Welcome to Jewish Studies at CSULB!
It is with great sadness we note the passing of our long-time Jewish Studies Leadership Board member: Gerda Seifer, z”l.
Gerda addresses the teachers at our first Holocaust training workshop in 2010.
May her memory always be a blessing. Our hearts go out to her husband Harold and her children and grandchildren.
Jeffrey Blutinger, Director.
The recording of Dr. Rachel B. Gross’s talk, “Referendum on the Deli Menu: American Jewish Religion and the Deli Revival” is now available.
Barbara Alpert, z”l
It is with great sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of Barbara Alpert. Barbara and her late husband Ray were true pillars of our community, and we, both faculty as well as students at Cal State Long Beach, owe them a real debt of gratitude.
First, at a moment of crisis, Barbara and Ray stepped up and through their generosity saved the Jewish Studies Program, which has allowed us not only to continue offering classes, degrees, and our regular lecture series, but also helped us to expand our programming, bringing artists, performers, and leading scholars to campus.
Second, Barbara and Ray were strong supporters of Beach Hillel, the organization that serves Jewish students not only at CSULB, but also at Long Beach City College, Golden West, and Cypress College. Several years ago, they generously purchased a house near campus and then donated it to Beach Hillel, in order to serve as a place where Jewish students could meet, have a free kosher shabbat meal, celebrate holidays, or just socialize.
Only three weeks ago, at the community’s “BeJeweled Gala 2019,” Barbara Alpert was honored for her decades-long commitment to Jewish philanthropy. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Congressman Alan Lowenthal singled Barbara out for particular praise. In her speech afterwards, Barbara described how she convinced her husband that the two of them should step up with a donation for naming what is now the Barbara and Ray Alpert Jewish Community Center, Long Beach.
Barbara was also an active member of Temple Israel, and supported organizations such as Jewish Family and Children’s Services and the California Conference for Equality and Justice. Most recently, she helped found “The Barbara Alpert Chorus,” a singing group for senior citizens. Her generosity and activism has touched the lives of countless people in the Long Beach area and her passing leaves a gaping hole in our hearts.
When speaking of someone who had died, Jews typically say zichra l’vrachah, may her memory be a blessing. Our campus and community has truly been blessed by Barbara’s life and her works. Our condolences go out to all her her children, grandchildren, family, friends, and colleagues. May her soul be bound up in the bonds of eternal life (1 Samuel 25:29).
Barbara and Ray Alpert Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies
Director, Jewish Studies Program
California State University, Long Beach