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Our History


  • The Women’s Institute of Torah Seminary & College (WITS) was established in 1998 by the Women’s Institute of Torah, a pioneer in Jewish adult education for women. WITS was created to serve as a religious educational setting for graduates of Orthodox Jewish girls’ high schools.

  • A partnership was created with the Maalot Educational Network that allowed WITS students to earn regionally accredited degrees from Thomas Edison State University and Excelsior College. WITS became known as WITS/Maalot Baltimore.


  • The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) approved WITS as a degree-granting institution. Two degree programs received MHEC approval.



  • The first degrees were awarded by WITS to a graduating class of 20 students.



  • The Snyderman-Klein Library was established through an initial grant from the Jewish Enhancement Education Program.



  • WITS received initial accreditation for five years from the Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies, which is a national accreditation agency approved by the US Department of Education.



  • WITS expanded and modernized the school facility within the Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion Synagogue. The additional space accommodated a larger student body and provided a more sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing learning environment.


  • WITS received re-accreditation for five years from the Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies.



  • WITS entered into partnership with Gratz College. The partnership allowed students to earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, in addition to earning a degree issued by WITS.


  • WITS/Maalot Baltimore was renamed WITS/מכון אור יהודית to honor the memory of Mrs. Yehudis (Julie) Spetner, a”h, a lifelong educator of women, and the mother of its founders and long-time board members Mr. Shlomo and Mrs. Mindy Spetner.


  • WITS received reaccreditation for 10 years from the Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies.


  • WITS entered into a partnership with Stevenson University allowing students to pursue career tracks in Premed and Biomedical engineering.

  • WITS completed renovations on its science lab facilities and dedicated the "Ben and Zelda Cohen Charitable Foundation Science Lab", a state-of-the art facility featuring two science classrooms, a prep room and an associated corridor.



  • WITS became a candidate institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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