store front in Israel

Friends of the Jewish Studies Program

Welcome to the Friends of the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University.

The creation of the Friends of Jewish Studies at SDSU is part of our evolution as an academic body that seeks to promote awareness, appreciation and cultivation of the Jewish experience in its broad diversity. We seek to provide superior, innovative programming that educates and captivates. This approach has helped us advance and nourish the partnership between the University, its students and the greater San Diego community.

SDSU boasts the largest Jewish student population south of Los Angeles and the twenty-eighth largest in the USA among accredited universities. Our Jewish Studies Program offers both a Major in Modern Jewish Studies and a Minor in Jewish Studies. The broad range of subjects we teach relate to Jewish history, religion and culture from the biblical through the modern period. Courses offered through our program are open to all SDSU students.

We are exceptionally proud that over the last 25 years the Jewish Studies Program at SDSU has touched the lives of innumerable individuals­ both students and members of the San Diego community by providing an important resource for the study of the Jewish people, their history and contemporary circumstances.

We are committed to continuing this important tradition. As a member of the Friends of the Jewish Studies Program, you are helping to ensure that we remain able to develop new courses, pursue original research, and provide thought-provoking public lectures, programs and outreach to the community.

Your commitment enables us to achieve and enhance our goals.

If you would like to make a donation online, please visit our online giving page.  All online donations are tax-deductible, private and secure.

If you would like to make a donation by mail, please fill out and print our donation form.

If you need help or have any questions, please call 619-594-5327.

Jeanne Gold and Rabbi Aaron GoldHelping Jewish Studies Thrive

Written by Peter Herman, Ph.D. (English and Comparative Literature)

Rabbi Aaron Gold (1920-2001) was a not just a religious leader, he was a teacher who sought to inspire people to learn more about Judaism. A learned man, Rabbi Gold dedicated his life to the principles of education and outreach. One year, he led four seders, each for a different community group.

To honor his legacy, Jeanne Gold has decided to support the expansion of the Jewish Studies program at SDSU with a generous gift. She wants this program to inspire both students and faculty, to help them bring new ideas and new innovations to this program.

Jeanne chose SDSU because she is deeply impressed by the program and she attends Jewish Studies events regularly. She particularly remembers the Noel Izon’s documentary,  "An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines,” which focuses on testimony from Holocaust survivors who were given a safe haven in the Philippines. The film also documents how efforts by the Philippine people saved the lives of more than 1,300 Jews as they fled the pogroms in Nazi Germany.

The evening of Jewish music, led by Yale Strom and his group, Hot Pastrami, in October 2009, was also particularly memorable.

Going to these events is always a pleasure, Jeanne says.

Jeanne is also deeply impressed by the program’s director, Professor Risa Levitt Kohn, as well as Dean Norma Bouchard and Janee Shaw, all whom have inspired her.

Throughout his life, Rabbi Aaron Gold was a student and a scholar. Jeanne hopes this gift will honor his memory by supporting and encouraging scholarship in the Jewish Studies program.