MELROSE PARK, Pa.— A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Gratz College and Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, promises to enhance the academic reach of both institutions.

Signed Tuesday by Gratz President Paul Finkelman and Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon, the MOU forges a collaboration between the two schools, with a focus on Holocaust studies and international engagement. Possible ventures include the exchange of faculty and staff, student exchange programs, and joint research projects.

“We are honored and excited to develop a partnership with one the great universities in Canada,” Finkelman said. “The collaboration will make Gratz and Carleton stronger institutions by complementing each other’s programs and strengthening international co-operation in higher education.”

Finkelman noted that “this year, 2020, Gratz is 125 years old, and signing this agreement is a wonderful way to conclude our anniversary year.”

The five-year MOU comes as Carleton launches its first comprehensive International Strategic Plan, which calls for partnerships that provide diverse experiences for faculty and students.

“This international partnership focused on Holocaust Studies will greatly benefit students and researchers at both Carleton University and Gratz College,” Bacon said. “This important work will advance the priorities of Carleton’s new Strategic Integrated Plan, International Strategic Plan and brand new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. As the world awaits the return of international travel and cross-border co-operation, we look forward to further engaging with the remarkable team at Gratz College.”

Under the MOU, Gratz will work directly with Carleton’s Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies. Gratz faculty and students will have access to Carleton’s libraries and archives, as well as opportunities to join the Zelikovitz Centre as research affiliates.

“These opportunities for Gratz faculty and graduate students will enhance our vibrant masters and doctoral programs by offering additional scholarly opportunities,” said Honour Moore, dean of the college.

In exchange, Carleton faculty and students will have access to Gratz’s Holocaust Oral History Archive, which houses one of the largest collections of audiotaped testimony in the U.S. and is a contributing organization to both the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem.

“As a small institution, Gratz values academic partnerships that can enrich our students’ learning opportunities in significant ways,” said Ruth Sandberg, director of Gratz’s Jewish-Christian Studies Program. “We are eager to take advantage of what Carleton has to offer us, including ways in which our students can interact with each other, ways in which our faculty members could partner with each other, and ways in which Gratz can become regular participants in the many notable lectures and discussions offered through the Zelikovitz Centre.”

Presidents Bacon and Finkelman signed the MOU during a virtual ceremony Tuesday afternoon. The agenda also included remarks from Sandberg and Deidre Butler, director of the Zelikovitz Centre.

“From our first conversations with Gratz leadership, we found true colleagues,” Butler said. “We look forward to strengthening this community by engaging with Gratz faculty and students through a variety of venues.”

The virtual signing ceremony set the tone for the partnership, said Karen Schwartz, associate vice president of research at Carleton and the university’s international liaison officer. Ahead of Tuesday’s ceremony, faculty members and administrators from both institutions began collaborating by joining each other’s online lectures and discussions.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more important—regardless of how challenging—to not only keep in touch with our pre-existing international partners, but to continue establishing new ones as well,” Schwartz said. “Holding a virtual MOU signing is certainly not the same as an in-person event on campus, but it is the next best thing. And so, in this spirit, we are excited to make official our partnership with Gratz College. It will allow students and faculty from both institutions to share academic resources and conduct joint research to advance Holocaust education.”

About Gratz College

Gratz College, a private non-profit institution based in the Philadelphia area, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Founded in 1895, Gratz College is the oldest independent college for Jewish studies in North America. Today, Gratz enrolls a diverse population of students from around the world with many programs that reflect its historic focus on Jewish studies and education. An early adopter of online education, Gratz offers blended and fully online degrees in a broad range of studies, including the world’s only online Doctorate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and a Doctorate in Education Leadership. Gratz also offers eight master’s degree programs, including a Master’s in Education and a Master’s in Nonprofit Management; two undergraduate completion programs; various graduate and undergraduate certificates; a robust continuing education program; and Gratz Academy.

About Carleton University

Located in Canada’s capital city, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 30,000 students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, engineering, high technology and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works. As an innovative institution, Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University

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