U. of Texas Jewish studies center raises $10 million

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — A Jewish studies center at the University of Texas in Austin is getting a $10 million boost.

Five years ago, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation awarded the university’s new Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies a $6 million challenge grant, giving $2 million up front with a pledge to pay the remaining $4 million once the original $6 million grant had been matched.

Most of the matching donations came from university alumni and the Gale Foundation, which committed $1 million for new two professorships and to revive a lecture series. Gale historically been the largest funder of Jewish studies at the university.

The $10 million will enable the center to hire new faculty, expand course offerings and offer more public events highlighting Jewish culture and thought.

"We are thrilled that The University of Texas is now one giant step closer to establishing a world-class center of Jewish studies from which thousands of students of all backgrounds and religions will be able to access a rich education in Jewish history, tradition and culture," said Lynn Schusterman, her foundation’s chairwoman.

More than 650 University of Texas-Austin students take Jewish studies courses each year.

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