University of Washington names 1st Professor in Sephardic Studies

The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies has established the Isaac Alhadeff Professorship in Sephardic Studies at the University of Washington. This Professorship has been generously funded by the Isaac Alhadeff Foundation, a local philanthropy rooted in the Sephardic Jewish community. Dr. Devin E. Naar, current chair of the UW Sephardic Studies Program and an Assistant Professor in the Department of History, will be the first professor to hold this prestigious new appointment.

The Isaac Alhadeff Foundation is named in honor of Isaac “Ike” Alhadeff (1916-2012). An alum of the University of Washington, Ike was a World War II veteran and beloved leader of his community in Seattle, where he belonged to several civic associations. With family roots on the Island of Rhodes he grew up in a Ladino-speaking home.

Since its establishment in 2012, the Sephardic Studies Program at the University of Washington has become a national leader in Sephardic scholarship. Based in the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, the program draws on the wide breadth of resources and academic leadership offered by the UW. Fundamental to this success has been the vision of Dr. Naar and the program’s partnership with Seattle’s vibrant Sephardic community.