Seminary

An Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities has been established under auspices of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (Conservative) as a non-sectarian school for graduate and undergraduate students and will begin classes in September, it was announced today by Dr. Louis Finkelstein, Seminary chancellor. He will be chairman of the faculty of the new school.

Dr. Finkelstein said the new school, which has been granted a charter by the New York State Department of Education, was developed partly to help meet the “heavy demand” for teachers of Judaica in universities and colleges in the United States. He added that the new school, which will enroll students of all religious faiths, also seeks to meet the need to share the secular academic discipline “resident within the Jewish tradition” with the world of scholarship. He said it would also act to help restore humane studies to their “proper position” in the educational system and seek to meet the need for the more “relevant” approach to education demanded by college students.

He added that the Institute will emphasize the humanities, declaring that no science courses as such will be in the curriculum. Concentration on Bible and Talmud, he added, will open new vistas within the humanities, since these sources have been a phase of the “humanistic heritage” generally neglected by all except theological students. He said “it is our hope that the introduction into the mainstream of man’s cultural development” of the Jewish tradition “rich in ethics, law pedagogy and many other areas of human achievement” would have an impact similar to that of the Renaissance.

He announced that the director would be Rabbi David C. Kogen, who reported that the institute hopes to open with 300 undergraduates and 150 graduate students, most of them men and women now registered in schools of the seminary, as well as new students. He added that eventually, in a new building, the Institute could accommodate 200 graduate students and 400-500 undergraduates. He reported also that a full-time resident faculty of full, associate and assistant professors had been appointed for the Institute, plus a number of visiting professors.

NEXT STORY