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Michael H. Steinhardt To Receive University at Albany Medallion at 2004 Center For Jewish Studies Celebration

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

Michael H. Steinhardt
Michael H. Steinhardt

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 17, 2004) -- UAlbany Center for Jewish Studies Director Mark A. Raider has announced that Michael H. Steinhardt will be awarded the Medallion of the University, the institution's highest honor, in recognition of his distinguished leadership of the Jewish community, extraordinary commitment to perpetuating Jewish life and innovative approaches to education.

Steinhardt will be honored at the 2004 Center for Jewish Studies Celebration on September 22 at The Riverview in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. He will address the gathering.

“This is great opportunity to celebrate one of the most spectacular Jewish leaders of our day,” said Raider. “Mr. Steinhardt continues the tradition of philanthropic leadership that has been a hallmark of American Jewish life since Jews first set foot on America’s shores 350 years ago.”

“I am delighted to show my support for the Center for Jewish Studies at UAlbany,” said Steinhardt. “As the only initiative of its kind in New York public higher education, the Center plugs a significant gap in Jewish studies at the college level. I applaud UAlbany’s leadership and efforts to make this first-rate Jewish studies program available to all New Yorkers.”

Alan Goldberg, president of First Albany Corporation and chair of the Center’s advisory board, said, “We are thrilled that Michael Steinhardt was selected to be the recipient of the Medallion of the University. He is a model citizen in every way and his unparalleled leadership in the arena of higher education is a credit to the American Jewish community and American society as a whole.”

Steinhardt is a money manager turned philanthropist dedicated to creating a renaissance in American Jewish life. After graduating from the Wharton School of Business in 1960, he began his financial career as a research associate and securities analyst. In 1967 he formed the hedge fund company Steinhardt Partners L.P., where he made his fortune in one of the most storied careers on Wall Street. In 1995, he stunned the financial world by announcing that he would close his lucrative hedge fund to devote his time and fortune to causes of the Jewish world.

Today Steinhardt coordinates his philanthropic activities through numerous initiatives, including the Jewish Life Network, which seeks to revitalize American Jewish life through projects that nurture Jewish identity; the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, which expands Jewish day school opportunities for children in North America; Makor, a social and cultural center on New York City’s Upper West Side; Synagogue Transformation and Renewal (STAR), a program to help North American synagogues meet the spiritual, educational and social needs of every member of the Jewish community; Birthright Israel, an initiative to ensure all young Jews a first-time living and learning experience in Israel; Spark: Partnership for Service, a national initiative dedicated to community service and volunteering as an important expression of Jewish identity; and the Jewish Early Childhood Education Partnership, to promote the importance of high quality Jewish childhood education. Steinhardt also supports Hillel, the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, through which he created the Steinhardt Jewish Campus Services Corps, the world’s only paid fellowship program of young Jews dedicated to one year of service in the Jewish campus community.

Steinhardt is also the principal supporter of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. Other recipients of his philanthropy include the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Museum. Steinhardt is a member of the new ownership group of Israel’s leading bank, Bank Hapoalim, and is one of the principal investors behind The New York Sun, New York’s newest daily newspaper.

In 2001, Steinhardt published his memoirs, No Bull: My Life In and Out of the Markets (John Wiley & Sons, 2001).

UAlbany, home to 17,000 students, hosts the ninth largest concentration of Jewish students on any college campus in the country. The Center for Jewish Studies draws on an advisory board comprising Capital Region leaders as well as alumni and supporters from across the state. To date, the Center has raised approximately $1.5 million in private sector pledges and gifts toward its endowment and the establishment of a new professorship in European Jewish Studies, with expertise in the Holocaust.

Past honorees of the Center are Edgar M. Bronfman, Sr., president of the World Jewish Congress; Itamar Rabinovich, president of Tel Aviv University and former ambassador from Israel to the United States; Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League; and Aharon Barak, president of the Supreme Court of the State of Israel.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.htm.