LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A huge gift will allow the University of Louisville to expand its religious studies program.

The Louisville-based Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence donated more than a million dollars to the school.

A Jewish studies minor has been offered since 2005.  The gift will allow the school to establish an endowed chair in Judaic studies, and U of L officials hope to launch a national search for the position next year. 

President James Ramsey says the chair will fill an important need in the religious studies program:  "Our goal is to give all of our students and others in the community an opportunity to learn about Jewish culture, history, and accomplishments, including the great history of the Jewish community here in Louisville.

The chair will start a new lecture series.  With gifts from years past, the total endowment is now more than $2.5 million.

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