The Simon Dubnow Institute has the legal form of a registered association and is recognized as a non-profit institution. The State of Saxony fully funds the Institute which raises additional funds from various foundations and other sources.

An agreement between the Institute and Leipzig University regulates the cooperation regarding research and teaching. On the basis of this agreement and the Saxon law on university education, since January 2000 the Institute operates under the name Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University.

The courses and seminars taught by the staff are recognized as part of the course offerings of the University. Members of the staff can earn the PhD at the University and also complete their habilitation (second dissertation).