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Melton Gift to Fund Jewish Studies


     COLUMBUS -- Just two weeks before he died on July 1 at the
age of 93, Samuel Mendel Melton finalized the details of a multi-
million dollar gift to coordinate and enhance the work of the
three centers of Judaic studies which bear his name and presented
checks to representatives of the institutions that will be
engaged in this work.

     Under the terms of the gift, three institutions each
received $1 million to finance their participation in the Melton
Coalition for Creative Interaction.  They are:
     ~ The Melton Center for Jewish Studies at The Ohio State
     ~ The Melton Research Center for Jewish Education at the
     Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and
     ~ The Melton Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora at
     the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

     During his lifetime, Melton established centers at each of
the three institutions to promote Judaic studies, training of
educators, development of curriculum, and fostering of innovation
in Jewish education from kindergarten through advanced study.

     A new committee formed of representatives of the three
Melton centers will establish goals for the coalition.  Florence
Zacks Melton, Melton's wife, will serve as a consulting member of
the committee.  The committee will meet within the next six
months to determine the future goals and direction of the
coalition and to develop a working relationship.

     The gifts will go to each institution's endowment fund and
the income will be used to finance the coalition's operation.

     Melton was internationally known as a philanthropist.
Leslie H. Wexner, chairman of The Limited and an Ohio State
University trustee, has described Melton as his role model in
philanthropy.  Melton was active in a wide array of
organizations, many of which advanced the study and understanding
of Jewish culture.  He was a director or trustee of many civic
and business organizations.

     Melton, who resided in Columbus and Boca Raton, earned a
bachelor's degree in business administration from Ohio State in
1923.  The university awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws
degree in 1971.

     In 1924, he established the Capitol Manufactoring Co., an
equipment design and manufacturing enterprise.  He merged the
company with Harsco Corp. of Harrisburg, Pa., in 1959.  Melton
retired in 1972.

     In 1949, Melton opened Capitol Manufacturing Co. of Israel
to provide employment for persons who had emigrated to Israel
after World War II.  In 1955, he gave the plant to several
organizations, including the Meir Shefeah Village for Homeless
Children and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

     A generous donor to Ohio State, Melton in 1965 established
the first privately endowed chair at the university.

     "It is no coincidence that this great philanthropist and
leader spent the last days of his life putting the finishing
touches on this extraordinarily generous gift," said E. Gordon
Gee, president of Ohio State.  "His life was marked by countless
acts of dedication and generosity.  These gifts to the Melton
centers will serve to increase understanding, tolerance and
spiritual meaning for generations of individuals.  We will be
forever grateful to Mr. Melton and the Melton family."

     Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological
Seminary of America, said: "Mr. Melton's dramatic gift to Jewish
education strengthens the single most important resource for the
renaissance of Judaism in America -- long-term, quality Jewish
education.  Like the righteous of old, he devoted his final days
to the welfare of the Jewish community."


Contact: Linda Bowers, Office of University Development, (614)

[Submitted by: REIDV  (reidv@ccgate.ucomm.ohio-state.edu)
Fri, 06 Aug 93 10:42:05 EST]
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