The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies

The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary academic center of BU’s College of Arts and Sciences with currently thirty-one core and affiliated faculty.

We offer interdisciplinary programs in Jewish studies on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate students can pursue minors in Jewish studies and Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies, take our courses to satisfy HUB requirements or elective credit. We work with the Graduate Program in Religion in offering a PhD specialization in Jewish Studies. Graduate students in other departments can affiliate with the Center and take advantage of our resources, provided they work in a field related to Jewish studies, Israel studies, or Holocaust history.

With faculty from across BU, we offer courses in literature, history, religion, language, film, anthropology, archaeology, philosophy, bioethics, and more. We also host an array of academic conferences, co-curricular events, and public lectures. Through the Jewish Cultural Endowment, we offer assistance to other campus agents interested in enriching the Jewish experience at BU.

Named for Elie Wiesel, the 1986 Nobel Laureate for Peace and a member of the BU faculty for nearly forty years, we strive to maintain his excellent teaching and scholarship legacy.

Arts and Culture

Our building at 147 Bay State Road serves as a cultural hub on campus, where we host public lectures, workshops, salon events, and artistic productions.

Boston University has a distinguished history in Jewish studies. Visiting and resident faculty included such luminaries as Gershom Sholem, Nahum N. Glatzer, Marvin Fox, Everett Fox, and Michael Fishbane. From Elie Wiesel and the late Saul Bellow to current creative writing faculty Leslie Epstein and Robert Pinsky, Jewish authors have long been at home on campus.

The Elie Wiesel Center is housed at 147 Bay State Road, in one of BU’s most elegant historical buildings. Constructed in 1899, the former Weld family mansion is now the Bet Shlomo v’ Sarah Wiesel, named in honor of Elie Wiesel’s parents.

Academic programs

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate students from across the colleges of Boston University may choose to minor in Jewish Studies and Holocaust, Genocide & Human rights Studies. The minors offer students of all backgrounds the opportunity to explore Jewish history, culture, and religion.

Graduate Program 

The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies partners with the Graduate program in religion for a Ph.D. specialization in Jewish Studies. The Center also offers a Graduate Certificate in Holocaust, Genocide & Human rights Studies. The certificate provides students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the causes and consequences of past acts of genocide and consider human rights law to be a means of violence prevention. 

Research and Publications

We support academic research projects directed by core and affiliated faculty through funding and the organization of lectures, seminars, and conferences. The center also supports faculty-authored publications.

Community Support

Thanks to our donors’ generosity, we can offer scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, including opportunities for study in Israel. Your support also allows us to keep our lectures, seminars, and cultural events free and open to the public. To learn how you can support Jewish studies at BU, please contact us at +1 (617) 353-8096 or


Named for Elie Wiesel, the 1986 Nobel Laureate for peace and a member of the BU faculty for nearly forty years, our Center fosters excellence in teaching and scholarship, as well as meaningful public engagement. The Elie Wiesel Center is located at 147 Bay State road, a former patrician building that once also served as BU president John Silber’s office. At its dedication in 2005, the building was renamed in honor of Elie Wiesel’s parents Shlomoh and Sarah Wiesel. The building was renovated with Ira and Ingeborg Rennert’s generous support, who also provided the Center’s founding endowment.