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Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture

peace cloth
The inspiration for Peace Cloth, a tapestry by Professor of Art Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, came from flags, prayer shawls and woven cloths from diverse culture groups.

Geifman Endowment in Judaica

The Geifman Endowment in Judaica was established in 1992 by late Rock Island residents Gerry and Morris M. Geifman. Through their generosity, Augustana College offers a juried student competition titled "A Response to the Holocaust" and co-sponsors a yearly guest lecture in Judaic Studies and Culture.

Funded by the endowment, Augustana's Tredway Library maintains a large, growing collection of materials related to Jewish culture and the Holocaust. In cooperation with the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, the Geifman fund supports the yearly Yom Hashoah observation by sponsoring the service's guest speaker on campus.

Gerry and Morris M. Geifman Scholarship

The Gerry and Morris M. Geifman Scholarship is a merit-based award of $1,000 presented to an incoming, first-year or transfer Jewish student at Augustana College, renewable annually. Participation in Hillel is required for recipients.

The scholarship is awarded to students entering Augustana in even-numbered years. The deadline is March 8, 2024.

• Details and application

Geifman Prize in Holocaust Studies

Supported by the Geifman Endowment, the Geifman Prize in Holocaust Studies is an annual competition for Augustana students with awards up to $500. Submissions may include essays, research papers, poetry, drama, film, artwork, musical composition, or other creative expressions that focus on the European Holocaust from 1933-1945.

Past winners and applicants may submit new work. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2024.

• Details and application

Faculty members of The Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture serve as adjudicators. Depending upon the format, submissions will be evaluated according to depth of research, scholarly writing style, and creativity. The Augustana Honor Code guidelines apply to all submissions.

2022 winners

Past winners of the Geifman Prize

Holocaust survivor speakers

Ida Paluch, a survivor of the Nazi-run Sosnowiec ghetto in Poland during World War II, was the Quad Cities Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Ha’Shoah) speaker in 2021.

Rodi Glass, child survivor of the Westerbork concentration camp in The Netherlands, was the Remembrance Day speaker in 2022.

Java Jews
The Java Jews at the 2017 Stone Lecture, specializing in their brand of "highly caffeinated Klezmer" music.
Java Jews

The Stone Lectureship in Judaism

The Stone Lectureship in Judaism was established in 1983 by family and friends of Dr. and Mrs. Alex B. Stone. The purpose of the endowment is to provide a yearly lecture and an expanded program in Judaic studies at Augustana College.The Stone Lectures began in 1984 with Herbert Weinberg of Hebrew University.

The 2016-2017 lecturer was Dr. Jonathan Petropoulos, the John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College. Here is a link to his lecture.

Here is a list of all lecturers.

Beginning Hebrew

Dr. Mischa Hooker in Classics is offering a 4-credit beginning Hebrew class upon sufficient student demand. This will fulfill the language requirement for general education.

If you would be interested in taking Beginning Hebrew in the 2021-22 or 2022-23 academic year, email Dr. Hooker and let him know of your interest.

Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture board members

Janina Ehrlich (chair), professor of music
David Ellis, professor of history
Doug Parvin, professor of philosophy
Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, professor of art 
Heidi Storl, professor of philosophy
Chris Strunk, professor of geography
Mike Wolf, professor of geology