Jewish Studies is an exciting, interdisciplinary field that draws from history, literature, and philosophy to explore the history of the Jews and of the Jewish religion.
Jewish Studies explores Judaism as a religion, but also looks at how Jews around the world have formed new interactive cultures and shared histories.
Through your coursework, you will learn the history of Judaism, and find out how this religion has grown, changed, and adapted itself over the centuries, in multiple parts of the world. You will also learn about Judaism’s basic belief system and about the long histories of anti-Semitism.
Perhaps most importantly, you will explore the role of Judaism in the modern world, and see how historical events of the last century and a half have affected the Jews religiously, socially, and culturally, as well as how Judaism has affected the world.
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In many legends and stories, the Talmudic rabbis depict God in shockingly human terms: the divine being wears tefillin and prays, studies Torah, weeps, makes mistakes, and suffers correction by humans. Were the rabbis just having fun? Or were these anthropomorphic representations of God grounded in a subversive resistance to prevailing Greco-Roman ideas about the divine? This lecture considers the ancient rabbis’ use of humor and play to explore and express the “seriously” distinctive character of Israel’s God.
The Girl Bandits of the Warsaw Ghetto: A Female Military History of the Warsaw Ghetto and its Uprising, a narrative history, will be published in 2025.
Boston University historian and professor Charles Dellheim joined the Jewish Studies Program at Purchase College to give a lecture on his book, Belonging and Betrayal: How Jews Made the Art World Modern.
Dr. Jeffrey Gurock gave a book talk on the Jewish experience in Parkchester and examined how race and ethnicity played a part in the social, economic, and cultural makeup of the neighborhood.
On November 15, 2022, Professor Jason Sommer joined us for a lecture on the topic of his book, Shmuel’s Bridge.