Undergraduate Programs

Jewish Studies – Major and Minor

Jewish Studies offers all students from varied backgrounds and disciplines a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on the study of Jews and Judaism. In learning about the geographic, temporal, philosophical, and cultural diversity of the Jewish experience, students gain critical skills that complement any direction of study and can be applied to myriad future aspirations.


Major in Jewish Studies

50 credits, to include the following:

1. Jewish Language. Students must do one of the following:

  • Complete two years of college-level coursework in one Jewish language or demonstrate second year college-level proficiency in one Jewish language through a proficiency exam;
  • Complete one year each of college-level coursework in two different Jewish languages or demonstrate first year college-level proficiency in two different Jewish languages through a proficiency exam.

Jewish languages may include Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, Ladino, or Yiddish. Learn more about Jewish language offerings at UW here. Contact Professor Ahuvia, the Jewish Studies faculty adviser, with additional questions regarding approved Jewish languages.

2. Introductory Courses (15 credits total):

3. Minimum 35 credits of Jewish Studies courses from an approved list of electives, to include a minimum of 25 credits completed at the 300-400 level.  May include a maximum of 10 credits from the second year of Jewish language courses.

4. Maximum 15 credits (exclusive of language) from an approved UW study abroad program may be counted towards the major.

5. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major.

To major in Jewish Studies, please schedule an appointment with Linda Iltis, the Jackson School for International Studies adviser for Jewish Studies majors.

Minor in Jewish Studies

30 credits, to include the following:

1. Introductory Courses (10 credits total):

2. 20 credits of Jewish Studies courses from an approved list of electives, to include a minimum of 15 credits completed at the 300-400 level. May include up to 5 credits from Jewish language courses.

3. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through UW.

4. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the minor.

To minor in Jewish Studies, please schedule an appointment with Joni Marts, the Jackson School for International Studies adviser for Jewish Studies minors.

For more information and FAQs about Jewish Studies, click here

Approved electives for the Jewish Studies major and minor

Contact an adviser with questions or for clarification.

Course # Title Credits Type of Credit Instructor
RELIG 130 Justice, Service, and Activism in the Jewish Tradition 5 I&S Pianko
RELIG 145 Introduction to Judaism (required for major/minor) 5 I&S Ahuvia
RELIG 155 Heroes, Heretics, and Radicals: The Beginnings of Judaism and Christianity 5 I&S Ahuvia
JEW ST 175/
GERMAN 195
Popular Film and the Holocaust 5 VLPA/
DIV
Block
MODHEB 200 * Hebrew Conversation 2 VLPA/
I&S
Romano
ARAMIC 201 * Biblical Aramaic 5 VLPA Martin
RELIG 201 Introduction to Introduction to World Religions: Western Traditions 5 I&S Ahuvia
BIBHEB 201 * Biblical Hebrew Poetry 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 202 * Inscriptions From Biblical Times 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 203 * Biblical Prophetic Texts 5 VLPA Noegel
BIBHEB 206 * Magic and the Bible: Tales of Cult and Wonder 5 VLPA Noegel
MODHEB 201 *
MODHEB 202 *
MODHEB 203 *
Intermediate Modern Hebrew 5 VLPA Romano
JEW ST 210 Funny Jews: Jewish Humor and American Identity 5 VLPA Pianko
HSTEU 234 Nazi Germany 5 I&S Marhoefer
RELIG 240/ NEAR E 202 Introduction to Hebrew Bible: Old Testament 5 VLPA/
I&S
Martin
HSTEU 252/ JSIS A 252 The Bloodlands: East Central Europe Under Hitler And Stalin 5 I&S Felak
JEW ST 258 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature 5 VLPA Ahuvia
JEW ST 269/ HSTCMP 269 The Holocaust: History & Memory 5 I&S/
DIV
Naar
NEAR E 287 Near East in Song: Israel & Popular Music 2 VLPA/
DIV
Sokoloff
JEW ST 289 Special Topics in Jewish Studies Varies Varies
JEW ST 295/
GERMAN 295
Contributions of German Jews to German Culture 5 VLPA/
I&S/
DIV
Block
RELIG 306/ NEAR E 306 History of Biblical Interpretation 3 VLPA/
I&S
Martin
ENGL 311 Modern Jewish Literature (in translation) 5 VLPA Butwin
NEAR E 311 Archaeology of Biblical Israel 5 I&S Selover
JEW ST 312/ ENGL 312 Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern 5 VLPA/
I&S/
DIV
Butwin
JSIS A 314/ NEAR E 315/ POL S 314 Israel: Dynamic Society and Global Flashpoint 5 I&S/
DIV
Halperin
RELIG 315/ NEAR E 305 The Biblical Prophets 3 VLPA/
I&S
Noegel
NEAR E 316 Israeli Identities 5 VLPA/
DIV
Sokoloff
JEW ST 317/ NEAR E 307 From Israelites to Jews: The First Six Centuries BCE 3 VLPA/
I&S
Noegel
JEW ST 318/ NEAR E 317 Jewish Life in Literature and Film 5 VLPA/
I&S
Sokoloff, Senderovich
NEAR E 318/ C LIT 318 Literature and the Holocaust 5 VLPA/
DIV
Sokoloff
NEAR E 320 Prayer and Poetry in the Jewish and Islamic Traditions (taught in English) 5 VLPA/
I&S
Sokoloff & Alavi
JEW ST 325 Contemporary Judaism in a Global Context 5 I&S Pianko
POL S 325 The Arab-Israel Conflict 5 I&S Duman
JEW ST 330 The Sages: Foundations of Classical Judaism 5 Ahuvia
NEAR E 333 Prophecy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam 3 I&S Zafer
RELIG 334/ GWSS 334 Gender, Sex and Religion 5 I&S/
DIV
Ahuvia
JEW ST 336/ HSTAA 336 American Jewish History 5 I&S Pianko
NEAR E 336 Islam in Jewish Contexts, Judaism in Muslim Contexts 3 I&S/
VLPA
Zafer
JEW ST 337/ HSTAA 337 The Holocaust and American Life 5 I&S/
DIV
Glenn
JEW ST 339/ B H 339 Bioethics: Secular and Jewish Perspectives 5 I&S Khazzam-Horovitz
JEW ST 357/ ENGL 357 Jewish American Literature and Culture 5 VLPA/
DIV
Butwin
JEW ST 358/ HSTCMP 368 Jewish Thought 5 I&S Pianko
JEW ST 360/ CLAS 360 Jews, Greeks, and Romans in the Ancient World 5 VLPA Stroup
HSTEU 361 Spain and Its Golden Age, 1469-1700 5 I&S Schmidt
JEW ST 367/ HSTAM 367 Medieval Jewish History 5 I&S
JEW ST 368/ HSTEU 368 Modern European Jewish History 5 I&S/
DIV
Naar
JEW ST 369/ HSTCMP 369 The Jewish Twentieth Century in Film 5 I&S/
VLPA/
DIV
JEW ST 377/ SOC 377 The American Jewish Community 5 I&S/
DIV
Friedman
JEW ST 378/ SOC 378 Contemporary Jewish American Identities 5 I&S/
DIV
Friedman
JEW ST 379/ SOC 378 Doing Jewish Identity Studies 5 I&S Friedman
MODHEB 401 *
MODHEB 402 *
MODHEB 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
MODHEB 408 * Hebrew in Prose 5 VLPA Sokoloff
CLAS 405 Biblical Narrative 5 VLPA Clauss
JEW ST 418/ PHIL 418 Jewish Philosophy 5 I&S Rosenthal
JEW ST 427/ RUSS 427 Russian Jewish Experience 5 VLPA/
I&S/
DIV
JEW ST 438/ GWSS 438 Jewish Women in Contemporary America 5 I&S/
DIV
Friedman
RELIG 440 Angels: From the Bible to American Spirituality 5 I&S Ahuvia
JSIS A 458 Israel: Politics and Society 5 I&S/
DIV
Migdal
JEW ST 460/ SPAN 360 Sephardic Culture before 1492 5 I&S/
VLPA
Naar
JEW ST 462 Anti-Semitism As a Cultural System 5 I&S/
DIV
JEW ST 463 Enlightenment, Emancipation, Antisemitism: History of the Jews, 1770-1914 5 I&S/
DIV
JEW ST 465/ HSTEU 465 The Jews of Eastern Europe 5 I&S
JEW ST 466/ HSTCMP 469 The Sephardic Diaspora: 1492-Present 5 I&S/
DIV
Naar
JEW ST 468/ HSTEU 464 The Jews in Spanish History 5 I&S
JEW ST 490 Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies 1-5, max 15 credits I&S
MODHEB 490 Supervised Modern Hebrew Study 3-5, max 15 credits VLPA
JEW ST 491 Seminar: Topics and Issues in Judaism 5 I&S
JEW ST 495 Seminar in Jewish Studies 5 I&S
MODHEB 496 Special Topics in Modern Hebrew 1-6, max 18 credits
Special Topics For any course prefix when topic is appropriate; check with adviser for approval Varies Varies

