Message from the Director
Over the past few months, several major gifts significantly expanded the Stahl Center’s resources, enhancing our ability to organize public programs, develop innovative curriculum, and support our hard-working students.
The Baye Foundation has been the source of much of our funding. A $2 million gift several years ago made possible the renovation of the Greene Museum, our headquarters on the east side of the UWM campus. When the renovations came in under budget, several new funds were established per the donors’ instructions. Among those are two under the name of Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz, the son in-law and daughter of Sam and Helen Stahl. Jewish Studies major Rivky Litvin was selected as the first-ever recipient of the Berkowitz Jewish Studies Scholarship in recognition of her academic excellence. A separate fund will be the primary source of support for an exciting year of programs in 2013-14 (and beyond).
Another recent gift ties Hebrew and Jewish Studies today to its historical roots at UWM. On the occasion of his 80th birthday two years ago, the family of Alan D. Corré, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew, and his wife Nita, endowed a new scholarship in his honor. That fund is now available for use, and Kayleigh Rappaport was its first recipient. This is particularly fitting since, in addition to her overall excellence in Jewish Studies, Kayleigh is an accomplished student of Hebrew language, and one of the first of our students to take advantage of our recently established study-abroad program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The Stahl Center was also approached in the recent past by donors who sought to honor the memory of their parents, Robert and Sylvia Grossman. Sylvia Grossman grew up in Waukesha, then a small town with only 25 Jewish families and no synagogue or religious school; her lack of formal Jewish education as a child propelled her to begin to study Hebrew when her children did. Long after their bar and bat mitzvahs, she continued her study of Hebrew wherever she could, including all the offerings of the UWM Hebrew Studies program, which she and Bob had long supported through their involvement in the Wisconsin Society for Jewish Learning. Ultimately, Sylvia taught Hebrew to adults, including many who became Jews by choice, and believed the fact that she’d studied as an adult was key to her effectiveness as a teacher.
The Grossmans’ children and their spouses, Linda and Eli Frank and Ellen and Larry Grossman, established the fund to ensure UWM students of Hebrew access to special tools and opportunities. In this way, the fund preserves the legacy of Sylvia’s and Bob’s passion for Jewish education and their long-term, multi-generational family friendship with the family of Sam and Helen Stahl. The first purchase the program made with the assistance of this fund (and matching funds from the Hebrew program) was a Smartboard for the use of Hebrew-language teaching by our innovative, tech-savvy instructor, Yael Gal. The Frank and Grossman families have continued to support this fund since its creation, and it now will also be used to help cover some of the costs incurred by our students who study in Israel.
One other donor, who chose to remain anonymous, also made generous provisions for scholarships and awards for Hebrew Studies and Jewish Studies students. The first recipients of the newly established B’rahah Hebrew Studies Scholarship and B’rahah Jewish Studies Award are Jeremy Zelman and Sarah Ruble, respectively.
Congratulations to all of this year’s scholarship and award winners, and many thanks to our donors, whose generosity is making a tremendous mark both on the UWM campus and the surrounding community.
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Director, Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies
August 7, 2013