The generosity of friends, philanthropists and donors has greatly impacted American Jewish University's landscape. Thanks to their commitment, these families have contributed so much of themselves in order to create a vibrant campus and community.
Opened in Fall 2012, the state-of-the-art Bel & Jack M. Ostrow Academic Library contains over 110,000 volumes, as well as a wide variety of online resources. It is designed to meet the needs of the University’s faculty and students, as well as scholars conducting research in all fields of Jewish culture and civilization. The Library’s holdings focus primarily on the fields of Bible, Nonprofit Management, Education, Hebrew and English Literature, Israel and Zionism, Jewish History and Archaeology, the Middle East, Philosophy, Rabbinic Literature, Theology, and Yiddish. The Library is home to both the Milken Collection in the Liberal Arts, which is comprised of acquisitions in the arts and humanities, and the Gindi Microfilm Collection.
The Lowy-Winkler Family Rare Book Center, a gift of Peter Lowy, is home to the Maslan Bible Collection. This unusual assemblage of exceptional volumes includes approximately 4,000 Bibles, some dating back almost to the inception of the printing press. This collection also features bible translations representing most of the written languages of the world, as well as the Kalman-Friedman Collection of Italian Judaica.
Marjorie and Herman Platt & Lena and Jacob Borstein
Generously donated by Marjorie and Herman Platt, along with Lena and Jacob Borstein, the Platt/Borstein Gallery presents critically acclaimed exhibitions and educational programs within all realms of the visual arts. This gallery provides a valuable and necessary aesthetic component to the educational goals of American Jewish University. Featured artists, both Jewish and non-Jewish, share their creativity and their insight into current trends while also providing a historical perspective into our community life. Past exhibits have included the works of such noted artists as Max Finkelstein, David Hockney, Jim Dine and Frank Stella.
Phoebe and Werner Frank
The Phoebe & Werner Frank Family Learning Center is dedicated to the exploration of Jewish communities around the world. The inaugural exhibit focuses on the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe and includes an original German wimple, used to swaddle a Jewish baby boy at the time of his Brit Milah and later as a sash to bind the Torah Scrolls. The wallpaper in the Center echoes the original wallpaper found in the home of Werner Frank in Eppingen, Germany. Future exhibits will include a virtual tour of world synagogues and Jewish communities in the Near East, Asia and Africa.
Charlene and Burton Sperber
Sperber Jewish Community Library
The Burton Sperber Jewish Community Library is the successor to the Jewish Community Library formerly housed at the Los Angeles Jewish Federation. The collection features the very latest in Jewish themed fiction and non-fiction including books, audiotapes and DVDs. The Library includes a special children’s section offering a wide variety of titles both in English and in Hebrew. The Sperber Library regularly hosts events featuring noted Jewish authors as well as programs geared for children and families. Among the special features of the library is our collection of books on magic and Jewish magicians.
Wendie Jo Sperber was a talented actress known for her starring role in the television series Bosom Buddies, as well as her film appearances in Back to the Future and Bachelor Party. Wendie’s Garden, dedicated in her memory by her parents Charlene and Burton Sperber, serves as a living symbol of her enthusiasm and zest for life. It forms the western boundary of AJU’s Familian Campus and is noteworthy for its unique succulents, offering an original contrast of colors and textures in an environmentally conscious array. The garden also includes inviting pergolas bedecked with colored wisteria that are available for small groups, classes or wedding ceremonies.
The David Alan Shapiro Memorial Synagogue Center, inspired by the life of David Alan Shapiro, is a facility for prayer and meditation, a place to celebrate life cycle events, and a multipurpose location for classes and meetings. Designed by award winning architect Paul Murdoch, the synagogue includes the Gates of Passage stained glass windows. These windows, crafted by artists David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback, express the fundamental motifs of Judaism: Creation, Revelation, Redemption and Immortality.
Sondra and Marvin Smalley
The Sondra & Marvin Smalley Family Sculpture Garden was dedicated in 1981. The garden contains a collection of museum quality works of art, produced during the last half of the 20th Century by artists who achieved pre-eminence in the same period. This dynamic and growing collection provides an environment for students and visitors to reflect, study and converse as they enjoy the juxtaposition of nature and art. The garden epitomizes the University’s commitment to education as well as being a stimulus for an appreciation of the arts. Among the artists represented in the garden are George Rickey, Anthony Caro Aldo Casanova and Jenny Holzer.
The Berg Dining Hall, located on the third floor of the administration building, provides the perfect combination of delicious kosher food and beautiful views.
Sara and Simcha Lainer
The Sara and Simcha Lainer Beit Midrash provides rabbinic students with a collaborative learning space to engage in learning and in spiritual practice.
The Auerbach Student Union was designed to ensure that both campus residents and commuting students have access to facilities designed to meet their social and physical fitness needs.
The Student Lounge is designed for students to have an area where they can study, meet with fellow students or just relax between or after classes. The furniture and amenities in the lounge provide students with many options while they are on campus. These include: 60 inch large screen television, satellite television, DVD and VHS player, surround sound stereo system, comfortable couches, tables, and chairs as well as café style tables and chairs located outside of the student lounge.
The Fitness Center provides state of the art equipment and workout spaces, as well as outdoors access to a full size basketball court and soccer field.