Grant for Jewish Studies Center to aid in campus events, library

Amy Thornton

The Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies announced that donations matched $6 million grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation to continue providing a multi-disciplinary Jewish Studies curriculum for students.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation donated $6 million to create the center in 2006. Donations from University alumni and the Beaumont-based Gale Foundation matched the initial $6 million last week, center officials announced.

“The grant means a lot to the Center for Jewish Studies, but it also means a lot to the University,” said the center’s director Robert Abzug. “We do things that benefit and interest those who are interested in culture, literature and history.”

When the center opened in fall 2007, it aimed to be a comprehensive center for Jewish studies that explores religion, philosophy, literature and history. Since it began, it has put on programs, lectures and concerts for the community, in addition to showing films from the Austin Jewish Film Festival and introducing courses on Israeli history.

The additional funds mean the center can bring more cultural events to campus, aid in library acquisition and hire five or six new professors, Abzug said. The new professors could be linked to another department such as history, English or the performing arts