The law school’s Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies has received a $1 million matching grant from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, helping expand programming and solidify its long-term viability.
The institute, founded in 2011, is home to two programs. The Program on Israel Studies fosters research and teaching among Berkeley faculty, and brings preeminent scholars of Israel to campus to discuss issues such as water and environment, the future of the peace process, religion and state, socio-economic issues in Israeli society, and Jewish-Arab relations.
The Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity, meanwhile, enables students and faculty to explore sociocultural, religious, legal, and philosophical questions regarding Jewish society and the Jewish experience across space and time. It supports courses, workshops and conferences.
The foundation has been a key supporter of the institute, providing its initial seed money in 2011. Since then, it has donated $250,000 a year toward operating costs. If the institute is able to raise $2 million from new donors, the foundation will match these funds with an additional $1 million. The institute is funded primarily through individual donations, foundation gifts and grants.
The institute has also received a combined total of nearly $2 million from the Koret Foundation and from the Jim Joseph Foundation.
“The matching grant from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the multiyear gift renewals from the Koret Foundation and The Jim Joseph Foundation lay the foundations of long term funding and sustainability that will allow the Berkeley Institute to think bigger and more creatively as it visions its future on the Berkeley campus,” said Rebecca Golbert, executive director of the institute.
The institute is hoping to raise a $10-million endowment, part of a larger campaign in Jewish and Israel studies across campus in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies and the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.