Charlotte, North Carolina has been home to a vital and growing Jewish community since Abraham Moses and his cousin Solomon Simons settled here in the late 18th century. Over the centuries, that community has grown dramatically, creating a vibrant Jewish life and contributing to the growth of the city in many significant ways.
As one of Charlotte's premiere universities, Queens is also committed to fostering Jewish life on campus and throughout the community. With passionate and involved Jewish faculty and staff in key positions across the university—including professors and deans as well as staff leaders in academic affairs, student life, marketing, athletics and career services—and with Jewish students from a range of backgrounds, Queens offers a warm and inclusive community that's committed to pluralism and multi-cultural understanding.
Jewish trustees, donors, alumni and friends support the university in meaningful ways. In fact, our new Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation is named in honor of one of Charlotte's most prominent couples, Leon and Sandra Levine.
Jewish Life Task Force
In 2013, Queens President Pamela Davies convened a special Jewish Life Task Force to develop a long-term plan to support a more vibrant Jewish Life on campus. Co-chaired by our Provost, Dr. Lynn Morton, and Vice President of Marketing and Strategy Rebecca Anderson, the Task Force is made up of faculty, staff, alumni and trustees. The group has identified several areas of focus for its work:
- Increasing multi-cultural awareness and dialog across faith traditions
- Developing an inter-disciplinary Jewish Studies minor
- Securing professional leadership for Hillel
- Broadening Hillel programming
- Building deeper connections with Charlotte's Jewish community
- Recruiting Jewish students
- Assessing long-term space needs
Our emerging Hillel group is gaining momentum! During the coming year, we'll mark the High Holy Days, Hanukah and Passover. We're also planning events to usher in the Shabbat and explore Jewish culture through student life programs, movies and more. Further, Hillel and its advisor work closely with the university Chaplain to sponsor multi-faith activities and speakers that foster an ongoing dialog among people of all faith traditions at Queens.
The Gossett Jewish Leadership Scholarship
The Gossett Jewish Leadership Scholarship offers a unique opportunity for emerging leaders to actively support the growth of a vibrant, dynamic and pluralistic Jewish community at Queens. Awarded to one student per academic year in the amount of $5,000, the scholarship may be renewed on an annual basis. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to Judaism and successful leadership experience in their Jewish and/or secular communities. Recipients are expected to be actively involved in Queens' Jewish community. This could mean holding a leadership position in Hillel, supporting the admissions team in recruiting Jewish students, advancing Tikkun Olam with social justice programs or actively participating in inter-faith and multi-cultural dialog.
With courses across disciplines and connected to our general education program, a new Jewish Studies minor will begin at Queens in the 2015-16 academic year. Jewish Studies at Queens will examine Jewish identity, culture, and beliefs in a broad range of courses covering history, political science, international affairs, religion and theology, ethics, philosophy, sociology, pop culture and more.
Charlotte's Jewish Community
With more than 12,000 Jewish families in Charlotte, Queens is supported and surrounded by a vibrant Jewish Community. Shalom Park, a 55-acre complex housing two synagogues (Conservative and Reform), the Jewish Community Center and a host of other Jewish organizations, is less than five miles from campus; a kosher market is less than 15 minutes away. Our relationships with Charlotte's Jewish congregations are strong and getting stronger. We partner with the various temples to connect our students to their services and other programs.