University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400126
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126
Overview Jewish Studies allows students to focus on the history, languages, and literature of the Jewish people; the beliefs and practices of Judaism; and the enduring contributions of Jewish wisdom to human civilization. These contributions range from Biblical monotheism and ethics; to Rabbinic traditions of text study and interpretation; to Jewish literary responses to marginality, oppression, and suffering in modern times; and to monuments of the twentieth-century Jewish experience, including the revival of Hebrew as a living language, the establishment of Israel as an independent political state, and the thriving of diverse forms of Jewish community throughout the world. Students can take courses in Biblical and Modern Hebrew, Yiddish, Bible, Rabbinic literature, Jewish ancient and modern history, Jewish literature and culture, Holocaust studies, Jewish theology, and Jewish communities and cultures worldwide. Jewish Studies students are encouraged to study abroad in Israel or in other centers of Jewry beyond America. The UVa program in Jewish Studies also reflects the unique strengths and interests of the UVa faculty, generating such areas of interdisciplinary inquiry as “Jewish Culture and History in Eastern Europe”, “Yiddish Language and Culture”, “Politics of the Holocaust”, and “Feasting, Fasting and Faith: Food in Jewish and Christian Traditions”. Additional information may be found at www.virginia.edu/jewishstudies.
Faculty The interdisciplinary program includes faculty members drawn from many academic departments: The ever-growing list of faculty members who offer courses that count for the Jewish Studies major and minor or who serve as advising members of the Jewish Studies faculty include: Alon Confino, Gabriel Finder, Phyllis Leffler, James Loeffler (Department of History); Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, Asher Biemann, Harry Gamble, Jennifer Geddes, Judith Kovacs, Peter Ochs, Vanessa Ochs, Martien Halverson Taylor, Robert Wilken (Department of Religious Studies); Jeffrey Grossman (Department of German); Jeffrey Hantman, Daniel Lefkowitz, Rachel Most (Department of Anthropology); Gerard Alexander, William Quandt (Department of Politics); Allison Booth, Eleanor Kaufman, Victor Luftig, James Nohrnberg Caroline Rody (Department of English); Joel Rubin, Judith Shatin (Department of Music), Johanna Drucker (Media Studies), Elissa Rosenberg (Landscape Architecture), Hedda Herrari (Hebrew) and Jeffrey Olick (Sociology).
Students Students who major and minor in Jewish Studies go on to a variety of careers, becoming educators, writers, community leaders, family-educators, healthcare professionals, chaplains, ethicists, rabbis, cantors, clergy, lawyers; some go into media, non-profit organizations, urban planning, museum work, foreign affairs, publishing and social services.