Charlotte philanthropists Lori and Eric Sklut have given $1 million through their foundation to establish an endowed professorship of Jewish Studies at Queens University of Charlotte.
Through this professorship, Queens intends to attract distinguished faculty specializing in Jewish studies. Rabbi Judy Schindler, associate professor of Jewish Studies at Queens, will be the inaugural holder of the professorship, university officials said.
The Jewish Studies program at Queens was established in 2013 to examine Jewish identity, culture and beliefs. The courses cover history, political science, international affairs, religion and theology, ethics, philosophy, sociology, pop culture and more. As part of the program, Queens has hired a director of Jewish Life, established a student Hillel group, and opened the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice.
“We admire Queens’ efforts of inclusion and cultural diversity, attracting students and faculty from different backgrounds, ethnicity and national origins,” the Skluts said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing how this significant step will lift Queens as it seeks to broaden its offerings and expand its reach.”
In 2007, the Skluts and Lori Sklut’s parents, Leon and Sandra Levine, established their first professorship, the Levine-Sklut Distinguished Professorship in Jewish Studies for the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. In 2012, the Skluts also established the Lori and Eric Sklut Emerging Scholar in Jewish Studies at Elon University.
The Levine-Sklut Family Foundation is guided by Lori and Eric Sklut and works to support variety of causes, including Jewish organizations, academic excellence programs, human service agencies and health care institutions.