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Enhancing the Jewish Student Experience

Enhancing the Jewish Student Experience

Generous donations have helped to create scholarships, launch programs that will increase Jewish student enrollment and enhance their experiences on the Hilltop.

Growing up in Birmingham, Samantha Dubrinsky ’11 didn’t expect to attend Birmingham-Southern College. But after a semester at Tulane University, she returned home to Birmingham and transferred to BSC. The moment she stepped onto the Hilltop, she said, she felt at home.

Dubrinsky, who is director of community impact for the Birmingham Jewish Federation, said it was the best decision she could have made. “My experience at BSC has helped me every step of my professional journey, and I made friendships that will last me a lifetime.”

Now, in an effort to ensure that more Jewish students like Dubrinsky know they’ll have a home on the Hilltop, BSC has launched an initiative to increase Jewish student enrollment.

Birmingham philanthropists Hal and Judy Abroms have generously established the Abroms Scholars Program for outstanding Jewish students seeking to attend BSC.

In addition to the Abroms’ gift, the Birmingham Jewish Federation (BJF) provided 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 on the Hilltop.

Dubrinsky, along with BJF Programs and Special Projects Officer Florina Newcomb ’07, is helping lead the effort.

“It is so exciting that Birmingham-Southern is working to increase Jewish enrollment,” Dubrinsky said. “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.”

BSC President Emeritus Gen. Charles C. Krulak, a strong partner with the BJF, said the new efforts have been something BSC has been working toward for many years.

“I am so appreciative to the Federation and to the Abroms for helping BSC launch this initiative and strengthen our relationships with the Jewish community on campus, in Birmingham, and across the country,” Krulak said.

Dr. Lester Siegel ’79, BSC’s Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music, will serve as faculty advisor, assisting with recruitment and helping to coordinate on- and off-campus activities for students. With the BJF’s help, the college will also create a Jewish Student Community Advisory Committee to provide support for Jewish students on campus and perform outreach for prospective students.

“Diversity is one of our core values at BSC, and we welcome students of all religious faiths and ethnicities who want to pursue their academic goals here,” said BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith. “The Abroms Scholars Program, as well as the support of the Birmingham Jewish Federation and the Birmingham Jewish community, will help us create and sustain a vibrant Jewish student population at BSC, and for that we are truly grateful.”