Volume 78
Number 1

Playing by the Book

The Magic of Science

Vaccine Research Center

A Gringa Goes to São Paulo

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates



Emory scientists help identify Fragile X Syndrome

Scientists have identified for the first time specific genes in the brain that are affected by the lack of a protein in individuals with fragile X syndrome, the most frequent cause of inherited mental retardation. The research group included scientists from Emory, Rockefeller University, Duke University, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Public health students win Harvard contest

Rollins School of Public Health students Erik Folch, Isabel Hernandez, and Carlos Franco won first place and an award of $4,000 in an essay contest on the health of developing countries sponsored by the Center for International Development of Harvard University with their paper, “Infectious Diseases, Non-Zero Sum Thinking and the Developing World.”

Emory ranks high in community service

In a national survey, Emory ranked second among top universities in the country in the percentage of its work-study funding that goes to community service projects. Emory directs 13.8 percent of work-study funds to service, ranking below Stanford University (at 22.3 percent) and well above the 7 percent federal requirement, according to a joint project by The Washington Monthly and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.




















































When Arthur M. Blank, co-founder and retired co-chair of The Home Depot, pledged five million dollars as part of a five-year challenge grant to Emory’s Institute for Jewish Studies, he intended the funds to help the institute expand its faculty, community outreach, and cooperative teaching with the Candler School of Theology.

On a more personal note, Blank gave special recognition to his rabbi of twenty-three years, Donald Tam of Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, “a spiritual leader, and a leader of spirit,” by naming the institute in his honor.

“I can’t think of a more appropriate way to recognize a man who exemplifies the power of combining wisdom and understanding of human relationships in overcoming differences,” Blank said.

With matching funds raised by Emory, the grant will result in a ten-million-dollar endowment for the Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies. The institute was established in 1999 as a center for the study of Jewish life and culture, including classic texts, the Holocaust, Hebrew language and literature, contemporary Israel, and modern Jewish identity.

“This gift gives us a chance to do wonderful things–to enhance the faculty and add new positions, to participate in doctoral programs in other departments, to offer students additional financial support,” says Deborah Lipstadt, institute director and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies. “It’s a great show of confidence.”

The institute has a core of thirteen faculty members, three of whom hold endowed professorships, with another thirteen professors serving as associate faculty. Lipstadt would like to expand the institute’s offerings in Jewish history and the anthropological study of the worldwide Jewish community.

Rabbi Tam was flabbergasted by the honor. “Arthur is a very complex and very fine human being,” he says.

Tam would like to see the institute offer ongoing education to rabbis working in congregations as well as community programs and summer workshops open to anyone, Jewish and non-Jewish. “Years ago in Santa Fe, I attended a roundtable discussion on the great books in Western Civilization with nurses, teachers, clergy,” he says. “It would be wonderful if this could be done here for Jewish great books, life, and culture.”

Blank, who serves as a guest lecturer at Goizueta Business School, has long been involved in Atlanta’s Jewish community and hopes the Tam Institute can play a vital role by allowing “Jewish scholars and Christian theologians [to] more deeply understand and respect each other’s religions, traditions, and cultures.”

With the endowment, says David Blumenthal, Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies, Emory can leap to the forefront of Jewish scholarship in the country.

“This gift,” he says, “will allow us to create an island of excellence.” –M.J.L.

To learn more, go to www.emory.edu/COLLEGE/JewishStudies





© 2002 Emory University