The Major in Jewish Studies
The major in Jewish Studies comprises 12 semester courses:
A. Basic Requirements
- Basis: JUD 125 (formerly 225) Jewish Civilization, normally taken in a student’s first or second year.
- 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 Hebrew language.
Eight courses from the categories Language, Classical Texts, History Politics and Thought, and Literature and the Arts. Of these eight, at least one course must fall within Classical Texts, at least one course within History Politics and Thought, and at least one course within Literature and the Arts.
Students can expect advisers to work closely with them to select courses that cover the chronological sweep of Jewish civilization.
C. Seminar and/or Advanced 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.
- No course counting toward the major shall be taken for an S/U grade
- In addition to JUD 100y and JUD 125, no more than two courses at the 100-level shall count toward the major.
- 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.
- 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 a course must be approved by the major adviser and the Jewish Studies Program after the course has been completed. Normally, at least seven of the courses toward the major shall be taken at Smith College.
- With the approval of her adviser, a student may count up to two Smith College courses that are not part of the approved list of Jewish Studies courses toward the major, when such courses offer a broader comparative framework for Jewish Studies. In such cases, the student writes at least one of her assignments for the course on a Jewish Studies topic.
- Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary major; normally no more than seven of a major’s courses shall be from the same academic department.
Smith Courses counting toward the Jewish Studies major and minor
- JUD 125 Jewish Civilization
JUD 100Y Elementary Modern Hebrew
JUD 200 Intermediate Modern Hebrew
JUD 201 Readings in Modern Hebrew Language
III. Classical Texts
- REL 162 Introduction to the Bible I
- REL 211 Wisdom Literature and Other Books from the Writings
- REL 213 Prophecy in Ancient Israel
- REL 214 Virgins, Vamps, and Viragos: Women in the Hebrew Bible
- REL 216 Archaelogy and the Bible
- REL 310 Sibling Rivals: Israel and the Other in the Hebrew Bible
- REL 310 Job's Argument with God in Ancient and Modern Context
- REL 310 Judges
IV. History, Politics and Thought
- FYS 105 Jerusalem
- FYS 163 The Holy Land
- 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 350 Gender and Histories of the Holocaust
- JUD 235 Perspectives on Israeli History
- JUD 250 Sociology of Israeli Society
- JUD 251 Women and Gender in Israeli Society
- JUD 284 The Jews of Eastern Europe, 1750-1945
- JUD 287 The Holocaust
- REL 221 Jewish Spirituality: Philosophers and Mystics
- REL 223 Jews and Modernity: A Global Diaspora (formerly the Modern Jewish Experience)
- REL 320 Jewish Women’s History
- REL 320 Judaism, Feminism, and Religious Politics
- SPN 245 Jewish Women of the Muslim Mediterranean
V. Literature and the Arts
- CLT 214 Literary Anti-Semitism
- CLT 231/ENG 230 American Jewish Literature
- CLT 218 Holocaust Literature
- CLT 277 Modern Jewish Fiction
- FYS 186 Israel: Texts and Contexts
- 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 257 Jewish Writers in Modernist Berlin
- JUD 260 Yiddish Literature and Culture
- JUD 362 Seminar in Modern Jewish Literature
Punchline: The Jewish Comic Tradition
- THE 241 Staging the Jew
VI. Special Studies
JUD 400 Advanced research or language study, conducted 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 243 Reconstructing Historical Communities
- 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