* = Second year language class. Majors may include a maximum of 10 credits from the second year of Jewish language courses. Minors may include up to 5 credits from Jewish language courses.


 Jewish Languages at UW

UW offers courses in Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew. Students who wish to study a Jewish language not currently offered at the UW should contact Professor Mika Ahuvia, undergraduate faculty adviser for Jewish Studies and coordinate with Jackson School academic advising office.

Students who wish to satisfy language requirements of the Jewish Studies major by demonstrating sufficient previous knowledge should contact the Office of Educational Assessment website and then notify the Jackson School academic advising office with the results.

Biblical Hebrew

Biblical Hebrew is offered in a two-year sequence at the UW. After completing BIBHEB 101, 102, and 103, students may take higher level BIBHEB courses (i.e., BIBHEB 201, BIBHEB 202, BIBHEB 203) in any order. For more information, click here or contact Professor Scott Noegel.

Course # Title Credits Instructor
ARAMIC 201 Biblical Aramaic 5 VLPA Martin
§BIBHEB 101
§BIBHEB 102
Elementary Biblical Hebrew 5 Martin
§BIBHEB 103 Biblical Hebrew Prose 5 Martin
BIBHEB 105 Intensive Biblical Hebrew  (SUM only) 15 Martin
BIBHEB 201 Biblical Hebrew Poetry 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 202 Inscriptions From Biblical Times 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 203 Biblical Prophetic Texts 5 VLPA Martin
BIBHEB 206 Magic and the Bible: Tales of Cult and Wonder 5 VLPA Noegel
§ Preparatory course; credits do not count toward the requirement for the Jewish Studies major.

Modern Hebrew 

Modern Hebrew at the UW offers opportunities for new language learners to native Hebrew speakers. For FAQs about Modern Hebrew at the UW and information pertaining to placement, native speakers, and proficiency tests, click here.

Course # Title Credits Instructor
§MODHEB 101
§MODHEB 102
§MODHEB 103
Elementary Modern Hebrew 5 Khazzam-Horovitz
§MODHEB 105 Intensive Elementary Modern Hebrew (SUM only) 15 Khazzam-Horovitz
MODHEB 201
MODHEB 202
MODHEB 203
Intermediate Modern Hebrew 5 VLPA Romano
MODHEB 401
MODHEB 402
MODHEB 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 requirement for the Jewish Studies major.

JSIS & Affiliate Jewish Studies Faculty