The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles announced that it has chosen HUC-JIR SJCS student Deborah Tehrani, as well as Nadine Zysman, to receive the first Stuart Buchalter Distinguished Student Awards.
The awards were created to support and honor second-year full-time graduate students in Jewish studies at Los Angeles-based educational institutions, who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential. The initial year's recipients are affiliated with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism). The scholarships of $20,000 each are named for the late Stuart Buchalter, a prominent corporate and securities attorney and philanthropist, who served as chairman of the Jewish Community Foundation from 1993 through 1996. Roland E. Arnall, United States ambassador to The Netherlands, and his wife, Dawn, close friends of Buchalter, established and provided seed money for the awards in his memory.
According to Marvin Schotland, The Foundation's president and CEO, "Stuart Buchalter was a truly wonderful community leader who cared deeply about young people and took every opportunity to mentor them. As such, it's extremely fitting that he is being honored through this scholarship fund in his memory."
At the awards ceremony, Buchalter's widow Gail said, "The importance of giving back-especially through education-was paramount to Stuart and remains so with me. He would be especially proud of these initial two scholars: both are exceptional young women and their respective pursuits in Jewish studies are so admirable. I can think of no better way to perpetuate my late husband's memory."
"This award shows the wonderful character of the Jewish community, Gail Buchalter, the Buchalter Foundation and the Jewish Community Foundation," said Tehrani. "It is the basic principle that has driven me to get this degree and work in the field of Jewish communal service."
Tehrani is beginning her second year in a joint program of the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development, where she is working towards a master of arts in Jewish communal service and a master of public administration, respectively.
About The Foundation
Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation is the largest manager of charitable assets and the leader in planned giving solutions for Greater Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. The Foundation currently manages assets of nearly $750 million dollars and ranks among the largest Los Angeles foundations (based on total assets). In 2006, The Foundation and its 1,200-plus donors distributed more than $70 million in grants to more than 1,500 organizations with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving.