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Jewish Studies

Front of the Jubilee Synagogue in Prague

The program in Jewish studies at Smith College explores the history, literature, arts, politics, philosophy, culture, religion and languages of the Jewish people from its origins in ancient Israel through contact with major world civilizations over the course of a global diaspora extending more than two millennia. Jewish studies draws on the most important disciplines of the humanities and social sciences to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of the Jewish contribution to civilization. Students have opportunities to work closely with committed faculty in special studies at the advanced level, to develop close mentoring relationships and to expand their knowledge through study abroad. Many go on to pursue graduate studies in law, medicine, literature, history, religious studies, education, community service and other professions.

Announcements

Tuesday, October 18, 4:pm, Neilson Browing Room:
Ellen Davis (Duke University), "Renewing Our Imagination in the Face of Climate Change: Ancient Texts, Present Crisis"

How do the Prophets dare to imagine the world as drastically different than we see it now, for better and for worse? The talk will focus on the relationship.between covenant and climate in the Hebrew Bible.

 

Sunday November 6, 2-5pm, Mary Maples Dunn Room Pierce Hall:   
"Modern Jewish Studies: Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Going?" A Symposium in Honour of the Retirement of Lois Dubin.

Join leading Jewish studies scholars ChaeRan Freeze (Brandeis), David Myers (UCLA), James Ponet (Yale), Aron Rodrigue (Stanford), Susan Shapiro (UMass), Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers), and David Sorkin (Yale) for an afternoon of learning and discussion.

 

Yidishe nayes (Yiddish News)

Three Smithies submitted their final course projects for Professor Cammy's course on Yiddish Literature and Culture (2022) for publication in In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies.

Language Studies

Thanks to the generous donations of alumnae, we were able to fund several Smithies for Yiddish language studies this summer. Three students traveled to Tel Aviv for the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Yiddish Summer Program. Another student is studying at the YIVO Institute in NYC.  And several more students were selected to participate in the Steiner summer language program at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst. Congratulations to Eliza Auten, Rachel Agosto-Ginsburg, Hana Halff, Grayson Hawthorn, Allie Lipke, and Eliza Menzel. Mitn rekhtn fus!!!

 

Jewish Studies graduate Sarah Biskowtiz '21 appears on the front cover of the summer 2022 issue of PaknTreger. Sarah is a post-bac fellow at the Yiddish Book Center.

Thanks to the generosity of Roberta Rosenberg and David Weinstein, students in our seminar on Yiddishlands will have the opportunity to study in Poland and Lithuania over spring break in March 2023.

 

"The Value of Jokes in Jewish-Christian Dialogue"

The Christian Century has published an essay by Joel Kaminsky, Morningstar Professor of Jewish Studies and Processor of Religion, reflecting on how humor may illuminate Jewish-Christian relations. You can access the article here

 

A Celebration of 2021 Faculty Publications

From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg: Memoir and Testimony by Abraham Sutzkever, edited and translated from the Yiddish by Justin Cammy, McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Justin Cammy and Julian Levinson, eds, Thinking Through Yiddish: Frankel Center for Judaic Studies Annual, University of Michigan; includes Cammy, “The Yiddish Trace in Contemporary American Fiction,” 49–52.

Lois Dubin, “Montreal and Canada through a Wider Lens: Confessions of a Canadian-American European Jewish Historian,” in David S. Koffman, ed., No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging, University of Toronto Press, 217–233.

Sari Fein, “Part of the Same Miracle: Women and Visual Art in the Dura Europos Synagogue.” In Material Culture and Women’s Religious Experience in Antiquity: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, edited by Mark D. Ellison, Catherine Gines Taylor, and Carolyn Osiek, Lexington Books, 97–124.

Joel Kaminsky, “‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’: Health, Illness, Death and Dying in the Hebrew Bible and Today.” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 75:3 (Summer 2021), 196–206. Also, review of Matthew J. Lynch, Portraying Violence in the Hebrew Bible: A Literary and Cultural Study in Review of Biblical Literature (February 2021).

Joel Kaminsky, review of Matthew J. Lynch, Portraying Violence in the Hebrew Bible: A Literary and Cultural Study in Review of Biblical Literature (Feb 2021)

 

 

Requirements

The program in Jewish studies expects students to graduate with an understanding of the religious, historical, political and cultural forces that have shaped Jewish civilization for more than 3,000 years. This includes the ability to:

  • Frame questions and situate core texts and ideas in their appropriate intellectual, social and cultural contexts.
  • Analyze and critique religious, historical, philosophical, political, literary and artistic texts, ideas and materials pertaining to Jewish experiences through the ages.
  • Acquire knowledge of the diversity of Jewish culture through time and space, with a specific understanding of the interactions between Jews and co-territorial cultures, peoples, empires and states.
  • Think about the ways in which Jewish studies contributes to, broadens and challenges important conceptual approaches in humanistic studies, engaging with questions related to such issues as nationalism and transnationalism, diaspora and globalization, multilingualism and translation, majority-minority relations, race, gender and sexuality, etc.
  • Attain beginning competency in a Jewish language.
  • Be confident thinkers, analysts and creators of culture.

