$1 Million Gift to Judaic Studies at PSU

In Civic by Caitlin Pihl

Portland State University today announced a $1 million grant through the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Family Fund of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, on behalf of Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan D. Schnitzer. This philanthropic investment will create a new scholarship program within the Judaic Studies program and bring an Israeli visiting professor to campus.

“Thanks to the longstanding commitment of the Schnitzer family, the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies is one of the finest programs of its kind on the West Coast,” said PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi. “The late Harold Schnitzer was a civic leader who created incredible opportunities across our region. We are grateful that his wife and son are continuing his leadership and ongoing support of Portland State University students and programs.”

The Harold Schnitzer Family Scholars Fund will serve undergraduate students majoring in Judaic Studies. The award will cover more than half the cost of tuition and fees for nearly twenty students over the next five years. By supporting undergraduate students in the Judaic Studies program, Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer hope to enhance student success and attract new talent to a fast-rising program.

The gift will also establish the Harold Schnitzer Visiting Scholar Fund to bring an Israeli scholar to campus for a year-long visiting professor appointment in a PSU department related to their area of study. The first scholar is currently being recruited from Israel’s top institutions.

“My mother and I are so proud of the success that the Harold Schnitzer Family Judaic Studies Program has had at Portland State University,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer. “Our hope is that by bringing important international perspectives to Portland and to Portland State, we can help all students enter the world as global citizens.”

“This is a transformative investment in Judaic Studies,” said Natan M. Meir, department chair of the program. “The Schnitzers’ gift will encourage and attract new and current students to major in Judaic Studies, supporting our vision of attracting a robust new cohort of students through the next decade and beyond. These accomplished graduates will be well prepared to inspire positive change in our world.”

Read coverage from the Portland Business Journal and learn more about The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University.

About Portland State University (PSU)
As Oregon’s only urban public research university, Portland State offers tremendous opportunity to 27,000 students from all backgrounds. Our mission to “Let Knowledge Serve the City” reflects our dedication to finding creative, sustainable solutions to local and global problems. Our location in the heart of Portland, one of America’s most dynamic cities, gives our students unmatched access to career connections and an internationally acclaimed culture scene. “U.S. News & World Report” ranks us among the nation’s top 10 most innovative universities.

About PSU Foundation
The PSU Foundation is committed to supporting Portland State’s mission to be a leading public university and strives to fulfill the philanthropic needs of the university. Gifts to PSU support excellence, while ensuring at PSU education remains accessible for all students.

About Oregon Jewish Community Foundation
Since 1989, the mission of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation (OJCF) has been to create, promote and facilitate a culture of giving and to serve as a guardian of permanent funds available to safeguard the quality of Jewish communal life in Oregon and Southwest Washington.