Minor in Jewish Studies

The minor in Jewish Studies offers students of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore Jewish history, culture, and religion from a variety of perspectives. Our program draws on internationally renowned faculty from different schools and departments across the University. Students benefit from small classes taught by dedicated faculty affiliated with the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies (EWCJS).  

Learning Outcomes

Students minoring in Jewish Studies will:

  • Acquire basic literacy in Jewish history and literature.
  • Gain familiarity with issues of concern to Jewish communities across the globe today.
  • Develop awareness of humanities and social science approaches to the study of Judaism and similar phenomena.

Many of the courses that lead to the Jewish Studies minor also confer general educational (Hub) credit and prepare students for a wide variety of careers in education, law, business, international relations, the health professions, journalism, and community leadership. Students minoring in Jewish Studies are encouraged to apply to the Elie Wiesel Center for financial aid.

Requirements

Six 4-credit courses are required for the minor, completed with a grade of C or higher:

  • CAS JS 100 World Cultures of the Jews (required)

The remaining five courses should include at least one course in three of the following four areas:

  1. Sacred Texts and Comparative Traditions
  2. Jewish Literature and Thought
  3. Jewish History, including Holocaust Studies
  4. Contemporary Jewish Societies and Cultures, including Israel Studies

1. Sacred Texts and Comparative Traditions

  • CAS JS 110/RN 216 Judaism
  • CAS JS 120/RN 101 The Bible
  • CAS JS 121/RN 104 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • CAS JS 210/RN 201 The Hebrew Bible
  • CAS JS 214/RN 324 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
  • CAS JS 311/RN 334 Dead Sea Scrolls
  • CAS JS 321/RN 221 Moses
  • CAS JS 328/RN 308 Open Heaven: Apocalyptic Literature in Early Judaism and Christianity

2. Jewish Literature and Thought

  • CAS JS 130/LH 250 Masterpieces of Modern Hebrew Literature (in English translation)
  • CAS JS 244/RN 325 Jewish Mysticism I: Formative Traditions
  • CAS JS 246/RN 326 The Kabbalah
  • CAS JS 330/LH 350 Hebrew Narrative: Biblical and Modern (in Hebrew)
  • CAS JS 331/LH 351 Styles and Meaning of Hebrew Poetry: Modern Hebrew Poetry (in Hebrew)
  • CAS JS 340/RN 323 Classical Jewish Thought
  • CAS JS 341/RN 329 Modern Jewish Thought
  • CAS JS 348/RN 338 Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives
  • CAS RN 420/CAS RN 720/CAS PH 409/GRS PH 609/STH TX 879 Maimonides

3. Jewish History, including Holocaust Studies

  • CAS JS 250/RN 220 Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and Imagination
  • CAS JS 255/RN 328 Judaism in the Modern Period
  • CAS JS 260/RN 384 The Holocaust
  • CAS JS 359/RN 339 The Modern Jew
  • CAS JS 366/LI 386 Fascism and the Holocaust in Italy
  • CAS JS 367/XL 387 The Holocaust Through Film
  • CAS JS 455/RN 410 Religion, Community, and Culture in Medieval Spain
  • CAS JS 460/RN 460 Seminar on the Holocaust
  • CAS AR 342/GRS AR 742/CAS RN 390/GRS RN 690/STH TX 815 Archaeology in the Holy Land
  • CAS XL 281/CAS RN 385/GRS RN 685/COM CI 269/STH TX 899 Representations of the Holocaust in Literature and Film
  • CAS LI 459/CAS RN 459/GRS RN 759/CAS XL 459 Primo Levi Within Holocaust Literature

4. Contemporary Jewish Societies and Cultures, including Israel Studies

  • CAS JS 280/LH 330 Israeli Popular Music (in Hebrew)
  • CAS JS 281/LH 311 Advanced Modern Hebrew: Voices in Israeli Society (in Hebrew)
  • CAS JS 283/LH 283 Israeli Culture Through Film (in English translation)
  • CAS JS 285/HI 392 Israel: History, Politics, Culture, Identity
  • CAS JS 286/HI 393 Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • CAS JS 377/RN 337 Gender and Judaism
  • CAS JS 379/RN 249 Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism
  • CAS JS 380/LH 340 Israeli Culture Through Media (in Hebrew)
  • CAS JS 383/LH 453 Israeli Culture Through Film (in Hebrew)

Students may count up to two courses in Hebrew language toward the degree in Jewish Studies. These may include any JS or LH course taught in Hebrew.

For a list of upcoming courses, grouped by the above classification, please visit the EWCJS website.

Study Abroad

Students accepted to the Boston University Study Abroad and Internship Program at Haifa University or another accredited academic institution in Israel are encouraged to apply for financial support from the EWCJS. Preferential consideration will be given to Jewish Studies minors. Up to two Jewish studies courses taken abroad can be approved for minor credit on a case-by-case basis.