Major Merger

Big news from the West Coast. The University of Judaism and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute are merging and forming a new entity: the American Jewish University.

LA’s Jewish Journal reports:

The University of Judaism (UJ) and Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI), two Southern California institutions that for the last 60 years have educated and inspired Jews of all ages and affiliations — and that have both at times struggled through financial and leadership troubles — this week will announce that they have merged into one entity, to be known as the American Jewish University.

With two campuses, a roster of about 15,000 students and a remarkable range of educational, experiential, cultural and political offerings, the American Jewish University instantly becomes one of the largest and most unique Jewish educational institutions in the country.

The merger allows Brandeis to expand an educational mission that for years has been stagnating under the weight of financial insecurity and struggling lay leadership. It also allows the UJ to reintroduce itself to a local community that can’t seem to shake the image of UJ as a lower-tier university affiliated with the Conservative movement. As American Jewish University, it hopes to emphasize its pluralistic identity and the non-academic educational and cultural offerings that in fact form a much larger part of the institution than the graduate and undergraduate schools. (MORE)

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