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Jewish Studies Major

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

The Jewish Studies Program brings the major disciplines of humanistic learning and the social sciences to bear on the historical entity known as the Jewish people. A variety of courses in history (both modern and pre-modern), comparative religion, and Near Eastern languages and literature enable the student to study the long history of the Jewish people, their rich and varied culture, and the influence of this culture on world civilization. Language study is an essential part of the Jewish Studies Program. Majors are required to complete two years of Hebrew language, preferably in modern Hebrew. The University of Washington and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have a formal exchange agreement that makes it possible for students to participate in a one-year overseas study program in Israel. An archeology program in Sepphoris is available too.

Major Requirements

Course # Title Credits Quarter
JSIS 201 The Making of the Twenty-first Century 5 Winter or Spring
JSIS C 145 Introduction to Judaism 5 Autumn
JSIS C/HSTCMP 250 Introduction to Jewish Cultural History 5  
Jewish Studies Track Electives A: The Judaic Cultural Tradition or
B: The Jewish People in the Modern World
20 Any
Jewish Language & Texts Electives for both Track A and B
(2nd year Hebrew or above allowed toward this)
15 Any
Hebrew Language Students must be proficient in the Hebrew language through second year level
Minimum Grade Minimum grade 2.0 in all courses applied to major.
Current Courses Total Credits: 50

Admission to the Major

Any undergraduate admitted for study as a matriculated student in the College of Arts and Sciences may declare Jewish Studies as his/her major and work for the B.A. degree.

Jewish Studies Track Electives

Track A: The Judaic Cultural Tradition

The World of Ancient Israel

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS C/NEAR E 202 Introduction to Hebrew Bible   Noegel
JSIS C 405 Scripture in Judaism    
JSIS C 449/NEAR E 305 The Biblical Prophets   Noegel
JSIS C 451 The Biblical Song of Songs   Noegel
JSIS C 454/NEAR E 307 Israel: First Six Centuries BCE   Noegel
JSIS C 455> Kings of Monarchic Israel   Noegel
JSIS C 457/NEAR E 306 History of Biblical Interpretation   Noegel
JSIS C 458 The Babylonian Talmud    
JSIS C 489 & JSIS 487 Special Topics Courses (when topic is appropriate) see adviser    

Literary and Intellectual Traditions of Classical Judaism

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS C 400 Jewish Mystical Tradition    
JSIS C 410 Law and Judaic Experience    
JSIS C 418/PHIL 418 Jewish Philosophy,   Rosenthal
JSIS C 489 & JSIS 487 Special Topics Courses (when topic is appropriate) see adviser    
JSIS C 491 Seminar on Judaism    
JSIS C 495 Seminar in Jewish Studies    

Track B: Jewish People in the Modern World

Literary and Intellectual Traditions of Jewish Modernity

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS C/GERMAN 175 Popular Film and the Holocaust   Block
JSIS C/GERMAN 295 Contributions of German Jews to German Culture   Block
ENGL 311 Modern Jewish Literature   Butwin
JSIS C/ENGL 312 Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern   Butwin
JSIS C 358 Modern Jewish Thought   Pianko
JSIS C/HIST 369 Jewish 20th Century in Film    
JSIS C 489 Special Topics: Jewish Studies    
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser    
NEAR E 251 Jewish Life in Literature and Film    
NEAR E 325 Modern Hebrew Literature in English   Sokoloff
NEAR E 318/C LIT 441 Literature and the Holocaust   Sokoloff
NEAR E 496 Special Topics (When topic is appropriate) see adviser    

Modern Israel Studies

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS A 101/NEAR E 150 Israel: Dynamic Society and Global Flashpoint   Barzilai, Migdal, Pianko, Sokoloff
JSIS A 458 Israel: Society and Politics   Migdal
JSIS C 489 Special Topics in Jewish Studies (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
NEAR E 326/CHID 498a Israeli Identities   Sokoloff
NEAR E 425 Current Trends in Modern Near Eastern Literature and Criticism   Sokoloff
ECON 406 Special Topics in Economics (when topic is appropriate) see adviser  
JSIS C/ECON 470 Economic History of the Jews   Kochin
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser    
POL S 325    

