mosse-weinstein-jewish-studies-center

Founded in 1991, the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies brings together a variety of disciplines to study and interpret Jewish and ancient Israelite history, religion, literature, politics, society, and culture. The center offers a broad selection of courses at all levels, which are cross-listed with other departments, including classics, curriculum and instruction, English, gender and women's studies, German, history, music, philosophy, political science, religious studies, Slavic languages, and sociology.

The Jewish studies major offers students an in-depth study of 3,500 years of Jewish civilization. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and aims to provide students with a broadly based, rigorous liberal arts education in Jewish studies. While learning about Jewish history, religion, language, and culture, students also develop skills in critical thinking, reading, writing, and research—skills that are valuable to a range of career paths. Students with a particular interest in Modern Hebrew and Israel are encouraged to follow a specialized track in Modern Hebrew language, literature, and Israeli culture.

The Jewish studies major requires a minimum of 31 credits and proficiency in the Hebrew language to enable students to deal with Hebrew texts in the classroom and for research purposes. The credits are divided among several clusters that focus on Hebrew texts; literature, philosophy, and the arts; and history and social science. In addition, students must complete a two-course capstone sequence. Together, these courses support the acquisition of an integrated and coherent body of knowledge.

A certificate in Jewish studies is also available. Its aim is to acquaint students with a number of significant aspects of Jewish civilization and to introduce them to tools required for its study; it requires a minimum of 21 credits in seven courses.

The major has an education track that includes coursework in the School of Education. It requires a total of 34 credits—25 in Jewish studies and 9 in education (curriculum and instruction, and educational policy studies). This track provides a series of courses that define the role that education has played in Jewish civilization; Jewish ideas concerning the nature and aims of education; and philosophical, curricular, and pedagogical issues relating to education in Jewish studies in a pluralistic, democratic society. This track does not lead to teacher certification.

Students interested in a certificate in Jewish studies should make an appointment with the undergraduate advisor (undergrad-adviser@cjs.wisc.edu) to discuss requirements and courses.

The certificate in Jewish studies aims to acquaint students with a number of significant aspects of Jewish civilization and to introduce them to some of the tools required for its study. In addition to a two-semester language requirement, students must complete coursework in literature, philosophy, and the arts; history and social sciences; and the pre-modern area. The certificate complements a major in any subject in the College of Letters & Science. It also strengthens the applications of those students who intend to pursue careers or graduate study in a field related to Jewish studies.

Language Requirement

Students are required to take at least two semesters of Modern Hebrew. Students with a prior knowledge of the language are also required to take one year of instruction at the appropriate level. Students whose prior knowledge is equivalent to four semesters or more of Hebrew language instruction are required to take two courses in Hebrew texts (HEBR-MOD/​JEWISH  301HEBR-MOD/​JEWISH  302HEBR-MOD/​JEWISH  401HEBR-MOD/​JEWISH  402). The Center for Jewish Studies, 4223 Mosse Humanities Building, administers placement examinations.

Note: The following lower-division Hebrew language courses can be used to satisfy the language requirement, but because they are not cross-listed with Jewish studies, they cannot be used to satisfy any other requirements for the certificate:

HEBR-MOD 101 First Semester Hebrew4
HEBR-MOD 102 Second Semester Hebrew4
HEBR-MOD 201 Third Semester Hebrew4
HEBR-MOD 202 Fourth Semester Hebrew4

In contrast, Hebrew literature courses (301 and above), since they are cross-listed with Jewish studies, can be used to satisfy other requirements for the certificate.

Course Requirements

Certificate students must take 21 credits in seven courses, distributed as follows:

Notes: Jewish studies courses taken abroad may also satisfy the certificate requirements. Students who have taken such courses should consult with the certificate advisor. A directed study course (JEWISH 699 Directed Study) used to satisfy a cluster requirement must be approved in advance by the undergraduate advisor.

Select two semesters of Hebrew language (see above)

Select one course in each of the following three clusters:

Cluster One: Literature, Philosophy and the Arts

JEWISH/​RELIG ST  211 Introduction to Judaism4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  227 Introduction to Biblical Literature (in English)4
JEWISH 230 Elementary Topics in Jewish Literature3-4
JEWISH 232 Elementary Topics in Jewish Philosophy and the Arts3-4
JEWISH 236 Bascom Course3
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  237 Biblical Poetry in Translation3
JEWISH/​GERMAN  267 Yiddish Song and the Jewish Experience3-4
JEWISH/​GERMAN/​LITTRANS  269 Yiddish Literature and Culture in Europe3
JEWISH/​RELIG ST  278 Food in Rabbinic Judaism3-4
JEWISH/​GERMAN/​LITTRANS  279 Yiddish Literature and Culture in America3
JEWISH 299 Directed Study1-3
JEWISH/​HEBR-MOD  301 Introduction to Hebrew Literature3
JEWISH/​HEBR-MOD  302 Introduction to Hebrew Literature3
JEWISH/​LITTRANS  318 Modern Jewish Literature3-4
JEWISH/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  328 Classical Rabbinic Literature in Translation3-4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​HEBR-BIB/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  332 Prophets of the Bible4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​RELIG ST  335 King David in History and Tradition3
JEWISH 343 Israeli Fiction in Translation3-4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​RELIG ST  346 Jewish Literature of the Greco-Roman Period3
JEWISH 356 Jerusalem, Holy City of Conflict and Desire3
JEWISH/​LITTRANS  367 Israeli Fiction in Translation3-4
JEWISH/​HISTORY/​MEDIEVAL/​RELIG ST  368 The Bible in the Middle Ages3
JEWISH/​HEBR-MOD  401 Topics in Modern Hebrew / Israeli Literature and Culture I3
JEWISH/​HEBR-MOD  402 Topics in Modern Hebrew / Israeli Literature and Culture II3
JEWISH 430 Intermediate Topics in Jewish Literature3-4
JEWISH 432 Intermediate Topics in Jewish Philosophy and the Arts3-4
JEWISH/​PHILOS/​RELIG ST  435 Jewish Philosophy from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century3
JEWISH/​PHILOS  442 Moral Philosophy and the Holocaust3
JEWISH/​RELIG ST  448 Classical Rabbinic Texts3
JEWISH 450 Undegraduate Seminar in Judaism and the Arts3
JEWISH 490 Topics in Jewish Studies3
JEWISH/​GERMAN  510 German-Jewish Culture Since the 18th Century3
JEWISH 699 Directed Study1-3

