When I attended Michigan State University from 1994-98, I certainly would not have believed that the university would soon hire an Israel Studies chair and a Jewish Studies professor who specialized in Jewish studies. In addition to concentrating in International Relations at James Madison College, a liberal arts residential college at MSU, I also specialized in the Jewish Studies Program.
In the past couple weeks the Religious Studies department has announced that Prof. Benjamin Pollock will be the full time assistant professor teaching Modern Jewish Thought and a course on Judaism. (I taught these courses this past year as a visiting professor)
Additionally, Yael Aronoff, a senior associate at Columbia University's Institute of War and Peace Studies, has been named the first Michael and Elaine Serling and Friends Israel Studies Chair at Michigan State University.
The Serling chair is a core position in MSU's Jewish Studies Program, which is administered by the College of Arts and Letters. Aronoff will become a faculty member in James Madison College, the university's prestigious residential college in the area of public affairs.