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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 Classical and Near Eastern Studies, English, Gender and Women's Studies, German/Nordic/Slavic Studies, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, 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 the field. 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 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.

Requirements

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

Select two semesters of Hebrew language

Language Requirement

Students must select two courses from either Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew or Hebrew Texts. Students with a prior knowledge of the language are 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. The Center for Jewish Studies, 4223 Mosse Humanities Building, administers placement examinations.

Biblical Hebrew (Select 2 courses):
HEBR-BIB 103
or HEBR-BIB 303
HEBR-BIB 104
or HEBR-BIB 304
Modern Hebrew (Select 2 courses):
HEBR-MOD 101
HEBR-MOD 201
HEBR-MOD 102
HEBR-MOD 202
HEBR-MOD 301
HEBR-MOD 302
HEBR-MOD 401
HEBR-MOD 402
Hebrew Texts (Select 2 courses):
HEBR-MOD 301
HEBR-MOD 302
HEBR-BIB 323
HEBR-BIB 324
HEBR-MOD 401
HEBR-MOD 402
HEBR-BIB 513
HEBR-BIB 514

Select one course in each of the following three clusters:

Cluster One: Literature, Philosophy and the Arts

JEWISH 211 4
JEWISH 227 4
JEWISH 230 3-4
JEWISH 232 3-4
JEWISH 236 3
JEWISH 267 3-4
JEWISH 269 3
JEWISH 278 3-4
JEWISH 279 3
JEWISH 299 1-3
JEWISH 301 3
JEWISH 302 3
JEWISH 318 3-4
JEWISH 328 3-4
JEWISH 332 4
JEWISH 335 3
JEWISH 343 3-4
JEWISH 346 3
JEWISH 356 3
JEWISH 367 3-4
JEWISH 401 3
JEWISH 402 3
JEWISH 430 3-4
JEWISH 432 3-4
JEWISH 435 3
JEWISH 442 3
JEWISH 448 3
JEWISH 450 3
JEWISH 490 3
JEWISH 510 3
JEWISH 699 1-3

Cluster Two: History and Social Science

JEWISH 211 4
JEWISH 213 3-4
JEWISH 219 4
JEWISH 220 4
JEWISH 231 3-4
JEWISH 233 3-4
JEWISH 241 4
JEWISH 278 3-4
JEWISH 299 1-3
JEWISH 374 4
JEWISH 431 3-4
JEWISH 451 3
JEWISH 452 2
JEWISH 490 3
JEWISH 515 3
JEWISH 518 3
JEWISH 631 3-4
JEWISH 633 3-4
JEWISH 665 3-4
JEWISH 699 1-3

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

JEWISH 211 4
JEWISH 227 4
JEWISH 241 4
JEWISH 278 3-4
JEWISH 328 3-4
JEWISH 332 4
JEWISH 335 3
JEWISH 346 3
JEWISH 356 3
JEWISH 435 3
JEWISH 448 3
JEWISH 451 3
JEWISH 452 2

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

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) used to satisfy a cluster requirement must be approved in advance by the undergraduate advisor.

Residence and quality of work

  • Minimum 2.000 GPA in all JEWISH courses and courses approved for the certificate
  • 11 credits, counting toward the certificate, taken in residence

Certificate COMPLETION REQUIREMENT

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. At least two semesters of reading, understanding and conversing in Hebrew or another approved Jewish language.
  2. Honed critical abilities in close reading, interpretation, and written analysis of ancient and modern Jewish texts.
  3. Expanded knowledge of Jewish history, culture, philosophy, arts, religious practice, and politics in both the past and present.
  4. Disposition of increased appreciation for diverse world views, value systems and interactions between Jews and non-Jews, minorities and majorities, in Wisconsin, the US, and across the globe.

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 SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science. L&S 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.

L&S career resources

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; 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). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.

SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career. 

Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.

MICHAEL BERNARD-DONALS
Chaim Perelman Professor of Rhetoric and Culture and Nancy Hoefs Professor of English and Jewish Studies
michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu

AMOS BITZAN
Frances and Laurence Weinstein Assistant Professor of History
abitzan@wisc.edu

JEFF BLAKELY
Adjunct Professor of Biblical Archaeology
jblakely@wisc.edu

RACHEL F. BRENNER
Elaine Marks Professor of Jewish Studies
brenner@wisc.edu

TERYL DOBBS
Professor of Music Education
tdobbs@wisc.edu

IVAN ERMAKOFF
Sewell-Bascom Professor of Sociology
ermakoff@ssc.wisc.edu

CHAD ALAN GOLDBERG
Professor of Sociology
cagoldberg@wisc.edu

SARA GUYER
Professor of English
guyer@wisc.edu

JEREMY HUTTON
Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature
jmhutton@wisc.edu

MARK LOUDEN
Alfred L. Shoemaker, J. William Frey, and Don Yoder Professor of Germanic Linguistics
mllouden@wisc.edu

TONY MICHELS
George L. Mosse Professor of American Jewish History
aemichels@wisc.edu

STEVEN NADLER
William H. Hay II Professor & Evjue-Bascom Professor in Humanities
smnadler@wisc.edu

ANNA PARETSKAYA
Lecturer in Sociology
aparetskaya@wisc.edu

CARA ROCK-SINGER
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
crocksinger@wisc.edu

DOUGLAS ROSENBERG
Professor of Video/Performance/Installation, Art Department
rosend@education.wisc.edu

JORDAN ROSENBLUM
Belzer Professor of Classical Judaism and Max and Frieda Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies
jrosenblum@wisc.edu

NADAV SHELEF
Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Israel Studies and Professor of Political Science
shelef@wisc.edu

JUDITH SONE
Lecturer of Hebrew
jsone@wisc.edu

ADAM STERN
Assistant Professor in German, Nordic, & Slavic and Jewish Studies
adam.stern@wisc.edu

SCOTT STRAUS
Professor of Political Science and International Studies
sstraus@wisc.edu

JEANNE SWACK
Professor of Musicology
jswack@wisc.edu

URI VARDI
Professor of Cello
uvardi@wisc.edu

SUNNY YUDKOFF
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and German, Nordic, and Slavic
yudkoff@wisc.edu

MARINA ZILBERGERTS
Lipton Assistant Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought
zilbergerts@wisc.edu