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Gratz College
Gratz College
Gratz College
Gratz College

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Office of the President

an image of Gratz President Paul Finkelman

Welcome to Gratz College.  In 2020, we celebrated our 125th Anniversary as the oldest independent Jewish college in the United States.  Gratz has a long history of teaching graduate students, college students, teens, and continuing education learners.

Since our founding in 1895, Gratz has remained deeply committed to Tikkun Olam – the Jewish value of “repairing the world.”  We do this through teaching, learning, and scholarship. Our programs emphasize the connection between knowledge, leadership, scholarly inquiry, and social justice across all faiths and communities. We are proud of our past and devoted to a future that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

For the last two decades we have provided cutting edge online education, transforming Gratz into a global institution, as we bring students together from Greater Philadelphia and the world.  Our reach is truly global.  Gratz students and alumni live in the United States and Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, East Asia, and Australia. Our students live, study, and work in major urban centers, suburbs, small towns, rural communities, and on Indian reservations. 

Gratz has always been unique.  In our first class, women and men studied side-by-side at a time when many colleges were not coeducational. Before World War II we had women faculty members, something rare at the time.  Today we are a Jewish college with students and faculty of all faiths, nationalities, ethnic communities, and races. 

In the late nineteenth century, we served a largely immigrant community in Greater Philadelphia.  Many of our graduates became teachers of Hebrew language and Jewish studies.  Today we serve K-12 teachers from public and private schools around the nation with our vibrant M.Ed. and Ed.D. programs.

Through our online platform we offer college and graduate degree programs that serve professionals who lead and serve in schools and colleges, nonprofit organizations, camps, museums, the military, interfaith chaplaincies, religious communities of all faiths, and NGOs. In our newly established Center for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights, we offer a bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, which is the world’s only doctorate in this field within a self-contained center.

Beyond our many degree programs, we offer certificates for working professionals, non-credit continuing education courses in a wide variety of subjects, and CLE courses for lawyers. 

After 125 years, Gratz still remains committed to teaching Hebrew language, with a full range of credit and non-credit courses for all our college and graduate students, continuing education learners, and pre-collegiate students who can fulfill language requirements for their high school diplomas and also earn college credits in our Gratz Academy program. We have recently introduced courses in Yiddish as well, so that Gratz can contribute to the preservation and reinvigoration of this language.  This brings us full circle to our 19th century founding and early traditions, while moving us forward into the 21st century.

Gratz is proudly positioned for our next 125 years.  We invite you to join us in our commitment to teaching, learning, scholarship and Tikkun Olam.

signature of Paul Finkelman

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