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Updated 10:00 AM November 7, 2005




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Frankel Center welcomes director, opens institute

As the new director of U-M's expanded Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, Deborah Dash Moore has set her sights on making the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies pre-eminent in the United States and the world.

"It's really poised to present a new model of advanced studies," says Moore, a leading authority of American Jewish history.

The institute was made possible by a $20 million gift from the Samuel and Jean Frankel Jewish Heritage Foundation—the largest gift dedicated to Judaic Studies at any American university and a record for LSA.

On Nov. 9, President Mary Sue Coleman, LSA Dean Terrence J. McDonald, Moore and Frankel Center Associate Director Anita Norich will help inaugurate the institute with a celebration at 4 p.m. in the Rackham Amphitheatre.

Moore, the Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies, was professor of religion and director of the Jewish Studies Program at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., before coming to U-M in September.

She helped create and direct the Jewish Studies program at Vassar College and is credited with helping to make Jewish studies a discipline as she built up religious studies and developed a Jewish studies program there. She is author and editor of nine books, largely focusing on 20th century urbanization, migration, acculturation and community building among second- and third-generation Jews.

Moore's interest in Jewish studies goes back to her high school years when she first took classes at a Hebrew School. There she found instructors challenging and interesting, and she began a career as a scholar of American Jewish history.

Her most recent prize-winning book, "GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation" (Harvard University Press, 2004), examines the impact of World War II military service on American Jewish soldiers by focusing on 15 veterans.

Moore earned her undergraduate degree magna cum laude with honors in history from Brandeis University and received master of arts and doctoral degrees in history from Columbia University.

The celebration, sponsored by LSA and the Frankel Center, is free and open to the public. For more information, call (734) 998-6251 or e-mail

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