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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).

Upcoming Program Events

The College Monthly Faculty/Staff Newsletter, Dec. 2017: In Jewish studies, a major symposium came together thanks to the efforts of program assistant Carla Aspenberg. She organized the “Jews in the Midwest” conference featuring four speakers from outside campus, as well as KU. She has also assisted the transition of a new director of undergraduate studies and managed other duties amid staff changes. And following the conference in November, she quickly switched gears to organizing a new, unexpected faculty hire in the department. Director John Younger said that without Carla, “Jewish studies would be dead in the water.”

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