Conservative seminary selling property

The Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan, the Conservative movement’s flagship institution, is cashing in on the city’s hot real estate market with plans to sell two dorms, some of its air rights and potentially part of its library building to finance an ambitious redevelopment project at its Morningside Heights campus.

JTS made the announcement on Jan. 30. Of 370,000 square feet on the eastern campus, it plans to keep approximately 100,000 square feet to house a “more user-friendly” library, new conference facilities, a new auditorium and a “state-of-the-art” residence hall.

JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen called the plan a “reinvestment in our future,” one that will improve the experience of students, faculty and others.

The announcement comes at a time of challenge for the Conservative movement, once America’s largest Jewish denomination. In recent decades it has experienced declines in both its synagogue affiliation numbers and enrollment at its Schechter day schools. However, its Camp Ramah network, which operates under the auspices of JTS, has continued to thrive.

A week earlier, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the movement’s congregational arm, announced it was selling its New York office in order to pay down debt, rent new office space and fund ongoing programs. — jta


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.