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.
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.