Jewish Studies

Program Office: Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies, 617 Kent Hall; 212-854-2581
http://www.iijs.columbia.edu/

Program Director: Prof. Jeremy Dauber, 319 Hamilton; 212-854-9608; jad213@columbia.edu

Assistant Director: Dana Kresel, 625 Kent Hall; 212-854-4006; drk2106@columbia.edu

The academic discipline of Jewish studies is an interdisciplinary field centered on the analysis and investigation of Jewish history, religion, language, and literature. The discipline ranges from the study of Jews and Judaism in antiquity to the present day. It explores Judaism not only as a religion, but as a civilization and culture.

A special concentration in Jewish studies is available for undergraduates and allows students to draw upon classes in a wide range of departments across the University, including History; Sociology; Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies; Germanic Languages and Literature; and Religion. The requirements for the special concentration are designed to provide students with the interdisciplinary knowledge necessary to study Jewish civilization both broadly and deeply.

The roots of Judaism lie deeper than one region, gender, language, or culture; and by studying the interconnectedness of these areas, the depth of understanding across a range of spheres and disciplines greatly increases. The special concentration in Jewish studies enhances the current scholarly programs, adding to current Jewish studies courses' vitality as students come to each course with a deeper understanding and background based on their complementary coursework.

Students wishing to complete a special concentration in Jewish studies work with a program adviser to decide upon course selection and sequencing. The program office provides and keeps on record a planning form to track the fulfillment of requirements for the special concentration.

Affiliated Faculty

  • Beth Berkowitz (Religion, Barnard)
  • Clemence Boulouque (Religion)
  • Elisheva Carlebach (History)
  • Yinon Cohen (Sociology)
  • Jeremy Dauber (Germanic Languages)
  • Rebecca Kobrin (History)
  • Rina Kreitman (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
  • Agnieszka Legutko (Germanic Languages)
  • Yitzhak Lewis (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
  • Dan Miron (Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
  • Seth Schwartz (History)
  • Michael Stanislawski (History)

Special Concentration in Jewish Studies

In addition to the requirements of the special concentration, students must complete a major or a full concentration.

In addition to the requirements of the special concentration, students must complete a major.

For a special concentration in Jewish studies, students are required to complete a minimum of 21 points. Please note:

  • At least one course must be taken from each of three of the focus areas listed below.
  • Credits for language courses may constitute at most 10 points, and one year of Hebrew or Yiddish language is strongly recommended.
  • A minimum of 18 points must be taken at Columbia or as part of an approved study abroad program (unless equivalent courses are not offered at Columbia, as determined by the faculty adviser).

The focus areas and courses listed below are examples and do not include all the potential courses which may count. Additionally, as new courses are introduced, new focus areas may develop. Some courses may fall under multiple headings. Determination of a course's focus area is at the discretion of the faculty adviser.

Focus Areas

Bible and Rabbinics/Ancient Judaism
RELI V3512The Bible and Its Interpreters
RELI W4537Talmudic Narrative
RELI W4520Patriarchal and Rabbinic Authority in Antiquity
RELI V3501Introduction To the Hebrew Bible
RELI V3508Origins of Judaism
RELI V3561Classics fo Judaism: Ethics of the Fathers
RELI V2510Jews and Judaism in Antiquity
RELI W4535
Medieval Judaism
HIST W3657Medieval Jewish Cultures
HIST W3616Jews and Christians in the Medieval World
RELI W4510The Thought of Maimonides
RELI V3870Inquisitions, New Christians, and Empire
RELI W4515Reincarnation and Technology
HIST W4180Conversion in Historical Perspective
Modern Judaism
HIST W3630American Jewish History
RELI V3571Judaism, Jewishness, and Modernity
MDES UN3542
Israeli Society
MDES UN3542
MDES W3541Zionism: A Cultural Perspective
RELI W4513Homelands, Diasporas, Promised Lands
Gender and Judaism
HIST W3640Jewish Women and Family, 1000-1800
RELI V3570Women and Judaism: Folklore or Religion?
RELI W4504Reading the Patriarchal and Matriarchal Stories in Genesis
Jewish History and Culture
MUSI G4125Jewish Music: Uniqueness and Diversity
RELI V3585The Sephardic Experience
RELI W4503Readings from the Sephardic Diaspora
RELI V2505Intro to Judaism
RELI W4511Jewish Ethics
HIST W3657Medieval Jewish Cultures
HIST W4645Spinoza to Sabbatai: Jews in Early Modern Europe
Jewish Literature
CLYD W3500Readings In Jewish Literature: Humor In Jewish Literature [In English]
YIDD UN3800
RELI V3561Classics fo Judaism: Ethics of the Fathers

Jewish Studies courses are housed in a number of departments throughout the University. For current and past course offerings, please see below.

