Chabad's Michigan Jewish Institute May Close After Failing To Win Accreditation

Thousands of Students Could Be Left in Cold

Shell Campus: Dov Stein, head of academics at Michigan Jewish Institute, stands outside the entrance to The Shul, a $6 million synagogue in West Bloomfield, where some MJI classes are held.
paul berger
Shell Campus: Dov Stein, head of academics at Michigan Jewish Institute, stands outside the entrance to The Shul, a $6 million synagogue in West Bloomfield, where some MJI classes are held.

By Paul Berger

Published September 24, 2013, issue of September 27, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

Anthony Bieda, an ACICS spokesman, said his organization has been in regular contact with the Department of Education since the Forward investigation was published last year. A team of inspectors from ACICS visited MJI in February as a routine part of the accreditation process.

Since then, ACICS has deferred its decision to grant a renewal of accreditation, in April and in August, while it awaits further information from MJI.

“There has been a lot of scrutiny, interest and questions about how we’re applying our standards to this particular institution through the course of renewal grant and the special visit we did in February,” Bieda said.

Bieda would not reveal why ACICS has deferred accreditation. “It’s between us and the school,” he said. “But it has to do with compliance with our standards and expectations.”

Bieda said that it was not unusual for ACICS to defer a renewal grant of accreditation once. But, he added, “It’s more unusual to have it deferred twice, and it’s extremely rare to have it deferred a third time.”

If ACICS does defer its decision again in December, it would have to formally issue an extension of its current grant of accreditation so that MJI’s students can continue to receive federal aid. In theory, according to Department of Education guidelines, that situation could repeat itself through 2014.

Glickman said that if MJI were to lose its accreditation, the college could appeal. In such a case, “The institution remains accredited until the decision on the appeal is made, and students are able to get Title IV [Pell] aid,” she said.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter, @pdbergerThousands of Jewish students are at risk of losing their federal student aid — and a Midwest Jewish college risks closure — after Michigan Jewish Institute failed for a second time to win accreditation.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools deferred its decision to grant the Chabad-affiliated MJI accreditation until December 13.

MJI’s current grant of accreditation, which is required for students to receive Federal Pell Grants worth $5,500 per year, runs out at the end of 2013.

A Forward investigation in the fall of last year revealed that MJI received $25 million in federal aid between 2008 and 2012 despite graduating hardly any students.

So far this year, the college has received $8.6 million in federal funds.

Only American citizens are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program, the government’s largest education aid program targeting low-income students. Almost all of MJI’s students are enrolled in study-abroad programs, mainly in Israel, and in online programs. Few, if any, of the students complete their degree courses.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.