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    American University
    Jun 08, 2023  
American University Catalog 2019-2020 
American University Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Jewish Studies


Director  Pamela Nadell
Director of Undergraduate Studies  Lauren Strauss


Faculty from other schools and departments of the university teach courses in the program.

Program Overview

The Jewish Studies Program recognizes that Jews and Judaism constitute a distinct yet integral component of the heritage of Western civilization. Jewish studies courses analyze the civilization of the Jews and its various cultural and religious expressions from the patriarchal period to the present.

Jewish studies courses embrace the total experience of the Jewish people, spanning the spectrum of the arts, humanities, and the social sciences. Moreover, since dynamic contact with many other religions and cultures influenced the development of Jewish civilization, courses view Jews and Judaism within the broader context of these dominant societies, and enrich one’s understanding of American and world Jewries. The Jewish Studies (BA)  and Jewish Studies (Minor)  prepare students for leadership within and service to the Jewish community, and for a greater understanding of our pluralistic society.

As a center of Jewish organizational life, Washington, DC provides opportunities for internships with local Jewish organizations devoted to community relations, religious activities, Israel, and social welfare. A Jewish studies minor combined with an education major may lead to certification for teaching in Jewish schools.

Special Opportunities

  • Estelle Seldowitz Endowed Scholarship Fund: This fund provides scholarships to qualified students, pursing a course of study of or including Jewish studies.
  • Dr. Everett and Marian Gordon Scholarship Awards in Jewish Studies: Established in 1976 to provide awards for outstanding senior theses in Jewish studies, and scholarships for classroom performance by students in Jewish studies courses, with preference given to students without previous background in Jewish studies.
  • Internships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and other organizations in the Washington Jewish community


    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)