William and Mary Digest: July 5

College to construct new Jewish Center

Mark and Rosalind Shenkman have donated enough money to the College of William and Mary to establish a center to cater to the Jewish students on campus. Rosalind Shenkman is an alumnus of Fordham University and New York University.

Mark Shenkman runs his own asset-management firm. He grew up in the Williamsburg area and thinks the new center could very well help diversify the type of student who applies to the college. The Shenkman Jewish Center will be about 3,000 square feet, and the two-story building will be built at Jamestown Road and Cary Street.

"In my view, the center will help attract talented Jewish students who might not have ever considered applying to William and Mary, which could lead to a larger pool of applicants for the school," Shenkman said. "In so many wonderful ways, this facility will strengthen the Jewish identity on campus."

William and Mary president Taylor Reveley said the new center is part of a bigger goal the college has of ensuring students feel comfortable and included while spending time on the campus.

"William and Mary cares enormously that our students be part of a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment, and physical space plays an important role. Mark and Rosalind are helping us take a major step forward in this realm through the marvelous center they are making possible," said Reveley. "This splendid gift provides the means for so many of our students to thrive in ways they have never been able to before and for that we are truly grateful."

Students helping with Shakespeare production

William and Mary students served as interns in late June for a set of Young Shakespeare Camps at Phi Beta Kappa Hall. They will also be part of the "Hamlet" production set for July 7-9 and July 14-16.

"One of the most important things about Shakespearian acting and Shakespearian theater is the fact that it combines so many different disciplines," Cosmo Cothran-Bray Cothran-Bray said. "It's acting, it's history, it's choreography, it's movement, it's writing, it's culture. And it's survived for so long. It would be such a shame if it were to fade away now."

Cothran-Bray is referring to the closing of the Virginia Shakespeare Festival summer season, which they officials announced last fall. The Hamlet is being produced by a startup company called Theatre for Humanity.

"I can't speak for other people, but I can say from working with a lot of people at the camps and at Shakespeare Festival that it really is revolutionary and a life-changing opportunity," said artistic director Beth Litwak.

This was created with information from William and Mary's news department.

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