The Program

The Department of Jewish Studies offers a minor in Jewish Studies and a bachelor of arts in Modern Jewish Studies.

View of Ein Harod (Ayn Jalut in Arabic) in the eastern Jezreel Valley.

Bachelor of Arts in Modern Jewish Studies

The bachelor of arts in Modern Jewish Studies is designed to provide an understanding of Jews and Judaism in terms of the interactions of culture, history and religion. The challenge of modernity faced by Jews and Judaism over the last two hundred years has transformed traditional Jewish societies and generated a great measure of difference and diversity. After a history of more than two millennia, Jews have redefined religion, notions of identity and social organization in contexts of a dominant culture (in Israel) and a minority culture (elsewhere in the world). The broader dynamics of how ethnic, religious or racial minorities interact with the majority societies are examined in both these contexts. Courses explore the constants and variety of the Jewish experience in different historical periods and geographical settings and include language study.

Minor in Jewish Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Jewish Studies consists of four (4) three-unit core courses and two (2) three-unit elective courses selected on advisement from offerings by a variety of colleges of the University. The purpose of the interdisciplinary Jewish Studies minor is to acquaint the student with the history, culture, contributions and religion of the Jewish people as seen through the eyes of modern academic disciplines and with particular reference to contemporary issues and patterns. Students can use the minor in Jewish Studies to complement their majors and, with advising, to fulfill General Education requirements.

General Education

Jewish Studies courses fulfill many requirements in both lower and upper division General Education. Here is a list of Jewish Studies courses along with their General Education attributes:

JS 280 Introduction to Jewish Studies (Units: 3) 

  • C2: Humanities

JS 301 Judaism, An Introduction (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

JS 350 Jewish Social Responsibility (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

JS 377 Jerusalem (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

JS 408 Israeli Cinema (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

JS 410 Kabbalah and Mysticism in the Jewish Tradition (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 415 The Hebrew Bible (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 425 Judaism: Religion and Text (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

JS 430 Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society (Units: 3)

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Global Perspectives

JS 437 Holocaust and Literature (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

JS 449 American Jewish History (Units: 3)

  • U.S. History UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • American Ethnic and Racial Social Justice

JS 451 Jewish Literature of the Americas (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities American Ethnic and Racial
  • Global Perspectives

JS 480 European Jewish Writers (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

JS 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

JS 540 Anti-Semitism (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

JS 546 20th Century American Jewish Women Writers (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • American Ethnic and Racial
  • Global Perspectives

JS 560 The Arab-Israeli Conflict (Units: 3)

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Global Perspectives

JS 632 Jewish History I: Beginnings to 1650 (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

JS 633 Jewish History II: 1650 to Present (Units: 3)

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

View the class schedule or the list of courses on the SF State Bulletin.