Jim-Spatz_Dal-Donor_250wDr. Jim Spatz, chair of the Board of Governors at Dalhousie University, honors the courage and resilience of his parents in helping to create an endowed chair in Jewish studies with his $1 million gift to Dalhousie.

The movie Defiance tells the story of Jewish people who survived the Second World War by retreating to the woods, where food was scarce, the cold was bitter and being Jewish could be a death sentence

Dr. Spatz was well aware of the story—it was lived by both his parents. He is forever inspired by what his parents went through. “It makes you value life so much and not just your own. It makes you more tolerant and it makes you want to give back,” he says

Once fully funded, the Simon and Riva Spatz Chair in Jewish Studies will reside in the Religious Studies Program within Dalhousie’s Department of Classics and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS).

Dr. Spatz went to Dalhousie medical school and practiced emergency medicine for several years before joining his father in the family business, now known as Southwest Properties.

He says he’s proud to be a graduate of Dalhousie University, which was founded on the principal of inclusiveness, “its doors open to all.” Unlike other universities, Dalhousie never had a quota on the number of Jewish students it would accept.