15 March 2009

Of Blessed Memory...

William Davidson, the naming donor of my fabulous school, the William Davidson Graduate School at JTS, has passed away at 86 years of age.

I never met the man I dubbed Uncle Bill (a nickname that is now a common saying among all Davidson students), but I heard he was a kind, giving man. He also has been rumored to be seen in tracksuits, which is so cool, and makes sense, because he owned more than one basketball team. According to wikipedia, he was the stepfather of the actress who played Ava on Grey's Anatomy.

He was a big Jewish philanthropist, donating to places I love, such as Hadassah Ein Karem, JTS, and The Kotel. I pointed out to my friend / Jerusalem roommate Allison that Uncle Bill accomplished so much, because he bought the Kotel! OK, he helped fund the excavation of the Southern Wall, but still. What part of the kotel was named after YOU?

I am lucky to be graduating from Davidson this May as one of the many beneficiaries of his HUGE donation to my school. I sent him thank you letters, but I never got to shake his hand. Uncle Bill, you will be missed.

My Davidson Class - at the end of our three-week Visions and Voices of Israel trip - poses at the "Endowed by Uncle Bill" sign outside of Uncle Bill's Kotel.

At Uncle Bill's kotel, where men, women and children can all gather around the Torah in a pluralistic service.
Good times. (January 2007)

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