Despite the commonly heard slogan, “Never Again,” research shows that today’s young people know surprisingly little about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. Understanding these events is crucial to a strong society and preventing further atrocities. That’s why Florida Atlantic University, together with long-time friends and benefactors, is working to transform our future through education.
Marilyn Wallach and her late husband, Kurt, envision FAU as a home where we educate students to understand other cultures, traditions and languages; prepare teachers to use history’s lessons to combat the ignorance, fear and distrust that breeds hatred and violence; and engage our community in meaningful conversations and lifelong learning to expand our impact to individuals of all ages, genders and religions. They firmly believe education is our best hope against hatred.
Their transformational $20 million gift will help FAU to become an epicenter for intercultural dialogue and education in the greater South Florida region. A portion of the gift will also create the future Kurt and Marilyn Wallach Holocaust and Jewish Studies Building, offering programs in Holocaust and Jewish studies, human rights education and leadership training through the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. It also will memorialize the six million Jews and other victims of the Holocaust, honor its survivors and bring together educational programs that champion compassion and understanding through enhanced collaborations.
With the building’s architectural planning underway, FAU received two additional gifts in support of Holocaust, Jewish Studies and human rights education. The university received a $1 million gift from Marilyn and Jay Weinberg and a significant gift from the Davidowitz family.
The Weinbergs’ gift creates an endowment to provide support for students, faculty, equipment, programming, staff and ongoing care of the building in perpetuity. In recognition of their gift, the building’s lobby will be known as the Marilyn and Jay Weinberg Grand Lobby.
The Davidowitz family’s gift will expand Holocaust and Human Rights Education programming available to K-12 educators throughout Southeast Florida and to FAU students. It establishes the Davidowitz Family Program Director in the Arthur and Emalie Gutterman Family Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (CHHRE). It will also increase course offerings, teaching opportunities and scholarships for students engaged in Holocaust education or peace, justice and human rights through the College of Arts and Letters.
Together, these philanthropists are passionate about creating a community site for intercultural dialogue and educational programs. Along with several other donors contributing to the Wallach building, our donors share a common goal to empower the next generation of thought leaders and change makers. Additionally, support for the Holocaust and Human Rights initiative is an opportunity to impact Florida Atlantic’s students, educators and the community it serves. By contributing to this important initiative, you are defining the impact and outreach of these programs in the South Florida community and beyond.
To learn more about how Florida Atlantic is working to provide scholarships and other opportunities to propel access to higher education, as well as how Transcend Tomorrow: The Campaign for Florida Atlantic University is dedicated to creating a healthier environment, and training more health care workers, visit transcendtomorrow.fau.edu.