Gift Aids Study of Israel
A $3.75 million gift from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund -- the largest gift for an endowed chair in California State University (CSU) history -- will fund a new faculty position in Jewish Studies focusing on the scholarly study of Israel.
The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Israel Studies will lead students in an examination of the history, politics, culture and religions of Israel. "This new position will enrich the curriculum and complement the current faculty’s expertise in Jewish literature, pre-modern Jewish history and American Jewish history," says Fred Astren, professor and director of the Jewish Studies Program. The chair will also contribute to scholarly conversations in a variety of disciplines across campus, including political science, history, international relations, and Middle East and Islamic Studies.
"As conflicts in the Middle East continue, it is vitally important to provide students with a deeper and more fully developed understanding of Israel. The purpose of this professorship is to accomplish that goal," says Richard N. Goldman, founder and president of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, an organization that has contributed more than a half-billion dollars to a variety of charitable causes.
Part of the endowment will also provide support for the transformation of the Jewish Studies Program into an academic department -- the first Jewish Studies Department in the CSU system and the only freestanding Department of Jewish Studies offering undergraduate study in the Bay Area.
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