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Milestones in Judaic Studies at U-M

2010—Frankel Center is given authorization to hire first full (FTE) faculty in Judaic Studies, awarded through the Interdisciplinary Junior Faculty Initiative.

2009—Todd M. Endelman and Zvi Y. Gitelman fellowship funds established to provide funding support to Ph.D. applicants from affiliated granting departments.

2008—Graduate Certificate Program in Judaic Studies launches.

2007—First cohort of Frankel Institute Fellows arrive in Ann Arbor to explore projects related to a common theme: “Jews and the City”.

2007—Frankel Center is given "Enhanced Status" by the University, broadening its ability to recommend faculty for tenured appointments and serve as a tenure home.

2005—The Frankel family donates $20 million to endow the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies. 

2001—Master of Arts in Judaic Studies authorized by the university.

1999—Samuel Shetzer Chair in American Jewish Studies established. Julian Levinson is the first incumbent.

1995—Irving M. Hermelin Curator of Judaica established. This is the first endowed position at the University of Michigan Library system. Elliot H. Gertel is the first incumbent. 

1994—Frankel Chair in Rabbinic Literature established.

1991—David W. Belin endows an annual lecture in American Jewish Affairs. Egon Mayer gives the first lecture on “A Demographic Revolution in American Jewry”.

1988—Jean and Samuel Frankel donate $1 million to Judaic Studies. The Center is named in their honor: The Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.

1988—Stuart Padnos creates the Louis and Helen Padnos Foundation Visiting Professorship in Judaic Studies in commemoration of his parents. Each year a distinguished scholar visits the University of Michigan for a semester.

1988—Preston Tisch establishes a chair in Judaic Studies. Zvi Gitelman is the first incumbent, focusing his teaching on Israeli and East European Jewish politics.

1985—The Salinger Resource Center is established in memory of Martin Salinger.

1985—Todd Endelman, hired in Department of History, four years later is named William Haber Professor of Modern Jewish History, honoring the former LSA Dean.

1983—Anita Norich hired to teach Yiddish language and literature, institutionalizing Yiddish education.

1976—Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies authorized by the University and the Program in Judaic Studies established.

1972—Jehuda Reinharz, hired as first faculty member in Jewish studies to make Jewish history central to the program. Reinharz works to build an interdisciplinary program.

1970—Judaic Studies created with a $40,000 grant from the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit and the support of William Haber, former Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Four faculty members—Edna Amir Coffin and Gene Schramm in Near Eastern Studies, Zvi Gitelman in Political Science, and Herbert Paper in Linguistics and Near Eastern Studies — formed the core of the new program.  Coffin and Schramm were hired specifically to teach post biblical Hebrew.