Gifts in Action -
Dr. Gary Porton
MEET DR. PORTON
Dr. Gary Porton would have been unable to deliver papers and discuss his research among fellow scholars at European conferences if he hadn’t received this gift. The freedom this gift provided allowed him to follow his research instincts. Most of all, this gift, along with others made to the UIUC Jewish Studies program, allowed him the opportunity to not only see his “vision of the way Jewish Studies ought to be done” played out, but participate in it as well.
This gift gave him the chance to research and study contemporary Judaism. His main research focus is on the first century of the Common Era when Judaism, all its ideas and symbols, was created.
This endowment allowed the expansion of the staff library and formalized the Jewish Studies program. It allowed the program to be fully integrated throughout the entire University and brought more talented young people to campus. Porton worked to develop the Jewish Studies program for 20 years with Michael Shapiro, director of the program.
THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIR IN TALMUDIC STUDIES
The Charles and Sarah Drobny Distinguished Chair in Talmudic Studies is a part of the Drobny Program in Jewish Culture and Society established by Sheldon and Anita Drobny and their associates in the Paradigm Group.
WHAT HE SAYS
“Usually you have to prove your knowledge in an area before you’re allowed to pursue new research, but this gift allowed me the chance to research nontraditional Jewish American society, an area I’ve never researched previously,” said Porton.