Cluster Two: History and Social Science

JEWISH/​RELIG ST  211 Introduction to Judaism4
JEWISH/​HISTORY  213 Jews and American Pop. Culture3-4
JEWISH/​HISTORY  219 The American Jewish Experience: From Shtetl to Suburb4
JEWISH/​HISTORY  220 Introduction to Modern Jewish History4
JEWISH 231 Elementary Topics in Jewish History3-4
JEWISH 233 Elementary Topics in Jewish Studies: Social Sciences3-4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS  241 Introduction to Biblical Archaeology4
JEWISH/​SOC  258 The Jews, States, and Citizenship: A Sociological Perspective3
JEWISH/​RELIG ST  278 Food in Rabbinic Judaism3-4
JEWISH 299 Directed Study1-3
JEWISH/​ANTHRO/​RELIG ST  372 Jews of Central and Eastern Europe3-4
JEWISH/​HISTORY  373 Modern Political History of the Jews: 1655-19194
JEWISH/​HISTORY  374 Modern Political History of the Jews: Era of Mass Movements, 1870-19704
JEWISH/​RELIG ST  377 Jewish Cultural History (in English)4
JEWISH/​HISTORY  416 Eastern European Jews in the United States, 1880s-1930s3-4
JEWISH 431 Intermediate Topics in Jewish History3-4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS  451 Biblical Archaeology3
JEWISH/​HEBR-BIB  452 Biblical Archaeology2
JEWISH 490 Topics in Jewish Studies3
JEWISH/​CURRIC/​HISTORY  515 Holocaust: History, Memory and Education3
JEWISH/​HISTORY  518 Anti-Semitism in European Culture, 1700-19453
JEWISH/​HISTORY/​RELIG ST  529 Intellectual and Religious History of European Jewry, 1648-19394
JEWISH 625 The Holocaust: Facts, Trials, Verdicts, Post-Verdicts3
JEWISH 631 Advanced Topics in Jewish History3-4
JEWISH 633 Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies: Social Sciences3-4
JEWISH/​POLI SCI  665 Israeli Politics and Society3-4
JEWISH 699 Directed Study1-3

Cluster Three: Pre-modern Jewish history, culture, or literature

JEWISH/​RELIG ST  211 Introduction to Judaism4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  227 Introduction to Biblical Literature (in English)4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  237 Biblical Poetry in Translation3
JEWISH/​CLASSICS  241 Introduction to Biblical Archaeology4
JEWISH/​RELIG ST  278 Food in Rabbinic Judaism3-4
JEWISH/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  328 Classical Rabbinic Literature in Translation3-4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​HEBR-BIB/​LITTRANS/​RELIG ST  332 Prophets of the Bible4
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​RELIG ST  335 King David in History and Tradition3
JEWISH/​CLASSICS/​RELIG ST  346 Jewish Literature of the Greco-Roman Period3
JEWISH 356 Jerusalem, Holy City of Conflict and Desire3
JEWISH/​HISTORY/​MEDIEVAL/​RELIG ST  368 The Bible in the Middle Ages3
JEWISH/​PHILOS/​RELIG ST  435 Jewish Philosophy from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century3
JEWISH/​RELIG ST  448 Classical Rabbinic Texts3
JEWISH/​CLASSICS  451 Biblical Archaeology3
JEWISH/​HEBR-BIB  452 Biblical Archaeology2

Select Two Additional Jewish Studies or Modern Hebrew courses above to meet the minimum course and credit requirements for the certificate

Residence and quality of work

A cumulative 2.000 GPA in all courses counting for the certificate

11 credits, counting toward the certificate, taken in residence

Jewish studies can prepare one for a variety of career paths. Graduates in Jewish studies have followed a variety of different career paths, including law, medicine, education, finance, social work, and the nonprofit sector. Jewish studies students are also well prepared to apply for graduate studies in fields such as law, education, business, and social work, as well as prime candidates for rabbinical or cantorial school, theological studies, and advanced levels of Jewish studies.

The Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies encourages students to begin working on their career exploration and preparation soon after arriving on campus. We partner with the L&S Career Services office to help you leverage the academic skills learned in your major or certificate, explore and try out different career paths, participate in internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers).

Letters & Science graduates are in high demand by employers and graduate programs. It is important to us that our students are career ready at the time of graduation, and we are committed to your success.

Career Resources:

Professors: Bernard-Donals, Brenner, Ermakoff, Goldberg, Guyer, Hutton, Louden, Michels, Nadler, Rosenberg, Rosenblum, Rosenmeyer, Schweber, Swack, Vardi

Associate Professors:  Dobbs, Shelef, Strauss

Assistant Professors: Bitzan, Brisman, Hollander, Mandell, Yudkoff, Zilbergers

Lecturers: Blakely, Paretskaya, Sone, Yuchtman

Jewish Studies Faculty Information