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Graduate Theological Union Receives Two Major Grants Totaling $575,000 in Support of The Center for Jewish Studies

For Immediate Release

Contact: Christopher Cox, 510/649-2531,

September 11, 2014, Berkeley, CA – The Graduate Theological Union is pleased to announce that its Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies has been awarded a five-year grant of $500,000 from the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation and a three-year grant of $75,000 from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.

The purpose of the Koret Foundation grant, awarded under the foundation’s Jewish Peoplehood Initiative, is to expand the Center’s educational and public program offerings while also underwriting faculty and staff positions. “With this generous, long-term grant, we can focus our attention on immersing ourselves in the texts of Jewish tradition,” says Dr. Naomi Seidman, Koret Professor of Jewish Culture and Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies. “We can also bring teachers to our campus, for our classes and for public programs. We can deliver on the promise to combine rigorous scholarship and a real engagement with the issues that face the Jewish community—and the world—today.”

The three-year grant from the Taube Foundation provides operating support for the Center in its continuing study of Jewish history, culture, and literature. Dr. Seidman notes, “It's deeply rewarding to know the goals of the GTU’s Center for Jewish Studies are shared by both the Koret Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, and that we have their ongoing support in building a robust center for studying Judaism at the Graduate Theological Union, in this unique interreligious environment and with such inspiring students and colleagues."

About the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies

The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies is a premier center for the advanced study of Jewish history, literature, and culture. Its programs combine rigorous text-study of primary sources with distinctive interdisciplinary approaches. Studies at CJS provide training for those preparing for academic careers, leadership positions in the Jewish community, and pastoral positions in congregations of many religious affiliations. Among the Center’s areas of academic focus are: modern Jewish literature and culture, Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations from late antiquity to modernity, rabbinic Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish literary studies. The Center also hosts numerous conferences and lectures, celebrations of Jewish holidays, and other programs that attract wide participation by the public.

 About the Graduate Theological Union

The Graduate Theological Union, located in Berkeley, CA, is a theological consortium offering education for academic and religious leadership within a unique ecumenical and interreligious context. Founded in 1962, the consortium is the largest and most diverse partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States, dedicated to building bridges within and across different religious traditions by educating students for teaching, research, ministry, and service. The GTU works collaboratively with the University of California, Berkeley, and is the home of the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, one of the largest theological libraries in the country.