Jewish Studies

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Jewish Studies Program
HUM 416
Director: Laurie Zoloth-Dorfman

Undergraduate Advisers: Astren, Zoloth-Dorfman


Associate Professors—Astren, Zoloth-Dorfman


Minor in Jewish Studies
Certificate in Jewish Community Studies

Program Scope

The interdisciplinary Minor in Jewish Studies consists of four three-unit core courses and two three-unit elective courses selected on advisement from offerings by a variety of colleges of the university. The purpose of the interdisciplinary Jewish Studies Minor is to acquaint the student with the history, culture, contributions, and religion of the Jewish people as seen through the eyes of modern academic disciplines and with particular reference to contemporary issues and patterns. Students can use the Minor in Jewish Studies to complement their majors and, with advising, to fulfill General Education requirements.

Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree with a focus on Jewish Studies may be able to do so by developing a Special Major through either the Office of Undergraduate Studies or the Graduate Division.

The Certificate in Jewish Community Studies offers an in-depth understanding of the history, orgnization, and values of the American Jewish community and its community organizations. The certificate is designed for graduate students currently enrolled in the College of Health and Human Services; or professionals with a B.A. degree who are already working in community organizations, educational institutions, or health care organizations serving Jewish clientele; or those interested in pursuing such a career goal. The certificate will be valuable to students pursuing other degrees as well. Professionals such as nurses, physical therapists, health educators, teachers, occupational therapists, nutritionists, counselors, psychologists, and social workers who may work in agencies that serve Jewish clientele can benefit by deepening their understanding of the tradition, texts, history, social organization, family experience, literature, religious practice, and nature of the Jewish experience in America. The certificate will also be critical to students who want to pursue careers in Jewish community agencies and will improve a student's employment potential in a variety of community agencies.

Career Outlook

The Jewish Studies Minor will offer an excellent background for students interested in Judaism as the basis for scholarly or professional pursuits and for students interested in increasing the depth of their understanding of the history, culture, contributions, and religion of the Jewish people within the context of a major discipline.


Online course descriptions are available.

Core Courses Units
JS 300 Introduction to Jewish Studies 3
JS 310 Jewish Thought and Culture 3
JS 320/HIST 635 The Jewish Historical Experience 3
JS 330 Jews and Judaism in the Modern World 3
Elective Courses (choose two) 6
JS 101 First Semester Modern Hebrew  
JS 102 Second Semester Modern Hebrew  
JS 201 Third Semester Modern Hebrew  
JS 202 Fourth Semester Modern Hebrew  
JS 311 Facing Each Other: Blacks and Jews in the Popular Media  
JS/HIST 317 Holocaust and Genocide  
JS 340 American Jewish Identity and Family  
JS 410/PHIL 514 Spirituality and Jewish Tradition  
JS 412 Derrida and Jewish Tradition  
JS/PHIL 415 The Hebrew Bible  
JS 416 Special Topics in Jewish Studies  
JS/IR/PLSI 430 Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society  
JS 436 Introduction to Israeli Literature  
JS/WCL 437/ENG 533 Holocaust and Literature  
JS 445 Jews, Diaspora, and Identity  
JS/ENG 451 American Jewish Literature  
JS/HUM/PHIL 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam  
JS 516/ CLAS/WCL 416/ENG 532/PHIL 551 Bible and Ethics: The Moral of the Story  
JS/ENG/WOMS 546 Twentieth Century American Jewish Women Writers  
JS 550 Good and Evil: Jewish Ethics and Contemporary Social Problems  
CINE 406 Jewish Identity in Film  
  Total 18


Admission to Program

Students are required to have a baccalaureate degree. Both classified and unclassified students are eligible. Unclassified students may register through the College of Extended Learning.

Application can be made through the Jewish Studies Program. Applications which include a statement of intent, description of previous work experience, and career goal, are reviewed by a faculty advisory group.

Award of Certificate

The course work used to satisfy the requirements for a graduate certificate must be completed with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B), and only courses completed with a grade of C or better may be used to meet program requirements; i.e., C- grades and below are unacceptable. The certificate requires a total of eighteen (18) units successfully completed, which includes the completion of a supervised internship/service learning course.


Students who have not completed JS 300 or comparable course work must take JS 700 or JS 710 as one of their electives.

With permission of their adviser, students may elect to take a graduate course of three to six units from another discipline that is related to their future career objective in community service; i.e., courses in gerontology, child development, economics, education, ethnic studies, public administration, or urban studies.

Core Courses Units
JS 730 Jews and Judaism in the Modern World 3
JS 740 American Jewish Identity and Family 3
JS 780 The Professional in Jewish Communal Service 3
JS 800 Internship 3
Elective Courses
Units selected on advisement 6
JS 700 Jewish Studies: A Survey  
JS 710 Jewish Thought and Culture  
JS 750 Good and Evil: Jewish Ethics and Contemporary Social Problems  
JS 770 Teaching and the Jewish Experience  
JS 790 Jews and Judaism: Coming to America  
  Total for certificate 18

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Last modified July 03, 2012 by