The interdisciplinary minor in Jewish Studies allows students to engage with themes of enduring human significance, such as faith and reason, religion and ethnic identity, cultural stability and change, and migration and diaspora, in Jewish and comparative perspectives. Courses explore Jewish sacred texts and traditions, literature and thought, history, politics, and cultures across time and space. The minor contributes to the professional formation of students interested in education, law, international relations, the health professions, journalism, and community leadership. Scholarships and financial support for study abroad in Israel are available for students minoring in Jewish Studies.  

Learning Outcomes

Students minoring in Jewish Studies will:

  • Acquire basic literacy in Jewish history, literatures, and cultures.
  • 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.


All first-year, first-time students and undergraduate transfer students who began their studies in fall 2020 or later will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through cocurricular activities. Students minoring in Jewish Studies will, through coursework in the minor, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, The Individual in Community, and Teamwork/Collaboration through the required course for the minor, CAS JS 100 World Cultures of the Jews. Many other courses counting toward the minor likewise satisfy BU Hub 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)

For the remaining five courses, It is recommended, but not required, for students to take at least one course in three of the following four curricular 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 211/RN 202 From Jesus to Christ
  • CAS JS 214/RN 324 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
  • CAS JS 250/RN 220 Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and Imagination
  • 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
  • CAS JS 416/RN 406 Biblical Fakes and Forgeries

2. Jewish Literature and Thought

  • CAS JS 130/LH 250 Masterpieces of Modern Hebrew Literature (in English translation)
  • CAS JS 136/EN 126 Jewish Literature
  • CAS JS 244/RN 325 Early Jewish Mystical Thought
  • CAS JS 246/RN 326 Jewish Mysticism
  • 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 Jewish and Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism
  • CAS RN 420/CAS RN 720/CAS PH 409/GRS PH 609/STH TX 879 Maimonides

3. Jewish History, including Holocaust Studies

CAS JS 252/RN 322 History of Judaism

  • 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 RN 410/HI 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
  • CAS HI 550 Jews in Modern Culture

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 282/LH 312 Israeli Food Culture (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, Sexuality, 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.