Rabbinical seminary in London, England; it owes its existence to the chief rabbi Dr. N. M. Adler; the first stone was laid Jan. 4, 1852, at a public meeting presided over by Sir Moses Montefiore. The original design of the institution was threefold: the training of ministers, readers, and teachers; the formation of a day-school; the establishment of a bet ha-midrash. The third part of the scheme, however, was soon abandoned as impracticable. On Nov. 10, 1856, the college and college school were opened at 10 Finsbury Square, with Dr. L. Löwe as head master. Dr. Löwe, however, soon resigned (Sept., 1858), and was succeeded by the Rev. Barnett Abrahams, B.A., as principal (d. 1863). At his death the Rev. Dr. H. Adler accepted the post provisionally, and held it until the appointment of the present principal, Dr. M. Friedländer. The constitution of Jews' College provides that the chief rabbi of England shall be the president of the council (which is annually elected by the subscribers), and the Orthodox principle is thus, though indirectly, maintained. After having remained in Finsbury Square for twenty-five years, it removed, for the benefit of those of its students that attended University College, to Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, formerly the residence of Charles Dickens; after eighteen years there it removed to Queen's Square House, bought for the college by Charles Samuel.
Of the two departments, the day-school and the college, the former was not popular. For twenty-five years it struggled on, but ultimately it was closed (1880). Its place was taken by "the preparatory class" for young men intending to devote themselves to the study of theology. In this class pupils are prepared for the college in both theological and secular subjects, to enable them to pass the university matriculation examination and an examination of a similar standard in Hebrew and religion. There are three examinations, which correspond to the university matriculation, intermediate, and final examinations; successful candidates receive certificates entitling them to be styled "Probationers," "Associates," and "Fellows" of Jews' College. The "Third Certificate" precedes the obtaining of the Hattarat Hora'ah from the chief rabbi. The last provision, that the chief rabbi and not Jews' College should grant the highest certificate, gave rise to a prolonged agitation led by Prof. Israel Gollancz. Ultimately (Feb. 11, 1903) it was decided that arrangements should be made for the granting by the college of the diploma of rabbi, with which should be combined the hattarat hora'ah.
The college possesses a large library, the most interesting and important part of it being the collection of the Rev. A. L. Green, a zealous and intelligent collector of Hebrew and Anglo-Jewish literature. Part of the Ramsgate College Library also is deposited in Jews' College, including a valuable collection of Hebrew manuscripts acquired for it by Dr. M. Gaster. The general public is allowed to read in the library and to borrow books. In connection with the college there exist a Jews' College Literary Society and a Jews' College Union for past and present pupils.
The "Jews' College Journal" was started by some of the pupils and students of Jews' College April, 1875; only three numbers were published, the last in 1888.