Birmingham-Southern Announces Abroms Scholars Program
Among the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s many efforts to strengthen our Jewish community is our continued work to grow Jewish life on Alabama’s college campuses. One of those schools is Birmingham-Southern, where the BJF recently provided seed money to assist in creating a Hillel student organization on campus.
Because of our commitment to strengthening Jewish life at the small liberal arts school, the BJF is thrilled BSC recently begun an effort, supported by a generous gift from longtime Jewish community philanthropists Judy and Hal Abroms, to increase Jewish enrollment and provide for a meaningful Jewish experience on campus. In the 2017-2018 academic year the first two Abroms Scholarships will be awarded to exemplary Jewish students wanting to attend BSC.
“It is so exciting that Birmingham-Southern is working to increase Jewish enrollment. As a Jewish student, I had such a wonderful experience at BSC and know that other Jewish students will too. This scholarship only makes the school more attractive to prospective Jewish students,” said BJF Director of Community Impact Samantha Dubrinsky, a BSC alum.
Below is a BSC press release announcing the concerted effort to grow Jewish life:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–Birmingham-Southern College has launched an initiative to increase Jewish student enrollment and to provide an even more meaningful student experience for Jewish students.
The initiative began with a generous gift from Birmingham philanthropists Hal and Judy Abroms to establish the Abroms Scholars Program at BSC. The first two Abroms Scholars will be awarded during the 2017-18 academic year; the awards will be available to outstanding Jewish students seeking to attend Birmingham-Southern.
“Judy and Hal Abroms have been longtime leaders in Birmingham and in the Jewish community, and their generosity is well known to all in our community,” said BSC Vice President for Advancement Dr. Sara Helms Robicheaux ’97. “This gift will help us to attract talented Jewish students who want to attend the college.”
The gift is in partnership with the Birmingham Jewish Federation (BJF) and the larger Birmingham community. In addition to the Abroms’ gift, a gift from the BJF will help provide seed money to establish a Hillel–a place for Jewish students to gather for fellowship–and to provide experiences that will further enrich the students’ academic and religious experiences at the college.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, BSC president emeritus and BJF volunteer, expressed his support for this partnership.
“I am so appreciative to the Birmingham Jewish Federation and the Abroms for helping BSC launch this initiative and strengthen our relationships with the Jewish community on campus, in Birmingham, and across the country,” he said.
The college has appointed a faculty advisor, Dr. Lester Siegel, BSC’s Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music, to assist with recruitment as well as help to coordinate on- and off- campus activities for the students. Also, working with the BJF, the college will create a Jewish Student Community Advisory Committee to help with Jewish student recruitment and provide support for Jewish students on campus.
“Diversity is a core value at Birmingham-Southern College, and we welcome students of all religious faiths and ethnicities who want to pursue their academic goals at the college,” said BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith. “The Abroms Scholars Program, as well as the support of the Federation and the Birmingham Jewish community, will help us create and sustain a vibrant Jewish student population at BSC, for which we are truly grateful.”
The BJF thanks both the Abroms and Gen. Krulak, who plays a major volunteer role at the BJF, for their leadership and generosity in these efforts. We believe strengthening Jewish life on Alabama’s college campuses plays a major role in allowing Birmingham’s Jewish community to thrive, and we are grateful for these invaluable partners who make this work possible.