Fall 2017 Courses of Interest (being updated regularly)

Germanics
YIDD UN1101Elementary Yiddish I
YIDD UN2101Intermediate Yiddish I
YIDD GU4113Yiddish for Academic Purposes I
YIDD GU4420READINGS-YIDDISH LITERATU
History
HIST UN2100Early Modern Europe: Print and Society
HIST UN2611Jews and Judaism in Antiquity
HIST UN3645Spinoza to Sabbatai: Jews in Early Modern Europe
Middle East, South African, and Asian Studies
MDES UN1501First Year Modern Hebrew: Elementary I
MDES UN2501Second Year Modern Hebrew: Intermediate I
MDES UN2517Hebrew for Heritage Speakers I
MDES GU4501Readings in Hebrew Texts I
MDES GU4510Third Year Modern Hebrew I
Political Science
POLS GU4433Israel 20 Years After Rabin
Religion
RELI UN2306Intro to Judaism
RELI GU4524Theories of the Unconscious and Jewish Thought
Sociology
SOCI UN3285Israeli Society and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
SOCI GR6010ISRAELI SOCIETY: SPEC
Women's Studies
WMST GU4310Contemporary American Jewish Women's Literature: 1990 to Present

Of related interest, Spring 2017

Comparative Literature
CLYD UN3600Holocaust Literature: A Survey
CLME UN1520Introduction to Modern Hebrew Literature: The Emergence of Modernism in Hebrew Prose
Germanic Languages
YIDD UN1101Elementary Yiddish I
YIDD UN1102Elementary Yiddish II
YIDD UN2101Intermediate Yiddish I
YIDD GU4650Life Writing in Yiddish Literature: Autobiography, Memoir or Fiction? (in English)
History
HIST UN3120Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Early Modern Europe
HIST GU4234Genocides and Holocaust
Jewish Studies
JWST GU4204The New Wave in Israeli Fiction (The New Wave in Israeli Fiction)
Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies
MDES W1511First Year Modern Hebrew: Elementary II
MDES W1513Second Year Hebrew: Intermediate II
MDES W1518Hebrew for Heritage Speaker II
MDES UN2502Second Year Hebrew: Intermediate II
MDES UN2518Hebrew for Heritage Speaker II
MDES GU4502Fourth Year Hebrew: Readings II
MDES GU4511Third Year Modern Hebrew II
Political Science
POLS GU4449Cleavages, Conflicts and Bridges in Israeli Politics and Foreign Policy
Religion
RELI V3301Hebrew Bible
RELI UN3303Judaism and Translation in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean
RELI GU4308Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
RELI GU4637Talmudic Narrative
Sociology
SOCI GR6200International Migration (Women's Studies)
Women's Studies
WMST GU4302The Second Wave and Jewish Women's Artistic Responses: 1939-1990

Additional Courses, Including Those Not Currently Offered

Germanic Languages
YIDD UN2102Intermediate Yiddish II
YIDD W3333Advanced Yiddish
YIDD W3520Magic and Monsters in Yiddish Literature [In English]
YIDD W3550Twentieth-Century Yiddish Literature and Film [In English]
History
HIST W3611Jews and Judaism in Antiquity
HIST W3628History of the State of Israel, 1948-Present
HIST W3630American Jewish History
HIST W3657Medieval Jewish Cultures
HIST W4610The Ancient Jews and the Mediterranean
HIST W4604Jews and the City
HIST W4611Jews and Muslims in the Middle Ages
HIST W4635Ancient Jewish Texts: Leviticus Rabbah
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
MDES W1511First Year Modern Hebrew: Elementary II
MDES W1513Second Year Hebrew: Intermediate II
MDES W1516Second Year Hebrew: Intensive Grammar Review
MDES W3541Zionism: A Cultural Perspective
CLME W3546Intro to Hebrew Literature
MDES GU4510Third Year Modern Hebrew I
Religion (Barnard)
RELI W4501Psalms Through the Commentary of the Baal Shem Tov
RELI W4505The Beginnings of Jewish Mysticism
RELI W4508Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
Religion
RELI V3501Introduction To the Hebrew Bible
RELI V3512The Bible and Its Interpreters
RELI V3515Readings in Kabbalah
RELI V3571Judaism, Jewishness, and Modernity
RELI V3585The Sephardic Experience
RELI W4507Readings in Hasidism
RELI W4508Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
RELI W4513Homelands, Diasporas, Promised Lands
RELI W4515Reincarnation and Technology
RELI W4537Talmudic Narrative
Sociology
SOCI V3285Israeli Society
SOCI W3930Immigration and Ethnicity in Israel
Women's Studies
WMST BC3122Contemporary American-Jewish Women Writers: 1990 to the Present
WMST GU4302The Second Wave and Jewish Women's Artistic Responses: 1939-1990
WMST GU4310Contemporary American Jewish Women's Literature: 1990 to Present