A major in Jewish studies incorporates a strong focus on close reading and interpretation of classic and modern texts and attention to cross–cultural interactions, involving various disciplines in order to understand the dramatic story of Jewish civilization. Students take courses in the program as well as offerings from other departments in Jewish literature, history, politics, religion and culture.

Advisers

Ernest BenzJustin CammyLois DubinJoel KaminskyEllen Kaplan

The major in Jewish studies comprises 10 semester courses:

A. Basic Requirements
  1. Basis: JUD 125 Jewish Civilization (same as REL 125), normally taken in a student’s first or second year.

  2. Language: JUD 101 and 102 (formerly JUD 110y) 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 101 and 102 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) or a research-intensive JUD 400 Special Studies (see below)in which a student investigates an advanced topic under the direction of a faculty supervisor.

Additional Guidelines 
  1. No course counting toward the major shall be taken for an S/U grade.

  2. In addition to JUD 101 and 102 and JUD 125, no more than two courses at the 100 level shall count toward the major.

  3. Although JUD 101 and 102 are 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.

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:

  • HST 203 Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World 
  • HST 205 The Roman Empire 
  • HST 228 Medieval Peripheries
  • HST 255 20th-Century European Thought 
  • MES 208 History of the Modern Middle East
  • REL 105 Introduction to World Religions 
  • REL 106 Women and Religion 
  • REL 215 Introduction to the Bible II 

A minor in Jewish studies incorporates a strong focus on close reading and interpretation of classic and modern texts and attention to cross–cultural interactions, involving various disciplines in order to understand the dramatic story of Jewish civilization. Students take courses in the program as well as offerings from other departments in Jewish literature, history, politics, religion and culture.

Advisers

Ernest BenzJustin CammyLois DubinJoel KaminskyEllen Kaplan

The minor in Jewish studies requires a total of five courses
  1. JUD 125 (same as REL 125) or JUD 101 and 102, as the basis of the minor.
  2. Four additional courses distributed over at least three of the areas of Jewish studies (Language, The Bible and Classical Judaism, Religion and Thought, History and Politics and, Literature and the Arts).

The yearlong JUD 101 and 102 count as one course toward the minor.

The honors program is designed to enable qualified students to devote a substantial portion of their senior year's course work to an extensive research project, culminating in the writing of a thesis and the completion of an oral examination. Students are expected to work within a field in which they already know the general literature and which Smith faculty can support. Interested students should consult the departmental honors section of the class deans website for complete information on applying for honors and for funding resources.

The program allows a student to prepare her honors thesis over two semesters (JUD 430D) for a total of 8 credits.

In recent years Jewish Studies students have written honors theses on the following diverse topics:

  • Encounters with Yiddish Paris
  • Anticipatory Illuminations: The Performance of the Jewish Sabbath as Queer Futurity
  • Grains of Wheat: A Play in Two Acts
  • The Fiction of Rikuda Potash (translation and analysis)
  • I am Supermentsh: Searching for the Jew in Comic Book Superheroes
  • American Jewish Anti-Zionism: Historic Precedents, Intellectual Influences and Contemporary Consequences
  • Post-vernacular Yiddish: A Case Study of the Yiddish Book Center
  • Innovation Within Tradition: Halachic Egalitarianism and the Role of Independent Minyanim

Requirements for the Honors Major

Eleven semester courses, with JUD 430d counting for two of them.

A. Basic Requirements

Basis: JUD 125 Jewish Civilization, normally taken in a student’s first or second year.

Language: JUD 101 Elementary Modern Hebrew I and JUD 102 Elementary Modern Hebrew II. 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 101/102 does not reduce the requirement to take 10 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 include one or more courses 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. Honors Capstone Requirement

The yearlong honors thesis project (JUD 430d) counting as two semester courses.

Additional Guidelines
  1. No course counting toward the major shall be taken for an S/U grade.
  2. In addition to JUD 101/102 and JUD 125, no more than two courses at the 100 level shall count toward the major.
  3. Although JUD 101/102 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.

