Jewish History Colloquium

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Judaic Studies Program

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences offers an interdisciplinary program in Judaic Studies leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The program, whose purview extends from the ancient Near East to modern-day America, showcases and interprets the artistic expression, history, languages, literatures, philosophy, politics, and religion of the Jews over time and place.

The advantages of electing to major or minor in Judaic Studies are many. Our interdisciplinary nature allows students to take courses with award-winning faculty from various departments, while our traditionally small size facilitates close interaction between students and professors and fosters a sense of community and belonging. In the past, Judaic Studies graduates have gone on to careers as doctors, lawyers, journalists of both traditional and emergent media as well as professors and business professionals. Outside the classroom, the Judaic Studies program regularly sponsors trips to the theatre and museums in addition to hosting lectures and performances by celebrated personalities in a wide range of fields. GW is also the home of the I. Edward Kiev Collection, a diverse collection of Hebraica and Judaica that spans more than five centuries and includes rare books, periodicals, Jewish graphic art, manuscripts, and archival documents.

The Program in Judaic Studies also offers two new Masters of Arts degrees, one in Jewish Cultural Arts and the other, a cooperative venture with the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts. Both programs are designed to train the next generation of Jewish culture and arts professionals.     

The images on this website are drawn from GW's I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection.

New Course Offering! HIST 6001: Contemporary Jewish Life

Drawing of a child holding a fish in a jar by Tom Seidmann-Freud
Illustration by Tom Seidmann-Freud

Well before COVID-19 upended life as we know it, the modern Jewish experience in both the United States and Israel challenged traditional notions of belonging, ritual behavior, and even romance, as did the startling resurgence of antisemitism. This interdisciplinary seminar explores these and other phenomena on their own terms as well as in light of COVID-19's radical impact--all with an eye toward figuring out what aspects of Jewish life might stay the same and what might change in its wake.

Visit our Fall 2020 course listings page to see more of our upcoming courses.

Meet the Director

Arie Dubnov

Arie M. Dubnov is a historian of twentieth century Jewish and Israeli history, with emphasis on the history of political thought, the study of nationalism, decolonization and partition politics. He has been awarded the Dorset Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and has served as a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford. Among his publications are the intellectual biography Isaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal and the edited volume Zionism – A View from the Outside.

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