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$1.5 M Endowed Professorship Boosts NU's Jewish Studies Program

(2-23-06) Northeastern University is establishing an endowed trustee professorship to further enhance its Jewish Studies Program's academic stature and help raise it to a national level. The Ruderman Professorship is made possible by a $1.5 million donation from alumnus Mort Ruderman and his wife Marcia.

"I believe in preserving religion, culture and identity through education, and I've always been a supporter of my alma mater's growing Jewish Studies program for doing just that."

The Ruderman Professorship will be awarded to a distinguished scholar in the field of Jewish studies whose work is widely respected in the academic community. The Ruderman Professor will also serve on the Provost's Israel Partnership Team and his or her work may also lead to the creation of a Jewish Studies Center.

"I believe in preserving religion, culture and identity through education, and I've always been a supporter of my alma mater's growing Jewish Studies program for doing just that," says Mort Ruderman.

"I am lucky and honored to be able to contribute to this unique program's growth by establishing a trustee professorship."

This professorship will significantly enhance the Jewish Studies Program's outstanding stature as an interdisciplinary program integrating service and learning.

"Thanks to the continued generosity of the Ruderman family, this professorship will heighten the public attention we receive for Northeastern University's historic and vital mission of integrating practice and scholarship into the education of our students," stated Richard M. Freeland, President of Northeastern University.

"We look forward to welcoming an outstanding scholar of Jewish studies who will take a leadership role in raising our profile nationally, and even internationally."

Northeastern University has had a strong Jewish presence since its early years, when Jewish students from the surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs worked during the day and attended night classes.

The Jewish Studies program was created in 1994 to provide students with the opportunity to explore the culture and religion of the Jewish people with a focus on contemporary Jewish life and thought.

As an interdisciplinary program within the College of Arts & Sciences, Jewish Studies offers courses in the fields of history, literature, music, cinema studies, African-American studies, political science, religion and sociology. Among the program's unique features is a partnership with Northeastern's Human Services Program to offer a Social Justice, Identity and Religion specialization within the Human Services major.

In addition, a cooperative relationship with Hebrew College in Newton, MA, allows students to take courses at both campuses. The Program also sponsors frequent public lectures, performances, and exhibitions related to Jewish Studies.

"A few years ago, our Jewish Studies program offered only a minor and had no full-time faculty," says Jim Ross, Director of the Jewish Studies Program. "Soon, with the assistance of this endowment, we will have three full-time faculty positions, in addition to an excellent complement of affiliated faculty members, and will be able to offer a dual major. We will soon begin searching for an internationally recognized scholar of Jewish Studies to help shape our program's future and reconnect us to Northeastern's Jewish roots. This is a momentous time for both our program and the university."

About Mort Ruderman
Mort Ruderman is a 1959 electrical engineering graduate of Northeastern's College of Engineering. He is principal partner and CEO of CRES Realty Development, which he co-founded in 1974. He is also the co-founder and president of MEDITECH and worked earlier in his career at Digital Equipment Corp. (1963-69) and Sylvania (1959-63).

Mort Ruderman's current affiliations with Northeastern University include Member Emeritus of The National Council; Sponsor of The President's Circle. The Rudermans have three children: Jay, Sharon and Todd (NU alumnus, '91, Civil Engineering).

The Ruderman Professorship is made possible by the Ruderman Family Charitable Foundation. Trustees of the Foundation include Steve Rosenthal, Jay Seth Ruderman, Shira Ruderman, Marcia Ruderman, Morton E. Ruderman, Todd Adam Ruderman, and Sharon Ellen Shapiro.

Jewish Studies Program
College of Arts & Sciences
Human Services Program

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