While Nick Saban and his wife Terry been active philanthropically, especially through their Nick’s Kids and with Catholic causes in Tuscaloosa, including the University of Alabama student Catholic Center being named for them, what does the retirement of arguably the greatest coach in college football history have to do with Jewish philanthropy?
The Birmingham Jewish Foundation, well aware of the number of passionate Bama fans in the local Jewish community, is suggesting donations in honor of Saban to the Maurine and Leroy Monsky Scholarship Fund at the Foundation. The Monsky fund grants need-based scholarships to Jewish students from the greater Birmingham area who attend Alabama.
But football is not necessarily a unifying force in the state, and there are also many in the Jewish community who pull for Auburn and are happy to see Saban retire. There are also many Bama fans who have been known to give a quiet “War Eagle” regarding outspokenly-Jewish Auburn Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl.
For the Auburn fans, the Foundation has a need-based Auburn Jewish Scholarship Fund, for Jewish students who are incoming freshmen at Auburn and will join the Hillel on campus.
For those who are agnostic or atheist when it comes to the state’s religion of football, the Foundation suggests supporting Jewish youth through the Sally Friedman Jewish Youth Fund, which honors the recently-retired Foundation director.