FAU receives $20 million gift for Holocaust and Jewish studies

FAU receives $20 million gift for Holocaust and Jewish studies

Florida Atlantic University has announced a $20 million gift from Kurt and Marilyn Wallach in support of Holocaust and Jewish studies.

The largest gift in FAU history will create the Kurt and Marilyn Wallach Institute for Holocaust and Jewish Studies in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. A portion of the gift will help fund construction of a building or building addition on the Boca Raton campus that serves as a hub for Holocaust, human rights, and Jewish studies education programs, programs focused on interfaith and inter-ethnic understanding, and collaborations aimed at strengthening those programs. The gift also will create an endowment in support of the institute and will support efforts to coordinate research, service, and/or multidisciplinary educational offerings focused on combating hate, bias, and discrimination in all its forms. 

"We hope that the future Wallach Building will also include a lecture hall as well as an exhibition and reception space for traveling educational exhibits to engage students and our South Florida community in the important history of the Holocaust and related social justice topics," said Michael J. Horswell, dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. "It is crucial that we keep the lessons alive for future generations, so those kinds of atrocities are never repeated."

"We speak for those who cannot speak. We remember all the victims, including our family members who perished needlessly," said Kurt Wallach, who, at age 7, fled Germany with his family in 1933 to the Netherlands and, in 1936, emigrated to the United States. "No one should ever be subjected to such horror. We hope that through the education we can provide that lives will be saved and history will not be repeated."

"FAU announces largest gift in school's history." Florida Atlantic University press release 11/17/2020.