Modern Jewish Studies

The Modern Jewish Studies program offers several purposes. The goal of the program is to aid in research and the study of contemporary Jewish and Israeli affairs, as well as modern Jewish history. It is also the program’s objective to give public lectures as well as symposia on Jewish topics and subjects. In addition to these lectures, the program also makes it a priority to compile and supply a list of regional speakers who are able to address subjects of interest to the Jewish community. Internships are very important to the program, as they provide students the chance to participate in organizations that relate to Judaic Studies.

The program also sponsors an Israeli professor to teach at SDSU each year. Another focus of the program is to house the archives of the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego, in conjunction with Jewish Historical Society of San Diego’s Snyder Reading Room. The program also maintains the Irving and Sylvia Snyder Judaic Studies Reading Room in the Love Library, as well as the Jewish Heritage Video Collection. Finally, the program performs administrative duties as the director for the Western Jewish Studies Association.

Program Overview

Modern Jewish studies is a multidisciplinary major that provides an understanding of Jewish civilizations as the result of the interactions of Jewish culture, history, politics, and religion with other civilizations in societies where Jews have been the dominant majority population (the first tow Jewish commonwealths and the modern state of Israel) and in those of the Diaspora Jewish communities where Jews have been a minority group.

Students will be expected to obtain proficiency in Hebrew. They will develop an understanding of the major events in Jewish history starting with the Biblical period through the centuries of Diaspora, to the Holocaust and the creating of the modern state of Israel . Students will be exposed to main Jewish beliefs, ideas, and traditions that have arisen in these different historical contexts. They will also become familiar with Jewish visual and literary expressions of culture. It is hoped that the study of Jewish civilizations will foster an awareness of how the Jewish experience reflects the universal dynamic of how ethnic, religious, or racial minorities interact with majority societies (i.e., discrimination and persecution, acculturation, integration, syncretism, and resistance to assimilation).

Special Features

The distinctive features of the Jewish Studies major include:

  • The Irving and Sylvia Snyder Judaic Studies Reading Room which holds volumes of current Jewish publications.
  • Internships for students in organizations related with Judaic studies.
  • Provide accomplished lecturers for students to gain information about Judaic issues in the community.

Career Opportunities

Those completing the major will be prepared for careers or further graduate training in foreign service, overseas business, education, social services, multi-media productions, visual and literary arts, advocacy organizations, museum work, and the ministry.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Website for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Jewish Studies program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.