The Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement

Cis Maisel and Ora Hirsch Pescovitz pose for photo

Community Collaboration

icon of a calendarNovember 19, 2018

icon of a pencilBy Jen Hogan

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Cis Maisel is a community leader in southeastern Michigan and a staunch advocate for education. She was instrumental in establishing the Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment (SAJE), a program managed by the Jewish Community Center of metro Detroit, and 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 Cis. “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 and the greater community.”

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 also 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 Oakland University’s very own study abroad program in Israel. Other opportunities for the future include featured events, community dialogue series and programs focused on Israeli films, art, dance, political issues, cultural traditions and more.

Cis is looking forward to Oakland’s collaboration with the Jewish community to build a new level of understanding about Judaism in southeast Michigan and beyond. It is her hope that the newly created center will inspire important conversations that contribute to peace and awareness of various perspectives.

“This center will help educate students, the campus and the community about Jewish life, traditions and values,” Cis says. “It will demonstrate how the Jewish people have contributed to society and the world around them. I hope these programs will enhance understanding among all people.”

The center will open with a celebration on April 8, 2019; featuring comedian Anabelle Gurwitch. 

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