10. Jewish Institute of Religion

Jewish Institute of Religion
The Jewish Institute of Religion merged with Hebrew Union College.

The Jewish Institute of Religion was a higher learning institution opened in 1922 by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. He was a Reform rabbi and Zionist leader who was also a founding member of the NAACP. The school trained rabbis “for the Jewish ministry, research, and community service” while stressing Reform education.

Wise had earlier established the Free Synagogue in 1907 at 30 West 68th Street, where the JIR was located. Wise remained president until 1948. In contrast to the competing Hebrew Union College, the JIR included Zionism as part of its curriculum and trained rabbis to potentially open other Free Synagogues. Eventually, the JIR merged with Hebrew Union College in 1950 after negotiations with its president Nelson Glueck.