The Miami Report

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Holocaust courses lay foundation for Jewish studies program

A Jewish studies program and a multi-disciplinary Jewish studies minor are being offered starting this semester.

Students now have the opportunity to study modern Hebrew, the history of the Jewish people and their institutional developments.

The Jewish studies program is designed to help students understand the experiences, struggles and achievements of the Jewish people in the context of world history, with emphasis on the relationships of Jews and non-Jews. Continued study of issues related to the Holocaust will also be offered through the program.

The program was created through an initiative led by Tom Idinopulos (religion) and Karl Mattox (retired dean, College of Arts and Science) with the cooperation of Steve DeLue (associate dean, College of Arts and Science) and John Skillings (acting dean, College of Arts and Science).

Interest in a Jewish studies program at Miami became apparent during the pursuit of funding to support history professor Jay Baird’s class trips. Baird, who teaches an honors seminar course on the Holocaust, takes his students to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., in order to "put faces on the reality of genocide."

A permanent source of funding for these trips was sought by alumnus Gary Schahet (’64) of Indianapolis, who organized efforts to secure the needed funds with the help of alumni in Indiana and Ohio, along with the Zeta Beta Tau Class of 1964.

A common interest in the establishment of a Jewish studies program at Miami was shared by these alumni, according to Schahet, who explained that donors saw such a program as "increasing Miami’s appeal to a wider range of students."

Date Published: 03/09/2000
Volume: 19   Number: 28

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