The Stroum Jewish Studies Program is expanding into a new framework on campus: going forward, our program will be known as the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington.
The new status as an academic center recognizes the tremendous growth and impact of Jewish Studies at UW. Founded as a program forty years ago, Jewish Studies has expanded to offer dozens of courses to hundreds of students every year, with over twenty participating faculty members from around the university. Jewish Studies also serves the broader Seattle community with a diverse slate of award-winning public programs and performances.
Prof. Noam Pianko, current chair of the Stroum Jewish Studies Program, will become the Stroum Center’s first director. He said, “The shift recognizes the stature and reputation the program has reached on and off campus over the past forty years. I am honored to serve as director of the center, and I want to thank our Advisory Board and community supporters for their dedication and support.” Pianko emphasized that the transition to a center also reflects the generosity of the Stroum family, whose visionary leadership saw the potential contributions Jewish Studies could make on campus and in the community.
At this time we are also pleased to announce the creation of the Sephardic Studies Program, which will reside in the Stroum Center and will be chaired by Prof. Devin Naar. The University of Washington has a long history of highlighting Sephardic history and culture, which is strongly rooted in the Seattle Jewish community. Building on this tradition, Prof. Naar, the Marsha & Jay Glazer Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor of History, has developed his Sephardic Studies Initiative into a national leader in the field.
The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies has housed Jewish Studies since its early years. This important relationship has provided Jewish Studies with the crucial support, interdisciplinary connections, and global framework that have enabled the program to reach its current stage. Now, the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies will join the other centers of academic excellence that are housed in the Jackson School.
Please stay tuned for more details about this exciting transition time for UW Jewish Studies!