The LAURA AND ALVIN SIEGAL COLLEGE OF JUDAIC STUDIES (formerly Cleveland College of Jewish Studies) is a non-denominational institution of higher Jewish learning supported by the Jewish community of Cleveland, Ohio. Accredited by the state of Ohio, the college offered degree programs in Judaic studies at the undergraduate and graduate level and lifelong learning programs for adults on Jewish topics.
CCJS's roots date to the 1920s with the creation of a Jewish training school for Sunday school teachers and the founding of the Hebrew Teacher Training Institute by ABRAHAM FRIEDLAND in 1929, in a house off E. 105th between Superior and St. Clair Ave. The training school later came under the authority of the newly created BUREAU OF JEWISH EDUCATION (BJE) and renamed the Jewish Teachers Institute.
In 1947 the schools merged into the Cleveland Institute of Jewish Studies, located in a mansion at E. 105 St and East Blvd., with the primary purpose to educate teachers. In 1952 the institute achieved independent status, with Dr. Jacob Kabakoff as its first dean. In the fall the institute moved to a new home on S. Taylor Rd. in Cleveland Hts., which it shared with the BJE.
The school's program continued to expand and in 1964 its name was officially changed to the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies. In 1971 the Ohio Regents authorized the school to grant three baccalaureate and two masters' degrees. In 1976 the college moved to a new campus at 26500 Shaker Blvd. in BEACHWOOD. Due to declining enrollment, the Hebrew Teacher Training Institute was abolished in 1982 and the college shifted its mission toward providing high level adult Jewish education and developing educational programs for the Jewish community.
In 2002, the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies was renamed the Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies. In 2012, Siegal College and CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY announced that they had combined their adult education programs into a new initiative, the Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University. Siegal College closed under the new arrangement and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland became responsible for Siegal College's library, the Aaron Garber Library.
See JEWS & JUDAISM.