The Norman Transcript

Local news

July 11, 2008

OU's Judaic studies program expands

Regents approve major

The University of Oklahoma's Judaic studies program recently expanded to encompass a major of its own.

The OU Board of Regents approved the new Judaic studies major at its June 25 meeting.

The major will accompany several other expansions in the program. An $800,000 grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation was accepted by the regents at their January meeting.

The gift endowed a Schusterman Professorship of Jewish Religious and Intellectual History. Dr. Alan Levenson was chosen to fill that position and will begin teaching at OU in the fall.

"I would just like to say I'm very grateful to the university for creating this position," Levenson said over the phone as he was packing up his office at Siegal College in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Schusterman gift also will endow a Schusterman Chair in Modern Israel Studies a few years in the future. The grant also includes a matching gift program that would provide $50,000 over five years in support of general activities relating to Judaic studies at OU.

The program was established with a gift from the Schusterman foundation in 1993. Since then, it has grown to include six core faculty members in addition to other related faculty members, said Norman Stillman, director of the Judaic studies program and Schusterman/Josey Chair of Judaic History.

Every year at least 700 students take classes within the program, most for general education requirements. About four or five students at any time are getting the minor.

In five years, Stillman estimates about five to 10 people per year will get a Judaic studies major.

The program is interdisciplinary, and uses resources in several departments, including history, religious studies, anthropology and modern languages.

"It's in the same vein as, say, classical studies, Western civilization," Stillman said.

The program is attractive to Jewish students who want to learn about their heritage, but Stillman said most of the students who take Judaic studies classes are not Jewish.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. Living in a state where one in four deaths are due to heart ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Crime news

    Norman man charged for possession of child porn A Norman man was charged with possession of juvenile pornography after law enforcement tracked an IP address that child porn had been downloaded from....

    July 25, 2014

  • Shop couple charged again

    A Norman couple whose felony charges were dropped last year for intent to distribute synthetic marijuana out of their aromatherapy shop were charged again Thursday in Cleveland County District Court. Dennis Kirby England, 42, and Christie ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Norman native reflects on winning Emmy Award

    Norman native Kevin Hurley won an Emmy Award last month for his work as a producer on Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show. Hurley has come a long way from home, but still remembers his Norman roots. NTown caught up with him to pick his brain ...

    July 25, 2014