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If you think a lifetime of eating matzah balls and going to synagogue means you know it all, think again. The Jewish Studies major is everything you wanted to know about Jewish culture, history, language, literature, and then some. It’s thousands of years of history, religion, and language (maybe now you can figure out the etymology of “schmuck”) all rolled into one intensive major.

As a Jewish Studies major you’ll incorporate all of the traditional methods of study that accompany the humanities. In short, that means you’re going to be reading and writing a lot. You’ll take classes in Hebrew and Yiddish, the Bible, history, and if you’re lucky and creative enough, you’ll have the chance for some serious independent research that expands our knowledge and understanding of Jewish history and culture.

When you’ve graduated, you’ll have all the makings of a serious scholar (or at least a serious young scholar with a lot of potential). You’ll have the benefits of a strong liberal arts background, which means that your skills at writing, researching, and communicating effectively can be applied to dozens of different fields.


  • Ancient and Medieval Jewish Civilization

  • Introduction to Jewish Philosophy

  • Introduction to Jewish Studies

  • Introductory and Intermediate Hebrew I-II

  • Jewish Mysticism

  • Jewish Settlement in Palestine

  • Modern Hebrew Grammar, Composition, and Conversation

  • Modern Hebrew Short Story

  • Modern Jewish Civilization

  • Yiddish Literature in Translation


The best high school preparation for a major in Jewish Studies is a strong background in Jewish culture and history and experience with the Hebrew language. In the event that you can't take any of these at your school, though, a strong background in the humanities (especially English, history, and philosophy and/or theology) will help prepare you for the major as well.