Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies Program is designed to acquaint students with the many facets of Jewish civilization through an interdisciplinary study of Jewish religion, history, philosophy, art, literature, social and political institutions and cultural patterns.


The goals for the major include developing an understanding of the breadth and diversity of Jewish civilization through interdisciplinary learning in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In particular:

  • Learning to contextualize Jewish civilization within its broader milieu
  • Understanding the foundation texts and central ideas and institutions of Judaism
  • Building specialized knowledge in one area: e.g., among others, Biblical studies; ancient, medieval, early modern or modern Jewish history; European or Eastern Jewry; Hebrew language and literature; Israel studies
  • Establishing proficiency (equivalent to two years of undergraduate instruction) in Hebrew, either Biblical or modern, or if relevant Yiddish, Arabic or Spanish
  • Interpreting primary texts critically, developing writing skills, and learning to identify essential links among disciplines and cultures