The Concentration in Jewish Studies requires five courses with at least two different prefixes: one gateway course, two core courses, one elective, and one capstone course. Senior concentrators should consult with the chair about arrangements for a capstone course. Note that gateway courses also qualify as core courses.

Gateway Courses (also count as Core):

  • JWST 101/REL 203: Judaism: Before the Law
  • JWST/REL/COMP 201: The Hebrew Bible
  • JWST/REL 222: The Jewish Art of Interpretation

Core Courses:

  • ANTH/JWST 334: Imagining Joseph
  • COMP/JWST 352: Writing after the Disaster: The Literature of Exile
  • HIST/JWST 230: Modern European Jewish History 1789-1948
  • REL/JWST 299: Shakespeare’s Torah
  • HIST/JWST 338/REL 296: The History of the Holocaust
  • HIST/JWST 433: The Justice of Violence?: Histories of Terrorism in Europe
  • HIST/JWST 434: The Meaning of Diaspora and the Jews of Europe
  • HIST/JWST 480T: Historical Narratives of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • HIST/JWST 490T: Memory, History, and the Extermination of the Jews in Europe
  • HIST/JWST 495T: Memoirs, Memory and the Modern Jewish Experience
  • REL/JWST 202/COMP 214: Moses: Stranger in a Strange Land
  • REL/JWST/ARAB/CLAS 205/COMP 217: Ancient Wisdom Literature
  • REL/JWST/COMP 206: The Book of Job and Joban Literature
  • REL/JWST 207/COMP 250: From Adam to Noah: Literary Imagination and the Primeval History in Genesis
  • REL/JWST 208/COMP 207: Genesis: The Family Saga
  • REL/JWST 209: Jewish America
  • REL/JWST 222/COMP 211: The Jewish Art of Interpretation
  • REL/ENGL/JWST 259: Ethics of Jewish American Fiction
  • REL 268/JWST 268/COMP 363/ARAB 363: Where are all the Jews?
  • REL 330/JWST 492/PSCI 375: Modern Jewish Political Theory


Students may meet the elective requirement with a course partially related to Jewish Studies or another core course. In an elective course partially related to Jewish Studies, a student will normally focus at least one of the major writing assignments on a topic relevant to Jewish Studies or approximately one-third of the course will be devoted to Jewish subjects. The list of relevant electives changes regularly, so the course catalog should be checked for details. Listed below are examples of courses partially related to Jewish Studies. Students may meet the elective requirement with a course not listed here, subject to the approval of the Chair of Jewish Studies.

  • HIST 111/LEAD 150: Movers and Shakers in the Middle East
  • HIST/ARAB 207/JWST 217/REL 239: The Modern Middle East
  • HIST 239: Modern German History 1870-1989
  • HIST 311: The United States and the Middle East
  • HIST 409: Crescent, Cross, and Star: Religion and Politics in the Middle East
  • HIST 488T: Religion and Secularism in Modern Europe and Russia
  • PSCI/JWST 339: Politics in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt
  • REL 104: Religious Conflict and Cooperation
  • REL 212/HIST 324: Development of Christianity 30-600 CE
  • RUSS/JWST 343: Spectacles on His Nose and Autumn on his Heart: The Oeuvre of Isaac Babel

Capstone Courses

  • HIST/JWST 490T: Memory, History, and the Extermination of the Jews in Europe
  • REL 330/JWST 492/PSCI 375: Modern Jewish Political Theory

The Degree with Honors in Jewish Studies

The degree with honors offers students the opportunity to undertake advanced research under the supervision of one or more of the faculty members in Jewish Studies.

Students normally must have at least a 3.5 GPA in the concentration and secure a faculty sponsor to be eligible. In addition to completing the five courses required for the concentration, candidates must enroll in either JWST 493 and a Winter Study course or a Winter Study course and JWST 494 in their senior year, and prepare a substantial written thesis. Honors in Jewish Studies may be granted to concentrators after an approved candidate completes an honors thesis and is awarded an honors grade by her/his advisor and one other faculty reader. Students interested in becoming candidates for honors should consult with the program in the spring of the junior year.

Learning Objectives for Concentrators in Jewish Studies

  • To gain exposure to the texts, history, languages, philosophy and culture of Jews and Judaism as they have changed over three millennia and throughout the world.
  • To show proficiency in various scholarly methodologies and disciplinary approaches relevant to Jewish studies.
  • To acquire the background and skills to undertake advanced research and analysis of topics relevant to Jewish studies.
  • To develop an understanding of the deep and abiding interaction between Jewish topics and a wide range of other cultural traditions.