Requirements for Admission to Honors

A student majoring in Jewish studies who intends to submit an application for candidacy in the honors program should first meet with the director of honors in Jewish studies to obtain the application form and the college's regulation sheet and to make sure that the procedures for admission are understood. Proposals are normally developed during the spring semester of the student's junior year either by directly meeting with a potential thesis adviser or by clarifying the proposal via e–mail if the student is studying abroad.

To be admitted to the honors program a student must have a 3.4 cumulative GPA through her junior year, demonstrate the ability to do independent work and have her thesis proposal approved by the program by the requisite deadline.The achievement of the minimum GPA is no guarantee that a student's honors proposal will be accepted.

Advisers

A student should arrange to have one faculty member from the program serve as her thesis adviser. The thesis adviser is to supervise the planning, research, writing and evaluation of the thesis. Because the adviser and candidate will work closely together throughout the duration of the program, a student must make sure that her adviser will not be on leave or on sabbatical during the relevant semesters. In addition, students may suggest the names of other faculty whom they desire to act as readers for the thesis, although the program must approve the second reader.

Application Deadlines

Students are encouraged to submit proposals during the spring semester of junior year. The college's deadline for application for honors is the third week of September (or the first week of February in the case of students completing their college studies in January). In order for the program to complete its review process, however, applications and proposals must be submitted to the director of honors no later than two weeks before the college's deadline for applying to honors. Students who have not received approval for their projects by the end of the spring semester of their junior year must register for a four–course load for the following semester; if they are admitted to honors they can then drop one or two regular courses during the year and substitute honors.

The Proposal

In addition to completing the college's application form, each student will submit a proposal for honors. The proposal should be approximately three double-spaced typed pages that explain the specifics of the project by outlining the following:

  • What issues will be explored?
  • Which historical eras, texts or thinkers will the project focus upon?
  • What types of methods will be used?

An initial annotated bibliography including relevant primary and secondary sources should be appended to the proposal. The program may ask a student to rewrite her proposal and to submit it again, but this cannot be done after the college's official deadline. All proposals should be developed under the supervision of a student's potential thesis adviser. Proposals submitted at the last minute and without close consultation with a faculty member often fail to meet the research and scholarly specifications required to secure program approval.

The Thesis

The honors thesis is expected to be a mature and polished piece of undergraduate research. Though there is no minimum or maximum page limit for the thesis, normally they amount to at least 50 pages (double-spaced) and rarely exceed 80 pages.

Deadlines

Jewish studies follows the college deadlines for due dates. The final version of the thesis is due to the thesis adviser according to the final deadline set by the college. The date of the oral examination is set through negotiation between the honors candidate, the adviser and the program, and must take place on or before the final day of classes for the semester.

Grading

Honors work in Jewish studies will be evaluated in the following fashion:

  • 60% for the written thesis
  • 10% for the oral defense
  • 30% for GPA in the Jewish studies major

Double majors

A student who is pursuing a major in Jewish studies and another department or program may want to develop an honors thesis project that integrates work from both majors. Please consult the director of honors for more information.


Courses

Please check the course catalog for up-to-date information.

Basis

  • JUD 125/REL 125 The Jewish Tradition 

Language

  • JUD 101 Elementary Modern Hebrew 1 (fall)
  • JUD 102 Elementary Modern Hebrew 2 (spring)
  • JUD 200 Intermediate Modern Hebrew
  • JUD 201 Readings in Modern Hebrew Language 

Bible and Classical Judaism

  • FYS 117 The Bible and the American Public Square
  • REL 112 Introduction to the Bible I 
    (Formerly REL 162)
  • REL 211 What is the Good Life? Wisdom from the Bible
  • 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
  • REL 310 Why do the Innocent Suffer

Religion and Thought

  • JUD 229 Judaism and Environmentalism
  • REL 110 Colloquia: Thematic Studies of Relion: The Holy Land
  • REL 221  Jewish Spirituality: Philosophers and Mystics
  • REL 223  Jews and Modernity: A Global Diaspora
  • REL 320 Judaism, Feminism, and Religious Politics in the U.S.

