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Sep 19, 2014 05:14 AM EDT

UCLA Alumnus Donates $900,000 to Support Research on Israel Studies

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Harry C. Sigman, a Los Angeles attorney and alumnus of the University of California Los Angeles, has donated $900,000 to the school's Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.

The gift will be invested in three endowment funds in his name: a scholarship fund for undergraduates to study in Israel, a graduate fellowship fund to support doctoral projects on Israel Studies and a lecture fund. The goal behind the donation is to support education and research on Israel at UCLA.

"I am pleased that I was able to tailor these gifts to provide benefits both for the present and the long-term future, and for both academia and the Los Angeles community, furthering the work of the Y and S Nazarian Center. I hope that by my establishing these three endowment funds, others who consider any of these specific purposes important will be encouraged to make their own gifts to these funds, thereby hastening and enhancing their effectiveness," Sigman said in a statement.

Sigman earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1960 and taught law at the University of Southern California and UCLA among others. 

"Mr. Sigman's visionary gift recognizes the importance of scholarly, interdisciplinary study of Israel," said Sharon Nazarian, chair of the Nazarian Center advisory board, president of the Y and S Nazarian Family Foundation and visiting professor at UCLA. "We are so grateful for his generosity, which will allow the Nazarian Center to foster greater understanding of Israeli history, society and culture in all its complexity. Many generations of students, researchers and the public will benefit as a result."

The Harry C. Sigman Scholarship for Study in Israel Endowment Fund will confer scholarships on full-time UCLA undergraduate or law students of any religion or nationality to study at any higher educational institution in Israel.

The Harry C. Sigman Graduate Fellowship in Israel Studies Endowment Fund will be used to draw outstanding graduate students of any religion or nationality to pursue doctoral studies on Israel at UCLA.

The Harry C. Sigman Distinguished Lecture in Israel Studies Endowment Fund will host lectures by leading experts on a wide range of Israel-related topics.

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