This month-long celebration honors the generations of Jewish Americans who have greatly contributed to the history and culture of this country. This month also coincides with the commemoration of the Holocaust and Israel’s Independence Day. We are pleased to join the university in formally recognizing the estimated 2,500 Jewish students on campus, in addition to our Jewish faculty, staff, and alumni.
UC Berkeley is proud to have educated countless Jewish American scholars, thinkers, and changemakers. Cal professors Robert Alter and Chana Kronfeld championed the study of Hebrew literature. Erich Gruen, Daniel Boyarian, Amos Funkenstein, and John Efron have made UC Berkeley a leading institution for the study of Jewish history and the study of the Talmud. Accomplished Jewish alumni, like Berkeley physicist and Nobel laureate Saul Perlmutter Ph.D. ’86, have advanced technology in ways we could only imagine.
On campus, the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life is named after Judah Magnes, who founded the first-ever Jewish museum in the western United States. Zellerbach Hall is named after the Zellerbach family, who founded San Francisco’s Zellerbach & songs paper company.
There are a number of campus resources to support our Cal Jewish community. The Berkeley Hillel Jewish Student Center aims to enrich the lives of Jewish students by fostering a greater campus community. The Chabad Jewish Student Center offers a “home away from home” for Jewish students. The Berkeley Antisemitism Education Initiative provides public programming and trainings regarding the historical and contemporary challenges of antisemitism.
This month, the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a range of events, including a lecture titled “Reimagining Diversity and Jewish Belonging: A Journey Through Genesis.”
We hope that you will join the Cal Alumni Association and UC Berkeley in not only celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month but also educating one another about the rich and invaluable contributions the Jewish American community has made to our campus.