Jewish History

Jewish History Concentration

Spring 2019 Jewish History Courses

A Concentration in Jewish history allows students to explore the depth and breadth of the Jewish experience.  Our courses allow you to explore the range of Jewish history-from ancient Israel to the Golden Age of Spain, from Eastern Europe to Western Europe, for the United States to modern Israel.  By taking courses in different chronological periods and geographical regions, you will learn how Jewish life evolved in different times and places The concentration also provides the flexibility to allow you to take courses in those areas within Jewish history that interest you most.

All students who wish to complete a Jewish history concentration in the new major must take the following six courses:

1. One seminar in Jewish history (200-level or above)

2. Two upper-level courses in Jewish history (200 or above)

3. Two of the three surveys in courses in Jewish History:

  • HIST 139 Jews and Judaism in Antiquity
  • HIST 140 Medieval and Early Modern Jewry
  • HIST 141 Jews in the Modern World

4. One elective in Jewish history (at any level)

5. Language Proficiency in Hebrew or Yiddish

Students must achieve a second year proficiency in Hebrew or Yiddish. A student without prior knowledge of these languages will require four semesters of coursework. Students with prior knowledge may fulfill this requirement by passing a proficiency exam administered by the Hebrew or Yiddish language faculty.

Language Courses will not be counted toward the 12 courses required for the major.


  • HIST 138 Secular Judaism
  • HIST 139 Jews and Judaism in Antiquity
  • HIST 140 Medieval and Early Modern Jewry
  • HIST 141 Jews in the Modern World
  • HIST 150 American Jewish Experience
  • HIST 380 Modern Jewish Intellectual and Cultural History
  • HIST 202 Rereading the Holocaust
  • HIST 204 The Immigrant Jewish Community in America
  • HIST 214 Jews and the City
  • HIST 449 God and Nature: Readings on the Encounter between Jewish Thought and Science
  • HIST 490 Topics in Jewish History


Each semester students will also have the opportunity to take additional courses in Jewish history offered on a regular basis by visiting scholars from the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. These courses differ each semester and include many seminars. Please consult the course roster for each semester's offerings.

With permission of the major advisor, students may be permitted to count major-related courses in Jewish Studies offered through other departments. These courses must have sufficient historical content and/or complement the study of Jewish history. Jewish Studies courses are regularly offered in departments such as NELC, English, German, Religious Studies, Sociology, and others. No more than 4 of these major-related courses will count for the history major.

Faculty Advisors