The school was named in 1982 in recognition of a major gift by the late Hermann Merkin and his wife, Ursula, in memory of her father, Isaac Breuer. IBC does not have the traditional emphasis on Talmud. Instead we offer high-level courses in areas including Bible, Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, Hebrew language and literature, Jewish law and Talmud. These classes provide valuable training in the use of primary sources, research methods and independent work.
Courses unique to IBC include History of the Ancient Near East, Modern Jewish Problems: Medicine, Sephardic Life Cycle, Judaism and Culture, Hasidism, and Belief and Religious Commitment. We test all incoming students and place them in appropriately challenging classes. As students progress, they are given the opportunity to choose more of their classes and to focus on specific areas of interest.
World-renowned scholars, lecturers, authors and talmidei chachamim teach IBC classes. Students benefit from our program's association with other affiliates and schools in the University, including Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Students also benefit from exposure to New York City's wealth of educational and cultural facilities.
Our faculty and students seek to create an atmosphere that provides and promotes the highest standards of ethical conduct and scholarship in the achievement of personal and professional goals.