History and Politics

  • GOV 248  The Arab-Israeli Dispute 
  • HST 243 Reconstructing Historical Communities
  • HST 246 Memory and History
  • HST 350  Gender and Histories of the Holocaust 
  • JUD 110j Enviromental Challenges in Israel
  • JUD 235  Perspectives on the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • JUD 255 20th Century European Thought
  • JUD 284  Jewish Life in Eastern Europe, 1750-1945
  • JUD 287  The Holocaust
  • JUD 288 History of Israel
  • JUD 362 Yiddishland
  • MES 235 Perspectives on Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • REL 227 Women and Gender in Jewish History
  • SPN 245 Jewish Women of the Muslim Mediterranean

Literature and the Arts

  • ENG 230  American Jewish Literature 
  • FYS 143 Secrets of Fiddler on the Roof
  • FYS 186  Israel: Texts and Contexts
  • GER 231 Nazi Cinema
  • JUD 110 Introduction to Yiddish
  • JUD 215 The Heart of the Matter
  • JUD 260  Yiddish Literature and Culture 
  • JUD 362 Seminar in Jewish Studies
  • SPN 246 Latin American Jewish Writers
  • THE 208 American Musical Theater
  • THE 241 Staging the Jew 
  • WLT 218  Holocaust Literature 
  • WLT 231  American Jewish Literature 
  • WLT 277  Modern Jewish Fiction 

Fall 2022

 

JUD 101 Elementary Modern Hebrew I
The first half of a two-semester sequence introducing modern Hebrew language and culture, with a focus on equal development of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Learning is amplified by use of online resources (YouTube, Facebook, newspapers) and examples from Hebrew song and television/film. No previous knowledge of modern Hebrew is necessary. This course is available to Mount Holyoke College students through a simultaneous video-conferencing option. Enrollment limited to 18. Credits: 5
Joanna Caravita

 

JUD 125 The Jewish Tradition  
Offered as JUD 125 and REL 125. Who are the Jews? What is Judaism? How have Jews understood core ideas and texts, and put their values into practice, from biblical times until today? An interdisciplinary introduction to the dramatic story of Jewish civilization and its conversation with different cultures from religious, historical, political, philosophical, literary, and cultural perspectives, organized around different themes. Credits: 4
Lois C. Dubin

 

JUD 217  Motherhood in Early Judaism
How did early Jewish communities imagine mothers, and what does this reveal about communal ideas of gender, family, and identity in early Judaism? This course considers various manifestations of mothers in early Judaism through exploration of such literary sources as the Bible, rabbinic literature, and the pseudepigrapha, as well as artifacts from material culture such as Aramaic incantation bowls, synagogue wall paintings, and other archeological evidence. No prior knowledge of Judaism is expected (E). Credits: 4
Sari Fein

 

JUD 235 Perspectives on the Arab-Israel Conflict
Offered as JUD 235 and MES 235. What is in dispute between Israelis and Palestinians? What has prevented a resolution to the conflict, and why does it continue to arouse such passions? Situating contemporary controversies in their historical contexts, explores key issues such as borders, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, security, debates about Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, the impact of religious claims, and the role of regional and international players and activists. Includes analysis of competing models for conflict resolution. No prerequisites. Open to students at all levels. Credits: 4
Justin Daniel Cammy

 

JUD 287 The Holocaust 
The history of the Final Solution, from the role of European antisemitism and the origins of Nazi ideology to the implementation of a systematic program to annihilate European Jewry. How did Hitler establish a genocidal regime? How did Jews physically, culturally and theologically respond to this persecution? Credits: 4
Justin Daniel Cammy, Ernest Benz

 

FYS 117 The Bible and the American Public Square
We examine what the Bible (and to some extent the broader Jewish and Christian traditions) have to say about controversial issues that have divided Americans in the past (e.g., slavery) and present (e.g., abortion). The aim is to give students the skills to assess critically various arguments that invoke the Bible or religious tradition and authority, wherever they come from on the political spectrum. Students are introduced to the Bible and biblical scholarship, as well as learn about different understandings of biblical authority and views of applying the Bible to contemporary political and ethical debates. This course counts toward the Jewish studies and religion majors. Enrollment limited to 16 first years. Credits: 4
Joel S. Kaminsky

 

REL 213 Social Justice in the Hebrew Bible
An exploration of biblical prophecy with a focus on how the prophets called for social and religious reform in language that continues toresonate today. Credits 4
Joel S. Kaminsky

 

A Sampling of Fall 2022 Jewish Studies Courses in the Five Colleges: (For the full list, visit the Five College Course website)

  • JWST 234 Women and Gender in Judaism (Mara Benjamin, MHC)
  • JWST 2XX  Gender of Yiddish (Madeleine Cohenm, MHC)
  • REL 267 Reading the Rabbis (Susan Niditch, AC)
  • JUD 365 Antisemitism in Historial Perspective (Ralph Melnick, UMass)
  • HACU 236 Responses to the Holocaust (Jeff Wallen, HC)

 

The Program in Jewish Studies encourages international study as a way to enhance knowledge of Jewish civilization. The following Smith-approved institutions offer courses in Jewish studies.

