UW News

May 14, 2009

Jewish Studies Program named after the Stroums

The UW College of Arts and Sciences has announced that the Jewish Studies Program in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies is being named The Samuel and Althea Stroum Jewish Studies Program, in recognition of the Stroums’ steadfast commitment and dedication to the University.

The Jewish Studies Program began in 1974 as part of the undergraduate division in the College of Arts & Sciences, and became part of Jackson School of International Studies in 1982. The program includes 22 faculty members from more than a dozen departments. Students can major or minor in Jewish Studies at the undergraduate level in one of two tracks: Judaic Cultural Tradition or The Jewish People in the Modern World.

In the nearly 40 years since its inception, Althea and the late Samuel Stroum have been generous supporters of the Jewish Studies Program, contributing more than $10 million to support faculty, students and the critical needs of the program.. Their ongoing support has played an instrumental role in the program becoming the premier Jewish studies program in the Northwest and a leading program worldwide, generating exceptional scholarship and research in the field.

In 1975, the Stroums established a lecture series in Jewish Studies, bringing renowned scholars from throughout the world to the University for symposiums. There is also an associated book series through UW Press.

“Samuel and Althea Stroum’s gifts to the University over the years have had a transformative effect, and this latest expression of their generosity will have a lasting impact on our Jewish Studies Program,” said UW President Mark Emmert.

In addition to the Jewish Studies Program, the Stroum name appears frequently across the University campus in places such as the Henry Art Gallery, athletics, medicine, business, and the Evans School of Public Affairs. Samuel also served as a Regent of the University for 13 years.

The official naming of the Samuel & Althea Stroum Jewish Studies Program at the UW will take place on Sunday, May 17, after the first Stroum Lecture by Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and professor of Jewish studies and history at Rutgers University. The lecture, titled Encounters with the Past: Remembering the Bygone in Israeli Culture, begins at 6:30 p.m. in 220 Kane.

Other lectures in the series are Mirrors of Galute (Exile) in the Homeland, on Tuesday, May 19; and When the New Becomes Old, on Thursday, May 21. Both of these lectures are at 7:30 p.m. in 220 Kane. All lectures are free and open to the public.