WHY MINOR IN JEWISH STUDIES?
Jewish civilization has a 4,000 year history of development and achievement from antiquity to today. Nested among civilizations from the ancient to the contemporary Near East and beyond, Jewish culture has contributed to (and drawn upon) the great ideas of both East and West.
Knowledge of Judaism is essential to a full understanding of the development of Christianity and Islam. The history of the Jewish Diaspora enlightens us about European and Middle Eastern history. Jewish literature chronicles the upheavals in both Jewish society and the larger world. Issues of Jewish identity — changing gender roles, the metamorphosis of the family, the loss of community — parallel developments in the modern world.
Finally, Jewish studies courses confront the best and the worst in human nature from the Biblical era through the Holocaust and the creation of Israel. The minor will appeal to students of varied backgrounds and career interests since it is interdisciplinary and presented in the wider context of ancient and modern society. Drawn from the liberal arts, Jewish studies will prepare students to live and work in a multicultural world.
New courses, special topics, or Minimester courses may be accepted for the minor, or counted toward it, with the approval of the director of the Jewish Studies program.