Campus: San Francisco State University -- June 28, 2002
SFSU Names Jewish History, Ethics Scholar Marc Dollinger
to Endowed Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility
Jewish history and ethics scholar Marc Dollinger will fill the Richard
and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility
at San Francisco State University beginning Aug. 19.
Dollinger, an associate professor of history at Pasadena City College,
recently accepted the position in the SFSU Jewish Studies Program. His
appointment was made possible by a $1 million gift from the San Francisco-based
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund in 1997, at the time the largest donation
in the University's history.
"I am delighted to announce that Marc Dollinger has accepted our
offer to fill the endowed Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social
Responsibility," SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan said. "His
appointment is a landmark for the Jewish Studies Program and, more broadly,
the University. His expertise in various areas of Jewish studies will
benefit students of all backgrounds for many years to come and make
significant contributions to the overall life of our campus community."
Dollinger, 38 and a fifth-generation native San Franciscan, will focus
on the teaching and research of Jewish social ethics and civic responsibility
in health care, the environment, business, education and politics. He
is also charged with developing a public lecture series on Jewish social
ethics and responsibility.
"The Goldman Chair is the nation's first endowed chair in Jewish
Studies and Social Responsibility. It creates a new academic field in
a subject that is critical to understanding both the Jewish experience
as well as many of the most important historical and ethical
challenges of the larger world," Dollinger said. "With this
appointment, I look forward to developing the chair and the Jewish Studies
Program into a vibrant and exciting center for learning, teaching and
He has developed, and will be teaching in the fall, a new upper-division
course called Jewish Social Responsibility. His mission is to write
new Jewish Studies courses to complement the modern Jewish Studies Program
and, in the coming year, he will develop courses on American and California
The author of "Quest For Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern
America," Dollinger has presented lectures across the country and
published many articles in academic books and journals. He is co-editor
of the book "California Jews," to be published next year,
and is working on a book that explores the transformation of Jewish
liberalism in the 1960s.
His areas of expertise are Jewish history of the United States and California,
Jewish social responsibility, liberalism, modern Jewish identity, Jews
and public policy, and separation of church and state.
"I enthusiastically look forward to working with Professor Dollinger,"
said SFSU Dean of Human Relations Kenneth Monteiro, who led the search
committee for the endowed chair. "I find him to be a brilliant
scholar. Moreover, I appreciate that he is an extremely principled individual.
He clearly articulates his own position, yet is open to hear dissenting
views with a conviction that he can find common ground."
Aside from his professorship at Pasadena City College, Dollinger served
a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study of Religion at
Princeton University in 2000 and was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral
Fellow and humanities lecturer at Bryn Mawr College in 1995. He has
taught at a variety of institutions, including the Irwin Daniels Graduate
School of Jewish Communal Service at the Los Angeles campus of the Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, UCLA, California State University
Northridge and California State University Long Beach.
Dollinger earned a doctorate in history in 1993 and master's degree
in history in 1989, both from UCLA. He earned a bachelor's degree in
history from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986.
Dollinger, who will be a tenured professor, becomes SFSU's third endowed
chair, a highly prestigious professorship created by a large donation
to an institution.
Rhoda Goldman, who died in 1996, and her husband Richard established
the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, which has given millions of dollars
in grants to environmental causes. The Goldmans also created the prestigious
Goldman Environmental Prize to reward grass-roots environmentalists
and the Ken Saro-Wiwa Memorial Fund at Human Rights Watch to help protect
environmental activists. Richard Goldman received the honorary degree
doctor of humane letters from SFSU last year.
A $375,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant, awarded
in 1998, will create a second SFSU endowed chair in Jewish Studies when
fully matched. It is the second NEH grant ever awarded to a Jewish Studies
Founded in 1993, the SFSU Jewish Studies Program offers about 11 courses
taken by nearly 250 students each semester. Course offerings include
Good and Evil: Jewish Ethics, Yiddish Theatre, Modern Jewish History,
Jewish Thought and Culture, and Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions
and Society. A diverse group of SFSU students from many racial and ethnic
backgrounds as well as others from the community, including participants
in SFSU's elders programs, enroll each semester. The program offers
a minor in Jewish Studies and a graduate certificate in Jewish Community
Studies. A bachelor's degree will be offered soon.
NOTE: For a photo of Dollinger or to arrange an interview with him,
contact Matt Itelson of the SFSU Office of Public Affairs at (415) 338-1743