Towson University makes agreement for Hebrew institution

Towson and BHU cooperate to bring three new Jewish programs to Univ.

Source: Tower Light, 7-5-09

Towson University will be welcoming several new additions in the fall, including new students, new buildings – and a whole other University. Towson signed a cooperative agreement with Baltimore Hebrew University earlier this summer to establish the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University.  The Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland recently approved the proposal, which plans to bring three programs to Towson.  These programs are Jewish studies, Jewish education and Jewish communal service. They are expected to start in the fall 2009 semester.  The agreement between the schools also brings BHU faculty to Towson.  “We have a very active philosophy and religious studies department, and some of the [BHU] faculty will join that department,” Kate Denniston, acting provost, said. “Of course we also have an outstanding department of education, and some of those faculty are involved in Jewish education programs.”

The three programs being brought to Towson include both masters and doctorate degrees.  The doctorate program in Jewish studies will only be available for six years, as “Towson’s mission does not include doctorates, but Towson will hold onto that program… so that the students already in the program have enough time to complete their studies,” Denniston said.  Also involved in the collaboration is the inclusion of BHU’s Joseph Meyerhoff Library into Cook Library.  The Joseph Meyerhoff Library contains more than 70,000 volumes, many of which are of historical value.  It is also the largest independent Jewish library in the southeast.  Cook Library is currently being prepared to accept this collection into its own, which Denniston said will help bring a wealth of resources to Towson and Towson students.  “I think it’s really a tremendous opportunity, both for the people at Baltimore Hebrew University and for those of us at Towson,” Denniston said. “It’s really going to be a marvelous experience to bring them into the Towson fold and just see how the new programs play out.”

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