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Jewish Studies Major

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

The Jewish Studies Program brings the major disciplines of humanistic learning and the social sciences to bear on the historical entity known as the Jewish people. A variety of courses in history (both modern and pre-modern), comparative religion, and Near Eastern languages and literature enable the student to study the long history of the Jewish people, their rich and varied culture, and the influence of this culture on world civilization. Language study is an essential part of the Jewish Studies Program. Majors are required to complete two years of a Jewish language, preferably in modern Hebrew. The University of Washington and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have a formal exchange agreement that makes it possible for students to participate in a one-year overseas study program in Israel. An archeology program in Sepphoris is available too.

VISIT THE STROUM CENTER WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JEWISH STUDIES AT THE JACKSON SCHOOL

Major Requirements

Course # Title Credits Quarter Instructor
JSIS 201 The Making of the 21st Century 5 Winter or Spring Bachman, Callahan, Migdal, Radnitz
JSIS C 145 Introduction to Judaism 5 Autumn Pianko
JSIS C/HSTCMP 250 Introduction to Jewish Cultural History 5 Winter Naar
Jewish Studies Track Electives

A: The Judaic Cultural Tradition or
B: The Jewish People in the Modern World

20 Any  
Jewish Language & Texts Electives for both Track A and B
(2nd year Hebrew or above allowed toward this)
15 Any  
Hebrew Language

Students must be proficient in the Hebrew language through second year level. Students in the Cultural Tradition track may demonstrate language proficiency in either ancient or modern Hebrew. Proficiency in modern Hebrew is required for students in the Modern World track.

Under certain circumstances substitution of coursework in an appropriate Jewish lingua franca other than Hebrew may be approved by petition. (A max. of 15 credits of approved Hebrew or other approved language courses can count toward the 20 credits of electives in major.)

Minimum Grade Minimum grade 2.0 in all courses applied to major.
Current Courses Total Credits: 50

Admission to the Major

Any undergraduate admitted for study as a matriculated student in the College of Arts and Sciences may declare Jewish Studies as his/her major and work for the B.A. degree.


Jewish Studies Track Electives

Track A: The Judaic Cultural Tradition

Track B: The Jewish People in the Modern World

Track A: The Judaic Cultural Tradition

The World of Ancient Israel

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
JSIS C 155 Heroes, Heretics, and Radicals: The Beginnings of Judaism and Christianity 5 I&S Ahuvia
JSIS C 240/NEAR E 202 Introduction to Hebrew Bible: Old Testament 5 VLPA/I&S Martin
JSIS C 258/CLAS 496 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature: Rereading the Rabbis 5 VLPA Ahuvia
JSIS C 306/NEAR E 306 History of Biblical Interpretation 3 VLPA/I&S  Noegel
JSIS C 315/NEAR E 305 The Biblical Prophets 3 VLPA/I&S Noegel
JSIS C 317/NEAR E 307 From Israelites to Jews: The First Six Centuries BCE 3 VLPA/I&S Noegel
JSIS C 360/CLAS 369 Jews, Greeks, and Romans in the Ancient World 5 VLPA Stroup
JSIS C 489 Special Topics: Jewish Studies  
NEAR E 320 Prayer and Poetry in the Jewish and Islamic Traditions (taught in English) 5 VLPA/I&S Sokoloff & Alavi
NEAR E 333 Prophecy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam 3 Zafer
NEAR E 336 Islam in Jewish Contexts, Judaism in Muslim Contexts 3 VLPA Zafer

Literary and Intellectual Traditions of Classical Judaism

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS C 400 Jewish Mystical Tradition  
JSIS C 410 Law and Judaic Experience  
JSIS C 418/PHIL 418 Jewish Philosophy Rosenthal
JSIS C 489 & JSIS 487 Special Topics Courses (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
JSIS C 491 Seminar on Judaism  
JSIS C 495 Seminar in Jewish Studies  

Track B: Jewish People in the Modern World

Literary and Intellectual Traditions of Jewish Modernity

Course # Title Credits Instructor
ENGL 310 The Bible as Literature 5 VLPA LaPorte
ENGL 311 Modern Jewish Literature 5 VLPA Butwin
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  

 

JSIS C/GERMAN 195 Popular Film and the Holocaust 5 VLPA/DIV Block
JSIS C/GERMAN 295 Modern European Jewish Thought and Writing  5 VLPA/I&S, DIV Block
JSIS C/ENGL 312 Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern 5, VLPA/I&S/ DIV Butwin
JSIS C 358 Modern Jewish Thought 5 I&S Pianko
JSIS C/HSTCMP 369 Jewish 20th Century in Film 5 VLPA/I&S/ DIV  Stein
JSIS C 489 Special Topics: Jewish Studies (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
NEAR E 317 Jewish Life in Literature and Film 5 VLPA/I&S Sokoloff
NEAR E 318/C LIT 441 Literature and the Holocaust 5 VLPA/DIV Sokoloff
NEAR E 325 Modern Hebrew Literature in English 3 VLPA Sokoloff
NEAR E 496 Special Topics (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  

Modern Israel Studies

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
JSIS A 314/ NEAR E 315/ POL S 314 Israel: Dynamic Society and Global Flashpoint 5 I&S/ DIV Migdal
JSIS A 458 Israel: Politics and Society 5 I&S/ DIV Migdal
JSIS C 489 Special Topics in Jewish Studies (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  