Jews and Society Since the Middle Ages

Course # Title Credits Instructor
JSIS C/SOC 177 The Jewish Community in the United States: Success, Influence, and Prospects   Burstein
JSIS C/HSTCMP 269 The Holocaust: History & Memory    
JSIS C/HSTAA 336 American Jewish History Since 1885   Pianko
JSIS C/HSTAM 367 Medieval Jewish History   Stacey
JSIS C/HSTEU 368 Modern European Jewish History   Naar
JSIS C/HIST 369 Jewish 20th Century in Film    
JSIS C/SOC 377 American Jewish Community   Burstein
JSIS C/SOC 378 Contemporary Jewish American Identities   Friedman
JSIS C/WOMEN 438 Jewish Women in Contemporary America   Friedman
JSIS C 462 Antisemitism as a Cultural System    
JSIS C 463 Enlightenment, Emancipation, Antisemitism: History of the Jews, 1770-1914    
JSIS C/HSTEU 465 Jews of Eastern Europe    
JSIS C/HSTEU 466 The Sephardic Diaspora: 1492-Present    
JSIS C/ECON 470 Economic History of the Jews    
JSIS C 489 Special Topics: Jewish Studies (when topic is appropriate)    
JSIS 487 Special Topics: Middle East (when topic is appropriate) see adviser    
HSTRY 498 Special Topics in History (when topic is appropriate) see adviser    

Jewish Studies Language Requirement

Track A Language Requirement -15 credits

Course # Title Credits Instructor
§HEBR 411, 412, 413 Elementary Modern Hebrew   Sokoloff
§HEBR 414, 415 Elementary Biblical Hebrew   Noegel
HEBR 421, 422, 423 Intermediate Modern Hebrew   Sokoloff
HEBR 426 Biblical Hebrew Prose   Noegel
HEBR 427 Biblical Hebrew Poetry   Noegel
HEBR 428 Inscriptions From Biblical Times   Noegel
HEBR 451, 452 Introduction to Hebrew Literature   Sokoloff
HEBR 453 Introduction to Hebrew Literature    
HEBR 454 Hebrew Poetry   Sokoloff
HEBR 455 Hebrew Fiction   Sokoloff
HEBR 456 Hebrew Poems and Prayers   Sokoloff
HEBR /ARAB 470 Stories of the Prophets    
ARAMIC 421 Biblical Aramaic    

Track B Language Requirement - 15 credits

Course # Title Credits Instructor
§HEBR 411, 412, 413 Elementary Modern Hebrew   Sokoloff
HEBR 421, 422, 423 Intermediate Modern Hebrew   Sokoloff
HEBR 451, 452 Introduction to Hebrew Literature   Sokoloff
HEBR 454 Hebrew Poetry   Sokoloff
HEBR 455 Hebrew Fiction   Sokoloff
HEBR 456 Hebrew Poems and Prayers   Sokoloff
§Preparatory courses; credits do not count toward the 15-credit requirement

Modern Hebrew Language

Read more about offerings and placement in Modern Hebrew at the University of Washington.

Biblical Hebrew Language

A two-year sequence in biblical Hebrew language is offered in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and counts toward a degree in Jewish Studies. The inductive method that we employ in our language classes allows students to read solely from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) already by the end of the second quarter of the first year! Thereafter students take courses on biblical Hebrew prose texts, biblical poetry, and ancient inscriptions. The final quarter of the second year we typically devote to biblical Aramaic or some other course of interest to students of ancient Hebrew.

 For a complete list of courses, a series of online learning tools for the study of biblical Hebrew, the relevant course websites, and also three resource sites for those who want to study the Hebrew Bible in greater depth, please visit http://depts.washington.edu/bibheb/bhcourses.html/ or contact Prof. Scott Noegel at snoegel@u.washington.edu or (206) 376-7787.

Jewish Studies Minor Requirements

30 credits, to include the following:

  1. JSIS C 145 (5 credits) and JSIS C/HIST 250 (5)

  2. 15 credits of Jewish Studies elective, chosen from the list of approved Humanities/Social Science electives*

  3. 5 additional credits chosen from the list of approved Humanities/Social Science electives or in courses in modern or Biblical Hebrew*

  4. 15 credits of the minor must be taken in residence at the UW.

*For a list of approved electives and Hebrew language courses, follow this link.

Revised 7-16-13

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African Studies Program
University of Washington
326 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Joel Ngugi / Chair
Associate Professor, School of Law
jngugi@u.washington.edu

Mary Kay Gugerty/Adjunct Director
Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs
gugerty@u.washington.edu

Erin Murphy/Program Assistant
Autumn Quarter Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 9-12, or by appt.
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax
africa1@u.washington.edu

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