Thursday, January 06, 2000

Hebrew Union's leader leaving

Gottschalk to head national museum

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The leader of Hebrew Union College is leaving Cincinnati to become president of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

        Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, chancellor of Hebrew Union College, assumed the top post of the museum, which serves as a memorial of the Holocaust, on New Year's Day. The Manhattan museum is undergoing an expansion and chose Dr. Gottschalk because of his life's work as an educator, administrator and scholar.

        Dr. Gottschalk has led Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform seminary whose headquarters are in Cincinnati, in some form for 29 years. Dr. Gottschalk will become chancellor emeritus and professor emeritus at the college July 1.

        “We're confident that his outstanding amalgam of skills will serve him well as he works to guide our museum to even greater heights of achievement,” said Robert Morgenthau, chairman of the museum's board of trustees.

Fled Nazis in 1939
        A native of Oberwesel, Germany, Dr. Gottschalk emigrated to the United States in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution. He was raised in Brooklyn.

        He has been affiliated with Hebrew Union College since the mid-1950s. He received his rabbinic ordination from the school in 1957 and later joined the faculty. He was named dean of its California school in 1959 and was later named president of Hebrew Union College in 1971 and chancellor in 1995.

        The museum opened three years ago as a public memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Dr. Gottschalk will oversee development of a $60 million educational center to be connected to the museum. Museum officials approached Dr. Gottschalk when founder David Altshuler announced his resignation.

Leader for decades
        Dr. Gottschalk has been a leader in the Jewish community for decades. He is a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and other prominent Jewish organizations across the country. In Cincinnati, along with his duties at Hebrew Union College, he is an active member of civic groups, including the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

        “Alfred Gottschalk is a distinguished civic, academic and communal leader,” Mr. Morgenthau said. Under Dr. Gottschalk's tenure at Hebrew Union College, museums and cultural centers were developed at each of its campuses.


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