The Viterbi Family Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies
The Leve Center is delighted to announce that our director, Prof. Sarah Abrevaya Stein, has been named the inaugural holder of the Viterbi Family Endowed Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies at UCLA.
Andrew J. Viterbi is the co-founder of Qualcomm and a former UCLA engineering professor. His family’s support for Mediterranean Jewish Studies stems from their roots in the Mediterranean region: Andrew Viterbi was born in Bergamo, Italy, to Italian Jewish parents who emigrated to the U.S. in 1939 and his late wife, Erna Finci Viterbi, was born in Sarajevo to a distinguished family of Sephardic intellectuals and rabbis who survived World War II and emigrated to the U.S. in 1950.
Thanks to their generous support, UCLA funded a pilot program in Italian Jewish studies in 2004 and created the Viterbi Family Endowment in Mediterranean Jewish Studies in 2008, which at that time was the first endowed program of its kind in North America. The program builds on a trend in historical studies to look beyond traditional political boundaries in order to understand transnational commercial and intellectual connections between different groups of people. The Viterbi program has for over a decade brought emerging and/or distinguished scholars to campus for one or more quarters of instruction, and funded quarterly seminars, lectures, and symposia on Jewish communities in Italy, France, Spain, the Balkans, North Africa, Egypt or Israel.
I am honored to be the first holder of the Viterbi Family Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies, and to see UCLA — in tandem with the Viterbi family — support the deepening and expansion of scholarship in this dynamic field. Mediterranean Jewish histories and cultures are an often overlooked but magnetic component of modern Jewish history, as well as of modern regional, national, imperial, global and diasporic histories. – Prof. Sarah Abrevaya Stein
The Viterbi family’s most recent gift will support the creation of the Viterbi Family Endowed Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies. Award-winning scholar Professor Sarah Abrevaya Stein, the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Director of the Leve Center, has been named the inaugural holder of the Viterbi Family Endowed Chair.
We are grateful to the Viterbi family for their vision and continued support of the Viterbi Family Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies and are deeply honored that they chose the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies as the Program’s home.
Viterbi Visiting Professorship in Mediterranean Jewish Studies
Viterbi Visiting Professors
2018-2019: Liran Yadgar
2016-2017: Daniel Stein Kokin
2013-2014: Guri Schwarz
2011-2012: Andrew Berns
2009-2010: Sergio DellaPergola
2008-2009: Federica Francesconi
2007-2008: Robert Bonfil
2006-2007: Fabrizio Lelli