(All answers can be found in the Fall 2000 issue.)
  1. 22 letters in the Hebrew language.

  2. 8 vowels.

  3. 80 Progressive congregations. Ten years ago, there was just one Reform congregation, in Moscow. Today, the more than 80 stretch from Estonia in the west to the far eastern reaches of Siberia. There are tens of thousands of members, most of whom barely knew they were Jewish a decade ago.

  4. Approximately one million. In the past ten years, more than one million Jews left the FSU for Israel, the U.S., and other Western countries, and about a million stayed behind. Says writer Sue Fishkoff: "Despite predictions of their quick assimilation, they are eagerly engaged in building a Jewish community where none existed before."

  5. 67. On May 21, 2000, 67-year-old Holocaust survivor and grandmother Helga Newmark became the oldest person to be ordained in HUC-JIR's 125-year history.

  6. In 1875, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise built the first rabbinic seminary in America (Reform). Seventeen children gathered in the basement of Cincinnati's Mound Street Temple. Its library was locked up every night in a 2 foot box because of mice; there was a single paid instructor; and the initial ordination class consisted of four rabbis.

  7. Approximately 150,000 American Jews.

  8. 2519 rabbinical alumni (351 women, 2,168 men). There have also been 377 cantorial alumni, 291 education alumni, 472 communal service alumni, and 386 graduate studies alumni.

  9. More than 600 Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist congregations.

  10. 700,000 volumes in the combined HUC-JIR collections in New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Jerusalem. That number has increased significantly since 1900, when the collection encompassed 14,000 books (and was the largest Jewish library in the country at the time). Today's Klau Library in Cincinnati ranks as the second largest in the world (the first is the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem).

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Copyright © 2000, Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Most recent update 25 Aug 2000