Stanford News


CONTACT: Diane Manuel, News Service (650) 725-1945;

Program in Jewish Studies receives two sizable gifts

The Program in Jewish Studies has received two gifts of $250,000 each to expand the program and to endow a graduate fellowship. Donors William Lowenberg and Tad Taube currently serve on the Jewish Studies advisory board and executive committee.

The William J. and Fern H. Lowenberg Fellowship Fund for Holocaust Studies will support a graduate student specializing in the Holocaust. Lowenberg is a Holocaust survivor who also serves on the board of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

"We expect that William and Fern Lowenberg's important gift will help support the education of outstanding young scholars in Holocaust studies," said Steven Zipperstein, the Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and History and director of the Program in Jewish Studies. "It seems to us crucial to provide the most thoughtful training for the study of this catastrophe, and in the context of a Jewish studies program with a deep commitment to interdisciplinary knowledge. The Lowenberg fellowship at Stanford, will, I trust, help deepen our understanding of this century's most comprehensive horrors."

The Holocaust currently is addressed in classes taught by John Felstiner, professor of English; historian Aron Rodrigue, the Eva Chernov Lokey Professor of Jewish Studies; Arnie Eisen, professor of religious studies; and Amir Weiner, assistant professor of history.

The Taube Family Foundation also donated $250,000, to expand course offerings in the program. In recognition of the gift, the directorship has been renamed the Taube Family Directorship in Jewish Studies.

"Tad Taube's crucial, generous gift makes it possible for the Program in Jewish Studies to continue to contribute actively to intellectual life at Stanford," Zipperstein said. "Its fellowship and grant opportunities for undergraduates and graduates, its publications, its many seminars, lectures and conferences are now set on a solid foundation with a gift that sustains the vitality of the department."

Twenty graduate students, based in the departments of English, history and religious studies, currently are enrolled in the Program in Jewish Studies. Twelve faculty are associated with the program.

Last May the program marked its 10th anniversary with an American Jewish Film Retrospective and international conference. In February the program will co-host, with the Jewish Studies Committee at the University of California-Berkeley and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Second International Jewish Writers' Conference. "Writing the Jewish Future: An International Conversation" will bring together dozens of novelists, poets, playwrights, critics and academics from Israel, North and South America, and Europe to discuss Jewish literary, social, political and religious concerns as they are reflected in contemporary literature.


By Diane Manuel