The University of Judaism in Bel-Air has announced a $3.5-million endowment to fund its rabbinical program.
The gift from Ruth and Allen Ziegler, longtime benefactors of the hilltop campus, will help expand course offerings, guest lectures and other activities, including a new master's degree in Hebrew letters, university spokeswoman Mimi Salz said.
A doctorate program and a cantorial program may also be added, she said.
Rabbinical students can take the first two years of their five-year program at the campus overlooking Sepulveda Pass, completing their studies with a year in Israel and two more years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, which is affiliated with Judaism's middle-of-the-road Conservative movement.
Allen Ziegler, 75, who moved to Southern California from Chicago in 1922, is a graduate of USC Law School, but spent his working career in a family business, now known as Westco Products Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of bakery ingredients.