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A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Skirball Foundation gift to USC College’s Joint Educational Project broadens service to community while instilling civic responsibility in students.

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Although in 1985 he insisted to the Los Angeles Times that he was “not a do-gooder at heart,” Jack Skirball gave away millions in support of honorable causes.

Now you can count USC College’s Joint Educational Project (JEP) among those causes.

The rabbi turned Academy Award-winning film producer died at 89 in 1985, but his philanthropy lives on through the work of the Skirball Foundation.

And in its altruism the Skirball Foundation has presented JEP with a $250,000 gift.

Martin Blackman, president of the Skirball Foundation, said JEP embodied exactly the kind of philanthropy that Jack Skirball and his brother William had in mind when they started the foundation in 1948.

JEP, now in its 36th year, is among the nation’s first university-based service learning programs. Its mission is to instill a strong sense of civic responsibility in students, while enhancing the quality of life for families and children who work and live in the diverse neighborhoods surrounding USC.

“All of those things greatly appeal to us,” Blackman said by telephone from his Manhattan office. “We like that JEP combines service to those who need it in the community along with giving students an opportunity to experience civic work. Furnishing service and giving back — all of that is very worthwhile.”

Tammara Anderson, executive director of JEP, said the funds will enable JEP to:

  • Expand its ReadersPlus literacy and math tutoring program to provide further assistance in science instruction. The gift will also open positions to students without work-study funds, allowing the program to add more tutors per school.
  • Bolster its Trojan Health Volunteers program by increasing the number of placements in smaller neighborhood clinics. The additions will greatly broaden the benefit to the community. These funds will also initiate a series of public health workshops.
  • Reinstate its Public Service Internship Program to its full capacity and hire and place interns in a larger number of agencies.

Anderson was thrilled with the gift.

“Because the Skirball Foundation is so well-respected and recognized, to get this donation is very important,” she said.