Tulane University has announced a $1 million gift and a matching challenge grant of up to $1 million from the Chicago-based TAWANI Foundation in support of the university's Department of Jewish Studies.
The $1 million gift will establish the Audrey G. Ratner Excellence Endowed Fund for American Jewry and Jewish Culture in the School of Liberal Arts in honor of the mother of TAWANI Foundation founder and CEO Jennifer N. Pritzker. With the goal of expanding American Jewish studies at Tulane and developing the forward-thinking leaders of the future, the fund will support the Ratner Jewish Leadership Course, an initiative combining academic coursework on Jewish culture and life with experiential learning opportunities and community service projects; an annual Ratner Speaker Series featuring conversations with renowned scholars, artists, and Jewish leaders; and the hiring of a program manager to oversee activities and develop synergies with Hillel, the Grant Center, the Center for Public Service, and other entities on campus.
The $1 million challenge grant will match gifts and named endowments on a dollar-for-dollar basis in support of the Ratner Excellence Endowed Fund. Ratner has focused much of her own philanthropy on the teaching of reading; two of her grandchildren are Tulane alumni.
"Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, Tulane University continues to do impressive work and prioritizes focusing on its students," said Pritzker. "Education is such an important tool, and I'm proud to know this contribution will help others grow their understanding of American Jewish history and culture."
(Photo credit: TAWANI Foundation)