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The JS Wishlist

The KU Jewish Studies Program wishlist

Endowments can be created with an initial gift of $5000. Whatever financial goal is wanted, it is usually the result of an endowment with 4% annual interest (for instance, if $10,000 a year is wanted for study-abroad scholarships, an endowment of $250,000 will be needed to produce this. If a professorship is wanted at $60,000/year [KU would pick up the remaining tab], an endowment of $1.5 million would be needed to produce this).

1. An endowed, named department (on the order of $5m, providing $200k/year) to name the program/department, provide new professorships and student scholarships, and nudge the University to provide us more space).

2. Our own space: 6 offices, library, and student lounge. At the moment, we are just 4 offices in a row on 4th floor Wescoe; we have no student area or library and no room to grow (endowment of $2m-$3m minimum).

3. Faculty ($40,000-$75,000; endowment of $1m-$1.75m):

  • Israeli professor: we need an endowment to bring over an Israeli professor for 1 year (with 1 year renewable) to teach courses in modern Israel (conflict, citizenship, culture & society).
  • 2nd Hebrew instructor, lecturer position.
  • Professor of Jewish history (at present, we have a lecturer for 2 courses a year).
  • Professor of Jewish literature and culture in America (to replace Cheryl Lester who's retiring).
  • Professor of Jewish music, a shared position with the Music School: sacred music, Broadway, movie music.
  • Professor of Jewish art, a shared position with the History of Art Department.

4. Scholarships for study abroad, $10,000 year (endowment of $250,000). We are grateful to Harvey Bodker for his annual gift of study abroad scholarships. It would be good to get this gift endowed.

5. Slush money to develop/offer 1 more new course a year ($5000, endowment of $125,000). We already have the Stein Fund which yieleds $5000/year for one-time lecturers, visiting faculty, or an extra course/year. It'd be great to have an extra $5000 a year for this.

6. Event money for a speakers series (2 speakers a year) or 1 symposium a year ($10,000, endowment of $250,000).

7. Research, travel & publication fellowships to enhance faculty research: $2500-$5000 a year (endowment of $62,500-$125,000).


Congratulations Elizabeth Wenger!
Elizabeth Wenger has won the Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Award in writing! Elizabeth was recognized for one of her creative-nonfiction essays “Still Frame,” which is part of her larger undergraduate thesis “Dancing to Utopia.” Wenger’s writing combines personal experiences, quotations, research, and visual markers that guide readers through this creative-nonfiction essay. Wenger is a senior majoring in both English and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and a minor in Jewish Studies and in History. Congratulations Elizabeth!
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