Urim v’Tumim Fellows Society

The Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale launched the Urim v’Tumim Fellows Society in June 2023. Inspired by the example of Yale’s Nathan Hale Associates and Sterling Fellows, this program encompasses a range of ways for Jewish Yale alumni, parents, and friends to support Jewish life at Yale in meaningful and long-lasting ways.

“Urim v’Tumim” is the Hebrew phrase on the Yale University crest. Evocative of the breastplate worn by the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem, the phrase means “lights and truths” (plural), which Yale interprets to mean “light and truth” (singular)(or “lux et veritas”). As Jews, we can be proud that Yale makes this important Hebrew phrase its hallmark, and so we invoke these words to recognize those who have made major contributions to Jewish life at Yale.

The Urim v’Tumim Fellows Society is comprised of Yale alumni, parents, and friends for whom Jewish life at Yale is an important priority. The Fellows will convene as a group at Society gatherings and be connected online, and – as appropriate – advise Slifka Center staff, provide feedback to the Yale Administration on how to improve Jewish Belonging at Yale, and encourage friends to get involved with the Slifka Center.

Membership in the Urim v’Tumim Fellows Society can be either on an Annual or Lifetime basis (as explained below). All current Urim v’Tumim Fellows will be recognized as such in Slifka publications and events, and will also be invited to twice annual Society gatherings – one in New Haven and one in New York City – that may include the following components:

  • A high-level briefing from senior Slifka Center leadership on the status of Jewish life at Yale
  • Access to a Jewish-related lecture or conversation with a high-level thought leader
  • First-hand access to insight and feedback from current Jewish Yale students
  • Opportunities to network and socialize with other Fellows.

Ways to become an Urim v’Tumim Fellow

There are three ways to become an annual Urim v’Tumim Fellow

  1. Support Slifka Center with an annual gift of $10,000 or above
  2. Include Slifka Center in their estate plans by:
    • Including Slifka Center as a beneficiary in their will or trust via a written bequest.
    • Including Slifka Center as a designated beneficiary in their 401K , IRA, 403B retirement plan or life insurance policy.
    • Make a meaningful endowment gift to the Slifka Center
    • Supporters who create a Yale Jewish Legacy through Slifka Center in this way will be admitted as Urim v’Tumim Fellows upon receipt of declaration of intent or other documentation.

      We are happy to consult with anyone thinking about their Yale Jewish Legacy in this way, including making connections with appropriate legal and/or financial professionals.

  3. Serve on the Slifka Center Board of Trustees. Trustees are automatically Urim v’Tumim Fellows during their terms of active service.

Urim v’Tumim Fellowship Recognition

Joining Slifka’s philanthropic partners at one of our top leadership levels provides recognition at the following levels that are evocative of the selected colored stones in the Urim v’Tumim breastplate representing the Twelve Tribes:

  • Lapis Lazuli Circle- $50,000+ per year
  • Emerald Circle – $25,000-$49,999 per year
  • Amethyst Circle – $18,000-$24,999
  • Ruby Circle – $10,000-$17,999
  • Crystal Circle – Denotes members of the Board of Trustees, the Urim v’Tumim Council, and those who have indicated that they have included Slifka in their estate plan whose annual giving has not yet reached the Ruby Circle Level.

Lifetime Urim v’Tumim Fellows

Donors whose combined lifetime and legacy support of Slifka reaches $1 million will be recognized as a lifetime Urim v’Tumim Fellows in publications and at public events and have the option to have their names engraved in the walls of Slifka Center to honor and recognize their devotion to Jewish life at Yale.

For more information about the Urim v’Tumim Fellows Society, contact Melinda Papowitz, Slifka’s Philanthropic Engagement Officer, at Melinda.papowitz@yale.edu.

Stay Connected! Sign Up For Our Newsletter, Friends of Slifka Center.