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 wide-ranging and 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.

Spring 2019 Course Offerings

The Judaic Studies Program is pleased to offer the following course offerings for the Spring 2019 semester:

The Bible in the Qur’an
CLAS 2105
C. Rollston
TR 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Race, Religion, and Identity: Jewish Culture in Modern France
FRE 3500
M. Belenky
MW 11:10-12:25 p.m.

Gender and Sexuality in Israel
HEBR 3104W
O. Zakai
TR 2:20-3:35 p.m.

Modern Hebrew Fiction
HEBR 3301(w)
A. Rosen
TR 11:10-12:25 p.m.

War and Peace in Israeli History
HIST 2001
A. Dubnov
MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Hatred on Trial
HIST 2001
J. W. Joselit
W 12:45-2:35 p.m.

Modern Jewish History
HIST 3060
D. Schwartz
MW 3:45-5:00 p.m.

War Crimes Trials
HIST 3062
J. Richter
MW 4:45-6:00 p.m.

Multiple Lives: The Fate(s) of Jewish Cultural Expression
HIST 6001
J. W. Joselit
T 5:10-7:00 p.m.

Partition, Transfer, and the Making of the Modern Middle East: A Transnational History
HIST 6801
A. Dubnov
W 5:10-7:00 p.m.

Special Topics: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding
IAFF 3188
E. Lazarus
R 12:45-3:15 p.m.

Holocaust Memory
IAFF 3190
W. Reich
W 3:30-6:00 p.m.

The Hebrew Scriptures
REL 1009
C. Rollston
TR 11:10-12:25 p.m.

Rabbinic Thought and Literature
REL 2211
R. Eisen
MW 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Past 2018-2019 Events

Interested in previous events hosted this year? See below!

Jewish Humor and the Holocaust

last laugh

Are American Jews Abandoning Israel?

Dov Waxman lecture flyer

On Thursday, November 1, we will have the honor of hosting Prof. Dov Waxman, Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies atNortheastern University, an author of Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016), who will deliver the 2nd Max Ticktin Lecture. His talk is entitled: "Are American Jews Abandoning Israel?"


Please consider joining us! No need to RSVP

When: Thursday, November 1, 2018, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Where: Elliott School of International Affairs, ESIA 212


Meet the Director

Daniel Schwartz, the director of the Program in Judaic Studies, teaches and writes about modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history. His latest book, The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image, appeared in 2012. It was a co-winner of the American Academy for Jewish Research’s Salo W. Baron Prize for the best first book in Judaic studies and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in History.

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