Rutgers is the only university in New Jersey to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies. The university launched the department in 2000, and now approximately 1,800 students enroll in Jewish Studies classes each year.

CaesareaThe Department of Jewish Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of all aspects of the Jewish experience. Courses offered by the department address the historical, social, cultural, religious and political life of the Jewish people from ancient times to the present, including courses on the Bible, rabbinic literature, medieval and modern philosophy, modern Jewish history, and Jewish literature, media, and film. Drawing on faculty from eight academic departments at Rutgers, along with visiting fellows sponsored by the Bildner Center, the Jewish Studies curriculum offers more than 60 interdisciplinary courses.

Israel Studies is an area of special strength at Rutgers. The department has several faculty members whose area of expertise is Israeli history, society, culture, and politics. Visiting professors from Israel are regularly invited to teach undergraduate courses in the Department.

Both Hebrew and Yiddish language instruction is offered by the Department; students studying Hebrew can take advantage of courses from beginning to advanced literature levels.

Jewish Studies students study abroad in the major research institutions in Israel and Europe. The Department supports an internship option, in which students intern at national museums and organizations in New Jersey and New York City.

Jewish Studies is offered as a major at the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick/Piscataway.

A sampling of courses includes:
  • Holocaust Literature in Translation
  • Jewish Power and Politics
  • Women in the Hebrew Bible
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Israeli Culture
  • Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah
  • Jewish American Women: Contested Lives
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Jewish Studies graduates have entered the fields of law, Jewish communal service, education, the rabbinate, and academics.

Undergraduate Admissions