Ann Neufeld-Levin Holocaust Endowed Chair

“My father always emphasized the enormous debt and social responsibility our family owed this country for permitting us entry. Hence my volunteer activities began at the age of four by sorting buttons to be used in the Bundles for Britain in 1940 and have led me to fundraising for the University of California. Despite my children’s attendance at four prestigious private universities, I am convinced that public education is the most critical problem-solving tool we have in California and I hope that I might be able to continue making a small contribution toward commitment.”

Anne Neufeld emigrated from Vienna, Austria, in 1939 and spent her childhood in Detroit, Michigan. She received a Regent’s Scholarship from the University of Michigan and completed her B.S. in Education at Wayne State University in 1957. She had a brief career in educational radio and television that concluded when she and her husband, Paul Levin, moved to Japan with the U.S. Air Force. Mrs. Neufeld-Levin and her family then spent several years in Ann Arbor, Michigan before moving to Santa Cruz in 1964.

Levin is a UCSC Foundation past president and has served as a trustee for 15 years. Anne Neufled Levin stated, “it has been my extraordinary privilege to be associated as a volunteer with UC Santa Cruz for at least two decades, culminating with the presidency of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation from 1991 to 1993”. Levin later went on to co-chair then Chancellor Karl Pister’s innovative Leadership Opportunity Awards Scholarship Committee. Levin and her husband, Paul, have been strong supporters of the university, contributing to a wide variety of programs and organizations including scholarships, the Long Marine Laboratory, the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community, and research in the natural sciences. She has been a Santa Cruz resident for almost four decades.

In 1995 she endowed the Neufeld Levin Chair in Holocaust Studies. The Neufled-Levine Holocaust Chair was created as an interdisciplinary endowed chair, to support teaching, research and public service related to the Holocaust, including its circumstances and continuing implications. Recruitment and appointment of the Chair holder follows regular University and campus policies and procedures. Income from the Chair endowment is meant to be used by the Chair holder to encourage undergraduate education about issues and circumstances surrounding the Holocaust and their lasting significance.

In establishing the Chair Levin stated, “I feel compelled to help keep alive my legacy from the Holocaust surrounding World War II. My parents and I were on a train March 13,1939, emigrating from Vienna, Austria, to the United States at the exact same moment Hitler’s troops invaded Czechoslovakia. A miracle separated my escaping alive from the eventual annihilation of my grandparents, aunts, and six million other Jews. As a result, I believe it is critical to perpetually study the circumstances culminating in Hitler’s final solution for Jews. Only by remembering can we immortalize the millions of victims and help prevent a similar onslaught against any group.”

The Holocaust Chair is further supported by the Neufeld-Levin Holocaust Lecture Series at UCSC's Stevenson College, also established by funding from Anne Levin. The series presents prominent scholars in the field of Holocaust studies including Nobel Prize-winning author Elie Wiesel. Levin also donated a body of Holocaust-related materials to establish The Neufeld Family Archive, which is housed in Special Collections of the University Library and is available for viewing by special appointment. Donated by Levin soon after she endowed the chair, the archive includes documents, medals, stamps, artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and letters, carefully preserved first by her parents and then by Levin.