 

NEAR E 316/CHID 498a Israeli Identities 5 VLPA/DIV Sokoloff
NEAR E 321 Israel in Film 2 VLPA/I&S  
NEAR E 485 Modern Near Eastern Literature in English Translation  3 VLPA Sokoloff
POL S 325  The Arab-Israeli Conflict 5 I&S  

Jews and Society Since the Middle Ages

Course # Title Credits Instructor
HSTAA or HSTCMP 290 Special Topics: Jewish Studies (when topic is appropriate)    
HSTRY 498 Special Topics in History (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
JSIS C/HSTCMP 269 The Holocaust: History & Memory 5 I&S/DIV  Naar
JSIS C/HSTAA 336 American Jewish History Since 1885 5 I&S Pianko
JSIS C/HSTAM 367 Medieval Jewish History 5 I&S Stacey
JSIS C/HSTEU 368 Modern European Jewish History 5 I&S/DIV Naar
JSIS C/HSTCMP 369 Jewish 20th Century in Film 5 VLPA/I&S/ DIV Stein
JSIS C/SOC 377 American Jewish Community 5 I&S/DIV Friedman
JSIS C/SOC 378 Contemporary Jewish American Identities 5 I&S/DIV Friedman
JSIS C 379 Jewish Identity Studies 5 I&S Friedman
JSIS C/GWSS 438 Jewish Women in Contemporary America 5 I&S/DIV Friedman
JSIS C 462 Antisemitism as a Cultural System 5 I&S/DIV  
JSIS C 463 Enlightenment, Emancipation, Antisemitism: History of the Jews, 1770-1914  5 I&S  
JSIS C/HSTEU 465 Jews of Eastern Europe 5 I&S  
JSIS C 468/HSTEU 464 The Jews in Spanish History 5 I&S Gomez-Bravo
JSIS C/HSTCMP 469 The Sephardic Diaspora: 1492-Present 5 I&S/DIV  Naar
JSIS C 489 Special Topics: Jewish Studies (when topic is appropriate)    

Jewish Studies Language Requirement

Track A Language Requirement -15 credits

Course # Title Credits Instructor
ARAMIC 201 Biblical Aramaic 5 VLPA Martin
§BIBHEB 101, 102 Elementary Biblical Hebrew 5 Martin
BIBHEB 103 Biblical Hebrew Prose 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 201 Biblical Hebrew Poetry 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 202 Inscriptions From Biblical Times 5 VLPA Martin
§MODHEB 101, 102, 103 Elementary Modern Hebrew 5 Sokoloff
MODHEB 201, 202, 203 Intermediate Modern Hebrew 5 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 401, 402, 403 Introduction to Hebrew Literature 3 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 404 Hebrew Poetry 5 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 405 Hebrew Fiction 3 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 406 Hebrew Poems and Prayers 3 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 407 Hebrew in Song 5 VLPA Sokoloff

Track B Language Requirement - 15 credits

Course # Title Credits Instructor
§MODHEB 101, 102, 103 Elementary Modern Hebrew 5 Sokoloff
MODHEB 201, 202, 203 Intermediate Modern Hebrew 5 Sokoloff
MODHEB 401, 402, 403 Introduction to Hebrew Literature 3 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 404 Hebrew Poetry 5 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 405 Hebrew Fiction 3 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 406 Hebrew Poems and Prayers 3 VLPA Sokoloff
MODHEB 407 Hebrew in Song 5 VLPA Sokoloff
§ Preparatory courses; credits do not count toward the 15-credit requirement

Modern Hebrew Language

Read more about offerings and placement in Modern Hebrew at the University of Washington.


Biblical Hebrew Language

A two-year sequence in biblical Hebrew language is offered in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and counts toward a degree in Jewish Studies. The inductive method that we employ in our language classes allows students to read solely from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) already by the end of the second quarter of the first year! Thereafter students take courses on biblical Hebrew prose texts, biblical poetry, and ancient inscriptions. The final quarter of the second year we typically devote to biblical Aramaic or some other course of interest to students of ancient Hebrew.

For a complete list of courses, a series of online learning tools for the study of biblical Hebrew, the relevant course websites, and also three resource sites for those who want to study the Hebrew Bible in greater depth, please visit http://depts.washington.edu/bibheb/bhcourses.html/ or contact Prof. Scott Noegel at snoegel@u.washington.edu or (206) 376-7787.


Jewish Studies Minor Requirements

30 credits, to include the following:

  1. JSIS C 145 (5 credits) and JSIS C/HSTCMP 250 (5)
  2. 15 credits of Jewish Studies elective, chosen from the list of approved Humanities/Social Science electives*
  3. 5 additional credits chosen from the list of approved Humanities/Social Science electives or in courses in modern or Biblical Hebrew*
  4. 15 credits of the minor must be taken in residence at the UW.

*For a list of approved electives and Hebrew language courses, follow this link.

Revised 7-28-15

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African Studies Program
University of Washington
326 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Joel Ngugi / Chair
Associate Professor, School of Law
jngugi@u.washington.edu

Mary Kay Gugerty/Adjunct Director
Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs
gugerty@u.washington.edu

Erin Murphy/Program Assistant
Autumn Quarter Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 9-12, or by appt.
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax
africa1@u.washington.edu

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