Melton Gift to Fund Jewish Studies
Published on August 05, 1993
SAMUEL MELTON'S MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR 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 University, ~ 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) 292-3300. [Submitted by: REIDV (email@example.com) Fri, 06 Aug 93 10:42:05 EST] All documents are the responsibility of their originator.