HTC Suspends Accreditation of Meisels’ Seminaries Threatening Cutoff of Governmental Financial Aid

By Yerachmiel Lopin (Frum Follies blog)
July 17, 2014

The Meisels seminaries are accredited through the Israel Experience Program (IEP) of Hebrew Theological College (HTC) in Skokie, IL. This accreditation is essential for getting governmental financial and receiving college credit.

HTC accepts the authority of the Chicago “Special Beis Din” of Rabbis Schwartz, Feurst and Cohen. They accept its July 10th rabbinic ruling to not enroll students in these seminaries because of sexually abusive behavior by Meisels and are freezing any finalization of arrangements for 2014-2015 enrollees.

On July 14 they sent out the following message to the 62 students, accepted through them to the Meisels seminaries, to start in Fall 2014:

Hebrew Theological College
7135 N. Carpenter Rd.
Skokie, IL 60077
Voice: 847-982-2500
Fax: 847-745-0200


Dear xxxxxx,

In response to the decision of the Chicago Special Beis Din regarding Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya seminaries, HTC is currently reviewing the status of these programs with our college. Meanwhile, we request that you send us the signed IEP Participation Agreement (see attached) and $1,500 Program fee by the July 31, 2014 deadline if you have not yet done so. We will not deposit any checks or run any credit card payments unless we determine that our affiliation with these seminaries will continue for the 2014-15 school year. If your program fee has already been deposited, please be assured that if the decision is ultimately made to suspend our affiliation with these seminaries, we will fully refund your payment.

Further communication will be forthcoming as soon as information is available.

Rabbi Shmuel L. Schuman
Interim Chancellor
Hebrew Theological College

While students can bypass HTC and enroll directly with the seminaries, they will not get governmental financial aid for college which requires accreditation by a US College. Unless the Chicago Beis Din reverses its decision, the Meisels seminaries have just taken a major financial hit. For many students, the loss of financial aid will be a deciding factor in whether they enroll. According to my sources, the Chicago Beis Din will not back down unless there are other major changes in Israel. Apparently, they feel that Meisels’ resignation as dean/teacher is not nearly enough and they are not persuaded by the opinion of the Torah Umesorah Israeli Beit Din headed by Rabbi Mendel Shafran of Bnei Brak.