The aim of Jewish Studies is to provide students with an understanding of the history, philosophy, religion, politics, sociology, anthropology, folklore, languages, and literature of the Jewish people. The program is intensive yet flexible, tailored to a wide range of interests normally included in the broad concept of Jewish Studies. Students who wish to discuss particular curriculum problems should confer with the director or any member of the Jewish Studies Committee: Hebrew: J. Acker, A. Alcalay; History: I. Alteras; Sociology: S. Heilman; Yiddish: T. Bird, E. Goldsmith. Students should also consult the course offerings in Hebrew language and literature and in Yiddish language and literature (see Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures). Jewish Studies majors or minors must file a concentration form with the program office at their earliest convenience.
The primary emphasis in the program is to offer majors or minors a basic core curriculum and then give them an opportunity to pursue intermediate and advanced courses in any two of four disciplinary areas subsumed by Jewish Studies: 1. Jewish social and intellectual history; 2. The anthropology, sociology, political life, and folklore of Jews; 3. Jewish religious and philosophical thought; 4. Jewish languages and literatures.