The Santa Barbara campus of the University of California is establishing an endowed chair in Jewish studies.
Jay Glazer, a business entrepreneur, and his wife, Marsha, a noted art collector, have donated $1 million to fund the professorship and pledged additional funds for faculty and student support. The effort is part of an expanded curriculum and research program in the field.
“This inspiring gift will help launch a new Jewish studies initiative, which will strengthen intellectual and cultural communities beyond the campus,” said David Marshall, dean of humanities and fine arts at UCSB. “It will stimulate new scholarship and thinking, and create increased understanding of the history and culture of Judaism.”
Over the next five years, the university hopes to raise additional funds to create a Center for Jewish Studies that would coordinate programming, courses, research projects, grants and fellowships, and communication with students, faculty, staff and the Santa Barbara community.
An estimated 2,400 Jewish students are enrolled at UCSB in a student body of 21,000. Santa Barbara County has more than 7,000 Jewish residents.
The Glazer family has also endowed chairs in Jewish studies at the University of Washington in Seattle and at Indiana University.