SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release


SF State receives additional $500,000 for endowed chair

Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund supports the only Bay Area Jewish Studies program for undergraduates


SAN FRANCISCO, December 21, 2010 -- San Francisco State University today announced an additional  $500,000 gift from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund to San Francisco State University's Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility. The funding will continue to support an endowed professorship and classes in the discipline.

"Our grant to establish the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair of Jewish Studies was inspired by the legacy of our founders and their commitment to seeing Jewish Studies flourish as an academic discipline at San Francisco State," said John D. Goldman, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund Board President. "The latest contribution of $500,000 is meant to further support the position and ensure its lasting presence on campus."

In 1997, the Fund established the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility with a $1 million gift. In 2008, it established the Endowed Chair in Israel Studies at SF State with a gift of  $3.75 million to expand the SF State Jewish Studies curriculum to include Israel Studies and elevate the program to department status.

"We greatly appreciate the support of the Goldman Fund in continuing to develop our strong Jewish Studies department,” said Robert A. Corrigan, president of San Francisco State University.  "The Goldman Fund’s generosity allows us to support much-needed scholarship in a vital and especially timely field, and to further advance the University's commitment to social justice and community service."

"We take great pleasure from the high regard in which the Department of Jewish Studies is held by the Goldman Fund," said Fred Astren, Chair of the department. "This unexpected and most welcome gift will support the many activities of Marc Dollinger, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility, thereby strengthening the department and advancing the University's mission."

Dollinger has been the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility for the past eight years. Dollinger said the honor differs from most academic endowed chairs and professorships, which usually allow the recipient to focus on research and publication, while not teaching. The emphasis on Dollinger's position is teaching, community service and publishing.

"It's fitting that San Francisco State, which places a premium on community service as part of the learning experience, would be home to an endowed professorship that emphasizes this ideal," Dollinger said. In addition to teaching and involving students in social responsibility projects such as internships with Jewish or community services organizations, Dollinger serves on several Jewish educational institution boards. Funding includes financing for books, enabling students to borrow, rather than buy the books required for Dollinger's courses.

SF State is the only Bay Area university to have a free-standing Department of Jewish Studies offering undergraduate study. Founded in 1993, the Department offered the first Jewish Studies program in the CSU system. The curriculum attracts a diverse group of students from many racial and ethnic backgrounds, including participants in the University's community outreach programs. Students learn about the history, culture, contributions and religion of the Jewish people. The program offers a bachelor's degree in modern Jewish studies, a minor in Jewish studies and a certificate in Jewish service learning.

The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund has contributed more than a half-billion dollars to a variety of charitable causes in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally.

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For more information about the Goldman Fund, contact Natalie Silverstein, communications officer for the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund at (415) 249-5888 or natalie@goldmanprize.org


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