New endowed chair is another boost for Jewish studies at SFSU

San Francisco State University, the only Bay Area university with a freestanding Jewish Studies department offering undergraduate study, has announced a new endowed chair.

The John and Marcia Goldman Endowed Chair in American Jewish Studies is being funded by a $1 million gift from the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation, according to a SFSU news release on March 13.

The Department of Jewish Studies at SFSU now will have three endowed chairs and five full-time faculty. The existing endowed chairs are the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility (held by professor Marc Dollinger) and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Israel Studies (held by associate professor Eran Kaplan).

“We have been greatly impressed with the level of excellence of Jewish studies at San Francisco State and the community’s embrace of this department,” said John Goldman, president of the foundation that bears his name. “Our motivation for endowing a chair in American Jewish studies was to add further academic depth and breadth, and to provide students and faculty with additional resources for study and exploration.” The John and Marcia Goldman Foundation’s first gift to SFSU has created the seventh endowed chair in the university’s history.

“This gift will have a profound impact on learning, enabling us to realize our long-term strategy for Jewish studies, which strives to engage a wide array of Jewish sub- jects in the university curriculum and in serious conversation with the Bay Area community,” said Fred Astren, professor and chair of the Department of Jewish Studies.“We are both excited and tremendously grateful.”