Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Donor yanks Israel Studies endowment at University of Washington over professor's Israel criticism

(JTA) — The University of Washington has put its five-year-old Israel Studies Program on hold after a major donor, angry about a professor’s criticism of Israel, took her money back.

Becky Benaroya, a prominent Seattle philanthropist, gave $5 million in 2016 to create the program. But after a professor who held the Jack and Rebecca Benaroya Endowed Chair in Israel Studies was among hundreds of Jewish studies and Israel studies professors to sign a widely circulated statement criticizing Israel last year, Benaroya became concerned about what was happening in the program she had funded.

She requ...

 

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