The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Multimillion-Dollar Gift to Establish Jewish Studies Institute at Michigan State

Thanks to a multimillion-dollar gift from Michael and Elaine Serling, the Michigan State University will establish an institute for Jewish studies and modern Israel.

The newly set institute will stimulate research, create internship opportunities in Israel for undergraduate and graduate students, along with initiating new collaborative projects between the MSU faculty and their Israeli counterparts in several fields.

The consistent support from the Serlings have earlier helped Michigan state, the sixth in the country to establish an endowed chair in Israel Studies in 2005.

“When I found out there was a Jewish Studies Program underway at MSU back in the ’90s, I was thrilled and wanted to help make it happen,” said  Michael Serling, who has earlier received MSU Distinguished Alumni Award.

“To see my alma mater taking the lead in the intellectual advancement of Jewish studies and connectivity with Israel has been very rewarding and it is a great joy to be able to support the bright future of this program.”

Recently, the institute hosted a two-day academic conference, “Israel at 70: Complexity, Challenge and Creativity” bringing together 40 speakers from across the globe. It offers more than 25 courses a year, which are taken by more than 650 non-Jewish students.