September 23, 1999—The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., today announced a cooperative agreement with New York University to create a new chair in Holocaust Studies at the University’s New York City campus, beginning in the 1999-2000 school year.

The new professorship at NYU is funded by a gift to the Museum of $2 million from Maurice Greenberg and the Starr Foundation The appointment, to be known as the Maurice Greenberg Chair of Holocaust Studies, will be made to a distinguished Holocaust scholar who is recognized in the academic community for contributions to teaching and research about the Holocaust. The appointee will offer one or more courses in Holocaust-related topics each academic year and participate in scholarly activities sponsored by the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and NYU. As part of the program, NYU will provide three graduate fellowships in Holocaust studies.

Maurice Greenberg is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), a leading global insurance and financial services organization operating in 130 countries and jurisdictions worldwide. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II and in the Korean conflict, rising to the rank of Captain. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star.

Commenting on the gift, Mr. Greenberg said, “The fundamental reason I wanted to establish this chair in Holocaust studies is that I believe so strongly there should be a place where we can bring together the history of the Holocaust, how it happened, and what there is in human behavior and the human psyche that could have led to such a horror. Perhaps from studies of these issues, we can gain a better understanding of how to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. If this chair at NYU can make a contribution to achieving that goal, then it will have served the purpose that I intended.”

“The goals of promoting the growth of Holocaust studies and ensuring the training of future generations of young scholars specializing in the Holocaust are vitally important to all of us today and for generations to come,” stated Miles Lerman, Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

According to NYU President L. Jay Oliva, “This important gift is testament to the increasing national and international eminence of NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Staffed by a group of outstanding scholars and offering an exceptional range of courses in historic and contemporary studies, the department attracts increasing numbers of undergraduate and graduate students each year. The new chair will enrich the department’s resources and will provide a special opportunity for us to contribute to Holocaust studies at a national level.”

The Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies in NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers one of the most comprehensive Jewish Studies programs in North America, encompassing Hebrew language and literature as well as all facets of Jewish history and culture, from the ancient through the medieval to the modern. Courses are taught by faculty whose specialties include ancient Judaism, medieval Jewish history, modern Jewish history, Biblical studies, Postbiblical and Talmudic literature, Jewish mysticism, Jewish philosophy, and modern Hebrew literature.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies was created to promote the development of the field of Holocaust studies through research, fellowship programs, publications, and conferences. The Center is also linked with colleges, universities and other post-secondary institutions of higher education through a network of institutional partnerships and cooperative agreements to support programs that promote university level teaching.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national institution for the documentation, study and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country’s memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust. Having received 12 million visitors in its first six years, the Museum has recently launched an outreach program of traveling exhibitions to cities nationwide.

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