Student Funding


Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the KU Jewish Studies Program offers several excellence-based and need-based awards for undergraduate students.

The Danciger Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, supports students by offering several merit-based and need-based fellowships. These fellowships are intended to provide financial support to undergraduate students with interest in Jewish Studies – primarily Jewish Studies majors and minors. Please email jewishstudies@ku.edu with any questions.

The Danciger Award for Undergraduate Research in Jewish Studies 

This fellowship awards $250 to students who research and present on any topic of Jewish studies through the KU Center for Undergraduate Research. Registration and participation in the Fall Research Showcase or the Spring Research Symposium through the Center for Undergraduate Research is required. Students enrolled in 300-level courses and above, who are conducting research as part of their course assignments, are encouraged to consult their professors or research mentors to develop a conference proposal. Please email your abstract and confirmation of submission to jewishstudies@ku.edu, with the subject “Danciger Undergraduate Research Fellowship” addressed to “Jewish Studies Fellowship Committee.”

The Danciger Essay Contest in Jewish Studies

This fellowship is open to all KU undergraduates who submit an original essay of no more than 5,000 words on any Jewish studies topic of their choice. The essay can include an assigned term paper on a topic drawn from any generally recognized Jewish studies sub-fields, including: The Bible and History of Biblical Interpretation; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Holocaust Studies; Interdisciplinary, Theoretical, and New Approaches; Israel Studies; Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity; Jewish Languages and Literatures; Jewish Mysticism; Jewish Philosophy; Jewish Politics; Jews, Film, and the Arts; Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History; Modern Jewish History; Rabbinic Literature and Culture; Sephardi and Mizrachi Studies; Social Sciences; and Yiddish studies. Cash prizes will be awarded for first ($500), second ($300), and third place ($200) essays. Please email your essay to jewishstudies@ku.edu with the subject “Danciger Essay Contest” and addressed to “Jewish Studies Fellowship Committee.”

The Danciger Excellence Award for the Study of the Hebrew Language

This award is presented to at least one student each semester at all levels of Hebrew study (beginning, intermediate, and advanced). The recipients are evaluated based on classroom performance, academic excellence, and dedication to the study of Hebrew. Each recipient will be determined by the Jewish Studies Faculty Fellowship Committee in consultation with Ms. Shelley Rissien, the KU Hebrew Coordinator. If you are enrolled in a Hebrew class at any level, you are automatically considered for this award.

The Danciger Need-based Award

The Jewish Studies Program is pleased to offer need-based fellowships to Jewish Studies majors and minors in need of financial support. Each such fellowship from The Danciger Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City is strictly need-based. Funds from $500-$2000 are available to those who qualify. FAFSA eligibility at the time of application is required in accordance with KU policy. Please submit a short narrative with explanation of need to jewishstudies@ku.edu. Please include in the subject line: “Need-based award”. All applications and awards are confidential. There is no deadline to apply. Students can apply once a semester and apply again all future semesters despite having previously received this need-based support.

The Harvey Bodker Study Abroad Opportunity

This award was created by Mr. Harvey Bodker in honor of the memory of Rabbi Morris Margolies, senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom and longtime professor of Jewish Studies at KU. This fund shall be used to provide direct financial support for KU degree seeking students studying abroad in Israel in the department of Jewish Studies at the University of Kansas. Support may include, but is not limited to, travel expenses, passport fees, and visa applications. For more information email jewishstudies@ku.edu.

The David and Sharyn Katzman Award

This fellowship was established in 2020 to honor a Jewish Studies Major who exhibits academic excellence. Dr. David Katzman, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, was instrumental in the creation of the Jewish Studies Program. David and Sharyn Katzman are longtime supporters of the Jewish Studies Program, and they have shared their generosity by endowing the Katzman Fellowship, awarded to a graduating senior selected by the Jewish Studies Faculty Fellowship Committee.