By Jen Hogan
Special to the Jewish News
Cis Maisel is a community leader in Southeastern Michigan and a staunch education advocate. She was instrumental in establishing the Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment (SAJE), a program managed by Detroit’s Jewish Community Center, and she was recently introduced to Oakland University by President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz.
“I am very interested in supporting the study of Jewish history and culture,” says Maisel of Southfield. “When I learned of the excellent programs in Judaic studies at OU, I wanted to help faculty expand this curriculum with other programs like SAJE.”
With the idea of shared resources in mind, she was moved to create the Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement. The new center will focus on the study of Judaism from an academic standpoint as well as provide an important space for research that enhances the understanding of the rich traditions of Judaism from around the world.
Funding will help expand Judaic studies programming beyond the classroom. One possibility is the preservation and display of artifacts and sacred texts from the archives of a variety of organizations or from OU’s study abroad program in Israel. Other opportunities for the future include events, community dialogue series and programs focused on Israeli films, art, dance, political issues, cultural traditions and more.
Maisel is looking forward to building a new level of understanding about Judaism. She hopes the center will inspire important conversations that contribute to peace and awareness of various perspectives.
“This center will help educate about Jewish life, traditions and values,” she says. “It will demonstrate how the Jewish people have contributed to society and the world. I hope these programs will enhance understanding among all people.”