A UA German professor was recognized by the Jewish Federation of Arkansas for outstanding contributions to the Jewish community.

Jennifer Hoyer, an associate German professor and acting head of the UA German department, received the Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award Feb. 1 in Little Rock.

The award is named after the Hebrew phrase that means “repairing the world.” The awards were established with the help of the Tenenbaum Foundation so the Jewish Federation of Arkansas could honor outstanding members of the Jewish community, according to a January press release.

Hoyer was recognized for her work establishing a Jewish studies program at the UofA. She joined the UA German department in 2007 and has worked with several other professors to build a Jewish studies program at the UofA, according to the German website.

“Jewish studies has really been a life-long passion and pursuit for me, and to have the chance to work with my likewise devoted colleagues to build a Jewish studies representation on campus has been a dream come true,” Hoyer said.

Last year, Hoyer received the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project grant, which allowed her to establish a successful lecture series about Jewish culture. The Beyond the Holocaust series lasted from January to April and included lectures on Jewish film, music, art and language.

The events were always well attended, showing community interest in Jewish history and culture and indicating an interest for a Jewish studies program, said Rieke Brodé, a graduate teaching assistant in the German department.

“A Jewish studies program would be a great opportunity at this university to give this field of study its deserved attention and also to enable more interdisciplinary links since Jewish culture can be found in many contexts,” Brodé said. “It gives the chance to include an additional perspective.”

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