Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU to begin construction on Holocaust and Jewish Studies Building

FAU plans to start construction of Kurt and Marilyn Wallach Holocaust and Jewish Studies Building in early 2024.
Elisabeth Gaffney
The new Jewish Studies building will be built across from Parking Garage 2 and next to the College of Arts and Letters building.

As part of the expansion of the College of Arts and Letters (AL), FAU is building the Kurt and Marilyn Wallach Holocaust and Jewish Studies Building across from Parking Garage 2. 

As part of the 2021 Boca Raton Campus Master Plan, the project was a priority. FAU hoped to start within five years since the plan was updated. Kurt and Marilyn Wallach donated $20 million to FAU in 2022, and of that, $12.5 million will be used for this project, according to Azita Dotiwala, FAU facilities management director of budget and planning.

Michael Horswell, dean of AL, said construction is expected to start in January or February of 2024 and is estimated to be completed by February 2025. The building, designed by Synalovski Romanik Saye, LLC, will be two stories and approximately 23,557 square feet. Gilbane Building Company is managing the construction project.

Dotiwala said the building has “an estimated capacity of 380 stations,” which include administrative and academic areas. 

The building is expected to include a 150-seat lecture hall, computer lab, recording studio, classrooms, a conference room and faculty offices, said Horswell. 

It will also have a Holocaust and human rights professional development training room, a traveling exhibition room, a student multimedia studio and a student study room. The lobby will also have a digital Wall of Recognition and Remembrance meant to “acknowledge the support of benefactors and to educate against hate, antisemitism and indifference,” said Horswell.

Multiple subjects such as human rights, peace, justice, history, Holocaust education, music, multimedia, women’s and Jewish studies will be studied. 

Alan Berger, Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair of Holocaust Studies and Judaic studies professor, wants students to know that liberal arts majors do have value.

“Liberal arts education helps you to answer difficult questions,” Berger said.

According to Berger, an education in liberal arts expands a student’s horizons and understanding of the world. 

“Jewish studies gives us more insight into the human,” Berger said. Berger  hopes the new building will attract more students to liberal arts studies and faculty that is qualified and passionate. The main goal of Jewish studies, according to Berger, is for  “the world of the future to be better than the world of the past.” Berger believes liberal arts help educate students about empathy, knowledge, and compassion. 

Aliyana Vasquez is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information on this story or others, contact Aliyana at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Elisabeth Gaffney, Managing Editor
Elisabeth is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism and double minoring in linguistics and sociology. She is a creative, kitten and coffee-loving workaholic with a love for the performing arts and storytelling. She hopes to one day work as a reporter at an established newspaper.

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