Awarded to galvanize other donors to support the creation of Shalem College, the grant must be matched on a one-to-one basis over the college's first four years of operation.
Pending accreditation from Israel's Council for Higher Education, the college will open in the fall of 2012 and be the first in the country dedicated to preparing its graduates for a lifetime of learning. The school will offer a pair of majors specially created to meet the needs of Israeli society: a program on philosophy and Jewish thought that will seek to integrate Western and Jewish traditions and a track on Middle Eastern and Islamic studies that will explore the languages, texts, and ideas that are shaping the region's future.
"The Jewish people requires leadership that can best be developed through the liberal arts, the form of education that is considered the 'gold standard' around the world for fostering the knowledge, skills, and commitment needed for active and engaged citizenship," said Shalem College president-elect Martin Kramer. "The Tikvah Fund's foresight will lead to the creation of a new generation of idea-driven leaders capable of meeting the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people."