Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


May 6, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Serge Frolov has been named the new Nate and Ann Levine Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies in the Department of Religious Studies in SMU’s Dedman College effective Aug. 15, 2002. Frolov will teach courses at SMU, write books and articles for scholars and develop programs that link the university, its students and faculty with the broader Jewish community.

A Russian Jew who emigrated to Israel in 1990, Frolov earned masters and doctorate degrees in modern history from Leningrad University in 1981 and 1987, respectively. He studied Hebrew Bible and Rabbinics at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem before pursuing his master’s degree in religion at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif. He is currently completing a second doctorate in Hebrew Bible at Claremont Graduate University.

“Dr. Frolov is a remarkably gifted scholar and intellectual,” said SMU Dedman College Dean Jasper Neel. “He will have an immediate impact both at the undergraduate level and on the Ph.D. program in Religious Studies. By making this appointment possible, Ann and Nate Levine have made SMU a better university.”

Frolov has researched and published papers on the Pentateuch, the Former Prophets, the Minor Prophets, the Hagiographa and the Dead Sea Scrolls. His research also includes rabbinic literature such as the Mishnah, Talmud and Midrash. He taught for three years at the Open University of Israel. He is fluent in Russian, English and modern Hebrew and has a reading knowledge of French, German, Spanish, biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew, Akkadian, Aramaic, Greek and Latin. Frolov won national recognition as a Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar in 2002. Frolov also developed a thorough knowledge of Israel’s geography and historical sites in seven years of living in Israel from 1990 to 1997.

“Teaching Jewish Studies has always been my dream,” Frolov said. “I am especially happy it is coming true, thanks to the generosity of Nate and Ann Levine and other benefactors, at such a renowned university as Southern Methodist. I am honored to become a part of this community and to add my knowledge, ideas and experience to the intellectual and spiritual potential of SMU.”

The new chair, the first faculty chair in Jewish Studies at SMU, was made possible by a gift of $1.25 million from Nate and Ann Levine of Dallas, as well as a $250,000 gift from the Feldman Foundation and other gifts from the Howard Schultz Family Foundation and members of the Dallas Jewish community. These gifts were part of The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead, the university’s most successful capital campaign in history, raising in excess of $532 million for the university.