Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies Program offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of Jewish civilization from antiquity to the present.

The program is directed by Frances Malino, the Sophia Moses Robinson Professor of Jewish Studies amd History and encompasses a wide range of departments, including Religion, History, Anthropology, and Spanish. Students may major or minor in Jewish studies. Opportunities are also available for study abroad at several Israeli universities.

The Major and Minor in Jewish Studies

The major in Jewish Studies is designed to acquaint students with the many facets of Jewish civilization through an interdisciplinary study of Jewish religion, history, philosophy, art, literature, social and political institutions, and cultural patterns.

For the eight-unit major in Jewish Studies, students must take courses pertaining both to the ancient and modern worlds and show proficiency in Hebrew (equivalent to at least two semesters at the second-year level). In certain cases, where students whose area of concentration necessitates another language (such as Arabic, French, Spanish, Yiddish, or Ladino), that language may be substituted for Hebrew in consultation with the student’s major advisor. In addition, students are expected to concentrate in some area or aspect of Jewish studies (such as religion, history, or Hebrew language and literature) by taking four courses above the 100 level, including at least two at the 300 level. Majors devise their own programs in consultation with the director of the Jewish Studies program and an appropriate faculty member from the student’s area of concentration. Courses with an asterisk (*) also require the permission of the instructor if the course is to be counted for Jewish Studies. In addition to Wellesley courses, students are encouraged to take courses at Brandeis University in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies which may be applicable to the Jewish Studies major. These courses must be approved, in advance, by the corresponding department at Wellesley. See the director of Jewish Studies for further details.

A minor in Jewish Studies consists of five units from the following courses (of which at least one must be at the 300 level and no more than one at the 100 level): Anthropology 242, 247, History 217, 218, 219, 245, 326, 327, 328, 332, 334, 367; Italian 309; Religion 104, 105, 140, 160, 202, 205, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 302, 303, 342; Spanish 252, 267, and 279. Units must be taken in at least two departments; in consultation with the director of the program in Jewish Studies, a student can also arrange to take courses for inclusion in the Jewish Studies minor in Brandeis University’s Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

For more information, please consult: Wellesley Course Catalog.