Kranzberg Foundation Grant Advances Maryville’s Jewish Community Ties


Maryville University has received a $10,000 grant from The Kranzberg Family Foundation to help enhance Judaic programming among Jewish students, faculty and staff, as well as build interfaith partnerships on campus. Additionally, the funds will allow Maryville, through its Jewish Student Union, to invite Jewish students at other area universities to participate in social events, collaborate on community service projects and gather to celebrate holiday traditions. The award will boost efforts the University has made in recent years to strengthen its ties with the St. Louis Jewish community.

“This grant will help us provide ways for Jewish Maryville students to engage in the Jewish community, interact with other Jewish college students in the area, and work toward interfaith understanding among their peers,” says Jesse Kavadlo, PhD, associate professor and faculty adviser to the Maryville Jewish Student Union. “Overall, we want to ensure that Jewish students throughout St. Louis have access to such opportunities.”

“Maryville’s location makes it both desirable and convenient to partner with Jewish organizations,” says Tom Eschen, Maryville’s vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Our campus is situated in the heart of west St. Louis County with neighboring Jewish congregations on all sides. It just makes sense for Maryville to collaborate with Jewish organizations and programs, and this generous gift from The Kranzberg Foundation helps to coordinate and promote those partnerships.”

In 2010 Maryville received a $600,000 endowment bequest from former St. Louisan Irma Sue Macy to establish the “L’Dor V’Dor Scholarship for Jewish Women” in the form of two renewable financial awards: a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and a $10,000 graduate student scholarship. The first scholarships were awarded to Maryville students for the current academic year.

Maryville continues to build new connections with the Jewish community, both on and off campus. University-sponsored Hanukkah celebrations, a Havdalah service during Orientation weekend and a Purim Megillah reading are a few of the more visible additions to Maryville’s campus during recent years. Maryville is also a gold level sponsor of the website, a sponsor of “Encore! At the J,” and a sponsor of the Jewish Book Festival. To encourage interfaith communication among all campus groups, a “Tear Down the Walls” concert, featuring Jewish music performer Rick Recht, will be held on Maryville’s campus February 23 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

These events and others will provide benefits across the board, according to Karen Tabak, associate professor at Maryville.  She says, “A vibrant Jewish group at Maryville benefits the entire St. Louis Jewish community.”

The Kranzberg Family Foundation is a Supporting Organization of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

About Maryville University
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County, and ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Regional Universities – Midwest category.  Maryville University students may choose from 50 academic programs, including degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Among recent graduates, 82 percent are employed or attending graduate school. More than 16,000 Maryville alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.