Boulder sisters and CU alumnae Midge Korczak and Leslie Singer Lomas have donated $2 million to endow the Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish history in honor of their late father Louis Singer.
The chair supports a distinguished senior faculty position in perpetuity, and adds substantially to the momentum and presence of the Jewish Studies program.
At a time when globalization has become a buzz word for making our university international, the Singer Chair in Jewish History ensures that CU students will be able to study the history of the worlds oldest global people long into the future, said program Director David Shneer, associate professor of history.
Shneer will be the inaugural holder of the Singer chair.
Launched four years ago, CUs Jewish Studies Program course offerings already have more than tripled and enrollment exceeds 700 students each semester.
Subtopics range from Jews Under Islam to Women and Jewish Law to five courses in modern Hebrew.
Outreach events such as the Week of Jewish Culture annually bring renowned thinkers and culture-makers to Boulder. With this gift, CU becomes one of six US public universities to have established a chair in Jewish history.
Jewish studies may be a hot topic this year or next year, but who knows down the road? said Korczak.
We wanted to establish some permanence to the program, and endowing a chair helps do this.
The sisters made the gift to honor their father, Louis P. Singer, a partner in the over-the-counter securities firm Troster-Singer who had a keen personal interest in intellectual debate, philanthropy and civil rights.
He cared about education and recognized the need for institutions to foster an understanding of diverse religions and cultures.
He was very modest and humble, Korczak said.
I cant think of another way to honor him that would make him happier than to make this gift.
This gift is among more than 200,000 received by CU since the 2006 outset of Creating Futures, an unprecedented $1.5 billion fundraising campaign to support teaching, research, outreach and health programs on CUs four campuses.