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Ohio court bars Hebrew Union College from selling rare books amid financial woes – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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Ohio court bars Hebrew Union College from selling rare books amid financial woes – Jewish Telegraphic Agency


Ohio’s attorney general obtained a court order this week prohibiting the financially strapped Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion from selling off books from its Cincinnati library, which holds a significant collection of rare and precious items from throughout Jewish history.

Attorney General Dave Yost’s request for a temporary restraining order came in response to recent reporting in Cincy Jewfolk, a local outlet that published an in-depth article in April on the struggles of the educational institution, a seminary and university affiliated with Judaism’s Reform movement. 

Cincy Jewfolk uncovered plans to sell rare books and reported that an administrator overseeing the library may have resigned after being pressured to carry out the plans. The outlet also revealed that representatives of the auction house Sotheby’s had been hired to examine the library’s holdings. 

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The sale of library items would potentially undermine the intent of donors to the library in violation of Ohio law, Yost said in a press release. 

“These sacred texts are invaluable artifacts — religious and cultural treasures,” Yost said. “Their sale would not only betray donor trust but also may violate legal restrictions placed on the gifts. We are committed to ensuring that these irreplaceable items remain available to the public and are cared for as their donors intended.”

Though Hebrew Union College, which also has campuses in New York, Los Angeles and Jerusalem, is phasing out its Cincinnati rabbinical school, it has said the campus would remain a hub for Jewish research. It has denied it has plans to sell rare books from the library’s collection.

“The rumors that we are planning to sell our rare books, and the subsequent legal and press attention, are based on incomplete and misleading information,” Andrew Rehfeld, the president of the institution, wrote in an email to the campus community after Yost’s announcement June 4, according to Cincy Jewfolk. “We have no plans to sell or ‘deaccession’ the collection and no staff member has been asked to sell our books.”

The 14,000 rare texts held at the seminary’s Klau Library could be worth millions of dollars, according to the press release from Yost’s office. The collection is among the most significant of all Jewish libraries in the world and includes Jewish textual artifacts and historical works of philosophy, history and liturgy in more than a dozen languages. 

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Librarians and administrators of Jewish educational institutions throughout the country are likely paying close attention to the situation because of concern for the collection and due to the possible implications of the involvement of legal authorities as Hebrew Union College contends with financial challenges that others are also facing. 

At the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, for example, administrators have sold real estate assets as well as library items in recent years amid declining enrollment. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, American Jewish University sold its campus earlier this year and has yet to announce what will become of the university’s rare book collection. 

A court hearing to evaluate the restraining order on Hebrew Union College has been set for July 12. 



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Ohio

One taken to hospital after rear-end crash

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One taken to hospital after rear-end crash


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — At least one was taken to the hospital after a crash on the corner of Oak Street and North Truesdale Avenue on Sunday night.

One car rear-ended the other around 7:30 p.m., and they were both heavily damaged. Police said one juvenile sustained a head injury and others suffered minor injuries.

First News will continue to update this developing story.

Wilson Corbisello contributed to this report.

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Ohio State Eyeing Toledo Guard Via NCAA Transfer Portal

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Ohio State Eyeing Toledo Guard Via NCAA Transfer Portal


The Ohio State Buckeyes and head coach Jake Diebler have reloaded the roster via the transfer portal ahead of his first full season at the helm, but they’ve been in the mix for some additional names in the middle of this offseason. 

Per The Portal Report, Ohio State has reached out to Toledo transfer Tyler Cochran, who recently de-committed from Oregon State after originally committing to the Beavers in May. 

The Bolingbrook, IL. native played the first two seasons of his career at Northern Illinois before transferring to Ball State for the 2021-22 season. Cochran then transferred to Toledo, where he spent the past two years. He’s now looking for what could be the fourth stop of his collegiate career. 

Per the report, other interested programs include Indiana State, Marshall, Fresno State, Drake, San Diego State, Hawaii, and a potential return to Toledo. 

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Cochran is coming off an impressive season with the Rockets. Even as a 6-2, 225-pound guard, he led the team with a career-best 6.4 rebounds per game while also finishing with the second-highest scoring average of his career (14.4). 

Toledo finished the season with a 20-12 record thanks to some big performances by Cochran. He finished in double figures in 25 of 32 games, which included a season-high 33 points on 13 of 16 shooting in an 88-87 win over Marshall on Dec. 13. He also added four double-doubles. 

Cochran has flown a bit under the radar in the portal this offseason, but could be a solid pickup for Diebler and the Buckeyes due to his scoring ability and rebounding prowess. Ohio State has already put together a transfer class that includes Meechie Johnson (South Carolina), Sean Stewart (Duke), Micah Parrish (San Diego State) and Aaron Bradshaw (Kentucky).

The Buckeyes will be tipping off their 2024-25 regular season in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena on Monday, Nov. 4 against the Texas Longhorns as part of the Hall of Fame Series.



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10 injured in shooting in Columbus, Ohio, police say

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10 injured in shooting in Columbus, Ohio, police say


Ten people were hurt after a shooting Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, police said. 

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It happened just before 2:30 a.m. in the Short North Arts District, local media said, quoting law enforcement.

The Columbus Police Department said all the injured were males, eight adults and two minors who ranged in age from 16 to 27.

One of the victims was critically injured. 

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Police didn’t immediately release any other details about why the shooting may have occurred. 

Police shared on social media that they are searching for a suspect who was traveling in a four-door, white Honda Civic with tinted windows.

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This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed. 



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