Leo Baeck cuts back on services


Leo Baeck College is looking to streamline services and focus on its core work of training of rabbis and educators.

The streamlining follows a review by the Progressive rabbinic academy, which has resulted in the closure of some of its educational consultancy services.

A new part-time BA in Jewish education is to be introduced by Leo Baeck in autumn — the only one of its kind in the country. College principal Rabbi Deborah Kahn-Harris said the evening degree would “be a good route for people who want to be headteachers of religion schools or run synagogue nurseries”.

The BA and existing part-time MA in Jewish education will in future be validated by the Institute for Theological Partnerships at Winchester University, as will the MA in theology taken by rabbinic students, which is currently awarded by King’s College London.

Six new rabbinic students entered Leo Baeck at the start of the academic year — an unusually large intake.
The college recently received a positive report on its academic management from the Quality Assurance Agency, which monitors standards in higher education.

But the college has ended consultancy work in some areas, including early years and support to northern synagogues, although some consultancy in Hebrew teaching will continue.

Executive director Stephen Ross said that “although the college has been successful in fundraising during the long economic crisis and continues to enjoy financial stability provided from its strong asset base and long-term donor commitments, it has had to make some significant cost savings to ensure its viability in the longer term”.

The changes would “ensure the attractiveness of the college as a place to study and allow it to contribute to the overall development of the Progressive community in the UK”.

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