George Washington University announced Monday that it was creating an Israel Studies program, including an endowed professorship, in the latest example of universities developing closer ties with Israel.
The endowed position will be named after Rabbi Max Ticktin, a recently retired professor of Hebrew at GW and a former assistant director of Hillel, the world’s largest Jewish campus organization. It will be funded by a grant from the Morningstar Foundation, the family foundation of Michael and Susie Gelman.
“We are absolutely delighted to honor the legacy and impact on generations of students of our dear friend and beloved teacher, Max Ticktin, by establishing the Max Ticktin Professorship in Israel Studies,” the Gelmans said in a press release. “We are very excited to partner with the George Washington University in creating the cornerstone of what will be a significant academic enterprise that will strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the modern State of Israel, which is so important to Max and to our family.” “The addition of a dedicated professor who will advance the discourse and knowledge of the field will help us reach our goal of becoming one of the premier academic destinations for the study of Israel,” added Ben Vinson, dean of the Columbian College of the Arts and Sciences, which will house the program.
The professorship “will promote the academic field of Israel studies” by creating a network of scholars engaged in the study of Israel and promoting students to achieve “a broad understanding of the history, politics, society and culture of modern Israel.”
Michael Gelman is a member of the board of directors of The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower.
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