Jewish Studies

218 Milbank Hall

Chair: Beth A. Berkowitz, Associate Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies


The program in Jewish Studies enables undergraduates to acquire a thorough knowledge of the most important aspects of Jewish culture, civilization, and history in an interdisciplinary setting. The purpose of the program is to help the student identify resources for constructing rigorously detailed and methodological majors.

The program begins from the assumption that a meaningful major can be most profitably framed in one of the existing departments-such as, but not limited to, American Studies, Ancient Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, History, Music, Religion, Sociology, and Women's Studies. The program director would then certify that the subject matter of that major contains enough interest in Jewish subjects and is rigorous enough in methodology.

Faculty at Barnard and Columbia who teach courses in Jewish Studies Include:

Chair: Beth A. Berkowitz,  Associate Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies
Professors: Elisheva Carlebach (Salo Wittmayer Baron Professor of Jewish History), Yinon Cohen (Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israel and Jewish Studies), Jeremy Dauber (Atran Associate Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture and Director of the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies), Zohar Goshen (Alfred W. Bressler Professor of Law; Director, Center for Israeli Legal Studies), Achsah Guibbory (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English), Ira Katznelson (Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History), Dan Miron (Leonard Kaye Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature), Seth Schwartz (Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization), James Shapiro (Larry Miller Professor of English), Michael Stanislawski (Nathan Miller Professor of Jewish History)
Associate Professor: Gil Anidjar (Associate Professor of Hebrew Literature), Irena Klepfisz (Adjunct Associate Professor of Women’s Studies)
Assistant Professors: Rebecca Kobrin (Russell and Bettina Knapp Assistant Professor of History)
Lecturer: Tamar Ben-Vered (Lecturer of Hebrew Language), Nehama Bersohn (Lecturer in Hebrew Language), Miriam Hoffman (Lecturer in Yiddish), Rina Kreitman (Lecturer in Hebrew Language), Agnieszka Legutko (Lecturer in Yiddish), Reeva Simon (Assistant Director, Middle East Institute)

Requirements for the Combined Major

--RELI UN2306 Intro to Judaism
--Five additional courses in Jewish Studies

A complete major in a relevant department is required for a combined major in Jewish Studies. Where courses in Jewish Studies also satisfy departmental major requirements, the student must complete at least three courses in Jewish Studies over and above what is required for the other major. Students are encouraged to consult the offerings of other relevant departments and frame a major by centering on the methodological requirements of that major and utilizing the advising capacities of that department. Students, especially those who plan to continue in graduate Jewish Studies of any kind, are strongly encouraged to seek competence in Hebrew and other languages which were used by Jews in their particular area of concentration. Where possible, the courses in Jewish Studies should be taken across the major areas of Jewish history: Ancient (biblical); Hellenistic and Talmudic; Medieval; and Modern. Besides the six courses specifically in Jewish Studies, students must submit a Senior Thesis or project in the area of Jewish Studies, written in the major department.

For a complete list of faculty and courses visit the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies.

Courses That Satisfy the Jewish Studies Major

For a complete list of faculty and courses updated by semester, visit the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies (