The Major in Jewish Studies
Jewish Studies Major Requirements 2015
Pending approval by the Committee on Academic Priorities
The major in Jewish Studies comprises 10 semester courses:
A. Basic Requirements
1. Basis: JUD 125 Jewish Civilization (same as REL 225), normally taken in a student’s first or second year.
2. Language: JUD 100y Elementary Modern Hebrew, counting as two semester courses. Students who arrive at Smith with the equivalent of a year of college-level Hebrew may petition for exemption from this requirement; in such cases, they are strongly encouraged to continue their study of Jewish languages. Exemption from JUD 100y does not reduce the requirement to take ten semester courses for the major.
B. Breadth Requirement: Six further courses from the categories Language, The Bible and Classical Judaism, Religion and Thought, History and Politics, and Literature and the Arts.
In keeping with the multidisciplinary character of Jewish Studies, these six courses must be drawn from at least three of the following four categories: The Bible and Classical Judaism, Religion and Thought, History and Politics, and Literature and the Arts. Students can expect advisers to work closely with them to select courses that cover the chronological sweep of Jewish civilization from biblical times to the present.
C. Capstone Requirement: seminar or research-intensive Special Studies
One seminar from the Program’s approved list of courses (for example, JUD 362, REL 310, REL 320, GOV 323) or a research-intensive JUD 400 Special Studies, in which a student investigates an advanced topic under the direction of a faculty supervisor.
1. No course counting toward the major shall be taken for an S/U grade.
2. In addition to JUD 100y and JUD 125, no more than two courses at the 100 level shall count toward the major.
3. Although JUD 100y is the minimum language requirement for the major, the Program strongly encourages students to continue study of Hebrew, and to do so at Smith when appropriate courses are available: JUD 200 Intermediate Modern Hebrew or JUD 201 Readings in Modern Hebrew Language; special studies in language. A student may continue her study of Hebrew, or of another Jewish language such as Yiddish, within the Five-College consortium or at an approved program elsewhere.
4. Courses on Junior Year Abroad Programs or on other approved programs for study away may count toward the major. A student’s petition to count such courses must be approved by the major adviser and the Jewish Studies Program after the course has been completed.
5. With the approval of her adviser, a student may count one Smith College course from outside the approved list of Jewish Studies courses toward the major, when that course offers a broader comparative framework for Jewish Studies. In such a case, the student writes at least one of her assignments for the course on a Jewish Studies topic.
Smith Courses counting toward the Jewish Studies major and minor
- JUD 125/REL 225 Jewish Civilization
JUD 100Y Elementary Modern Hebrew
JUD 200 Intermediate Modern Hebrew
JUD 201 Readings in Modern Hebrew Language
III. Bible and Classical Judaism
- FYS 117 The Bible and the American Public Square
- REL 162 Introduction to the Bible I
- REL 211 What is the Good Life? Wisdom from the Bible
- REL 213 Prophecy in Ancient Israel
- REL 214 Women in the Hebrew Bible
- REL 216 Archaeology and the Bible
- REL 310 Sibling Rivals: Israel and the Other in the Hebrew Bible
- REL 310 The Book of Judges
IV. Religion and Thought
- REL 221 Jewish Spirituality: Philosophers and Mystics
- REL 223 Jews and Modernity: A Global Diaspora
- REL 320 Judaism, Feminism, and Religious Politics
- REL 320 Judaism, Feminism, and Religious Politics in the U.S
V. History and Politics
- FYS 105 Jerusalem
- GES 301 Jerusalem
- GOV 229 Government and Politics of Israel
- GOV 248 The Arab-Israeli Dispute
- GOV 323 Warring for Heaven and Earth: Jewish and Muslim Political Activism in the Middle East
- HST 243 Reconstructing Historical Communities
- HST 350 Gender and Histories of the Holocaust
- JUD 235/MES 235 Perspectives on the Arab-Israeli Conflict
- JUD 250 Sociology of Israeli Society
- JUD 251 Women and Gender in Israeli Society
- JUD 284 Jewish Life in Eastern Europe, 1750-1945
- JUD 287 The Holocaust
- JUD 288 History of Israel
- REL 227 Women and Gender in Jewish History
- REL 320 Jewish Women’s History
- SPN 245 Jewish Women of the Muslim Mediterranean
VI. Literature and the Arts
- CLT 214 Literary Antisemitism
- CLT 218 Holocaust Literature
- CLT 231/ENG 230 American Jewish Literature
- CLT 277 Modern Jewish Fiction
- FYS 186 Israel: Texts and Contexts
- GER 230 Nazi Cinema
- GER 241 Jews in German Culture
- JUD 110j Introduction to Yiddish
- JUD 236 Documentary Film in Contemporary Israel
- JUD 237 Forbidden Love: Cinematics of Desire in Israel and Beyond
- JUD 260 Yiddish Literature and Culture
- JUD 362 Punchline: The Jewish Comic Tradition
- JUD 362 Yiddish Film
- SPN 246 Jewish Presence in Latin American Literature and Film
- SPN 246 Life Stories by Latin American Jewish Writers
- THE 241 Staging the Jew
VII. Special Studies
JUD 400 Advanced research or language study, supervised by a faculty member appointed in Jewish studies.
The following are examples of courses that touch on Jewish studies and that may count as an elective toward the major with the prior approval of an adviser. Students must write one of their assignments for such courses on an appropriate Jewish studies topic. Please consult the offerings of other programs and departments, and an adviser, for additional possibilities:
- FYS 174 The Muslim World in the Age of the Crusades: Encounters, Influences, & Lasting Legacies
- HST 203 Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World
- HST 205 The Roman Empire
- HST 208 The Making of the Modern Middle East
- HST 228 Medieval Peripheries
- HST 246 Memory and History
- HST 255 20th-Century European Thought
- REL 105 Introduction to World Religions
- REL 106 Women and Religion
- REL 215 Introduction to the Bible II
- SPN 332 Seminar: The Middle Ages Today