Ithaca College

Individual and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs

Jewish Studies

Rebecca Lesses, Assistant Professor and Coordinator

Jewish studies approaches the history and culture of the Jewish people from a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective. The goals of the Jewish studies minor are to foster greater knowledge about Jewish history, religion, and culture and to explore who Jews are in their geographic and cultural diversity, and how they have interacted with other peoples politically, economically, socially, ideologically, philosophically, and artistically. In order to understand Jewish history, it is necessary to investigate the economic, political, and social forces that have affected the lives of Jews in varied cultural settings for thousands of years. The study of Jewish cultures includes religious beliefs and practices, philosophy, literature, folklore, visual arts, music, and the media.

The Jewish studies minor is relevant for students going on to graduate study in any of a number of disciplines, with or without a Jewish studies focus. It is also important for students contemplating professional careers related to Jewish religion, education, or community service (e.g., as rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, social workers, or administrators of Jewish community programs). More generally, it is a useful minor for a wide variety of students pursuing careers in which multicultural awareness is important.

The minor in Jewish studies requires 18 credit hours of work, including a basic language proficiency in Hebrew or another Jewish language (Yiddish or Judeo-Español).

Requirements for the minor in Jewish studies

Three credits in one of the following:

JWST 20100

Jews in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds (3)

JWST 20200

Jews in the Modern World (3)

3

Three credits in one of the following:

JWST 10300

Hebrew Scriptures (3)

JWST 20300

Judaism (3)

ENGL 32400

Literature of the Bible (3)

3

Select 12 credits from the following courses, with at least 3 credits in at least two of the three categories:

Social science and history

JWST 20100

Jews in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds (3)

JWST 20200

Jews in the Modern World (3)

ANTH 23500

Jewish Cultures: A Worldwide View (3)

ANTH 23610

American Jewish Life (3)

ANTH 36500

Israel: Ethnicity, Politics, and Culture (3)

POLT 23000 The Holocaust (3)

POLT 33900

Political Economy of the Middle East (3)

POLT 40100

Politics seminar, when appropriate topic (3)

POLT 40200

Politics seminar, when appropriate topic (3)

SPCM 38900

Special topics in speech communication, when appropriate topic (3)

Religious studies

JWST 10300

Hebrew Scriptures (3)

JWST 20300

Judaism (3)

JWST 32300

Gender and Sexuality in Judaism (3)

JWST 33300

Jewish Mysticism (3)

RLST 27500

Selected topics in religion, when appropriate topic (3)

RLST 37500

Selected topics in religion, when appropriate topic (3)

JWST 42000

Internship in Jewish Studies (1-12)

JWST 49100

Independent Study in Jewish Studies (1-4)

Language, literature, and the arts

HEBR 20200

Intermediate Hebrew II

HEBR 39900

Independent Study in Hebrew

ENGL 21100

American Jewish Writers

ENGL 32400

Literature of the Bible

ENGL 37400

Shakespeare and the Jews

MUEN 32100

Chamber Ensemble, when appropriate focus

Total

12

Total, minor in Jewish studies

18

Additional requirements

1. Students in the minor must successfully complete HEBR 10100 with a grade of at least C- or demonstrate equivalent proficiency on a placement test to be administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Students may petition the coordinator to substitute another Jewish language (Yiddish or Judeo-Español) in place of Hebrew, in which case testing for placement shall be done in conformity with testing of such proficiencies for any language by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

2. No more than 6 credits from a student's major department or 3 credits from a student's second minor will count toward the Jewish studies minor.

3. No more than 3 credits of internship or independent study will count toward the Jewish studies minor.

4. At least 6 credits toward the minor must come from courses at level 3 or above.

5. At least 9 credits toward the minor must be taken at Ithaca College.