Study Abroad Adviser: Justin Cammy

 

Israel

Students planning to study for a year or semester at Smith-approved programs at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv University are reminded that international study guidelines require that students complete JUD 101 and 102 Elementary Modern Hebrew (or the equivalent of a full year of college-level elementary Hebrew) prior to departure.

Students who believe they already have the equivalent of JUD 101 and 102 will be required to take a Hebrew language proficiency exam administered by the Program in Jewish Studies to determine whether they have met the foreign language requirement set by Smith College.

The Office for International Study at Smith College recommends, but does not require, a full year of Hebrew or Arabic for students applying only to the Arava Program for Environmental Studies.

Special waivers are required of students electing to study in Israel. Please contact the study abroad adviser and/or the Office for International Study for more information.

 

Europe

 

Canada

 

Africa

 

Australia

 

Students who wish to take summer courses abroad or domestically should follow the procedures for summer school credit available on the class deans website.

 

Yiddish Language Study

Students interested in Yiddish language, literature and culture are encouraged to attend one of the following programs.

 

Israel

Universities in Israel offer intensive summer programs for all levels of Hebrew language study, and courses in Jewish studies and Middle Eastern studies.

  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew University offers courses in classical and modern Hebrew, Arabic, Jewish Studies, Biblical Studies, Archeology, and Middle East Studies)
  • Tel Aviv University (TAU offers summer courses in Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish and Middle East)
  • Haifa University (Courses in Hebrew and Arabic language, archeology and Israel studies)
 

Hebrew Language Study in the United States

There is very little financial aid available for students studying at domestic (U.S.) programs. Students planning to attend a program at an American institution should apply for financial aid at that institution and for assistance through the class deans office.

 

Summer Study Grants

  • Program in Jewish Studies funding for the study of Jewish Languages
    Students are eligible to apply to the Program in Jewish Studies for support of accredited summer language study in modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino. The application is competitive and funding is limited. Please send an email to the director of the Program in Jewish Studies, Justin Cammy, with the following information: Name of program at which you plan to study; total cost of program (including airfare); confirmed sources of other funding; pending sources of other funding; a one page of explanation of how language study intersects with your scholarly program and an unofficial copy of your transcript. A letter of recommendation from a faculty member in support of your summer language studies should be sent directly to the program director no later than the deadline. Students are expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.30 at the time of application. All application materials must be received no later than March 1, 2022
  • Leila Wilson Fund for the study of a Middle Eastern Language
  • International Experience Grants (for study, research, internships, or volunteer opportunities)
  • Praxis stipends for summer internships

Faculty in Cross-Listed Courses

The following faculty members offer courses that are cross-listed in Jewish studies or related disciplines.

Emeriti

Martha Ackelsberg
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emerita of Government and Professor Emerita of the Study of Women & Gender

Donna Robinson Divine
Morningstar Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and Professor Emerita of Government

Myron Peretz Glazer Z"L
Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor Emeritus in the Social Sciences

Hans Vaget
Helen and Laura Shedd Professor Emeritus of German Studies and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature



Alum Spotlight

“Jewish studies introduced me to a world of meaningful literature and history. The course work and connections made at Smith were the foundations that prepared me professionally to lead one of the largest public history projects in the country documenting the legacy and changing nature of Jewish culture.”
Christa Whitney ’09, Director, Wexler Oral History Project, Yiddish Book Center (MA)

“I learned Yiddish at some of the leading organizations in the world, and my honors thesis brought all my learning together in a project I could call my own. I went on to earn a master’s degree in library and information science and have since used what I learned in working with Jewish sources in my work at academic and public libraries.”
Teddy Schneider ’18, Collections Manager, Jenkintown Public Library (PA)

“Jewish Studies provided me with the self-confidence to analyze complicated ideas and find my critical voice. I developed the skills to become a Fulbright scholar, pursue an M.A. in public policy, and ultimately have a career with the State Department as a presidential management fellow. The support of my professors was paramount to my success, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the college and Jewish studies for bringing me to where I am today.”
Katy Swartz ’13, Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of European Union and Regional Affairs, U.S. Department of State

“My Jewish Studies major was integral to becoming a medical student. The skills and knowledge I gained in the Jewish Studies department helped me approach healthcare with cultural humility, tackle ethical problems, and formulate questions that get to the heart of the matter.”
Hunter Myers ’18, Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont

 

 

 

Contact

Jewish Studies
Seelye Hall 207A
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
Phone: 413-585-3390
Fax: 413-585-3393

Chair: Justin Cammy
Administrative Coordinator: Lorraine Hedger
Student Liaison: Dora Kianovsky

Individual appointments can be arranged directly with the faculty.