GRATZ COLLEGE (Philadelphia):

Jewish institution of higher learning, founded under a deed of trust executed by Hyman Gratz, dated December, 1856, which, under certain contingencies that afterward arose, became vested in the Congregation Mickveh Israel of Philadelphia. This trust became operative in 1893, and the congregation appointed a board of trustees for its management. In accordance with the terms of the deed requiring the establishment of a "college for the education of Jews residing in the city and county of Philadelphia," it was decided that the college should be devoted to the dissemination of the knowledge of Jewish history, the Hebrew language, Jewish literature, and the Jewish religion, with the understanding that the curriculum should be especially designed for teachers, thus creating it a Jewish teachers' college. Pending the beginning of actual instruction, three courses of lectures were given: the first in 1895 by Prof. S. Schechter, then of Cambridge, England, on "Rabbinic Theology"; the second, a general course of lectures by American scholars; and the third, a course on the "Philosophy of Jewish History," by Joseph Jacobs, then of London, England. Regular instruction began in 1898, the teaching staff consisting of Rabbi Henry M. Speaker, Arthur A. Dembitz, A.B., and Isaac Husik, Ph.D. There have been in attendance 27 pupils, and nine graduates have received teachers' certificates. Gratz College also has a course preparatory to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Moses A. Dropsie has been the president of the board of trustees since the foundation of the trust.

  • Publications of the Gratz College, No. 1, Philadelphia, 1897;
  • American Jewish Year Book, 5660 and 5661.
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