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    American University
    Feb 29, 2024  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Jewish Studies

Director Pamela Nadell

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

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 majors and minors in Jewish studies prepare students for leadership within and service to the Jewish community, and for a greater understanding of our pluralistic society. A minor in Israel Studies is also offered.

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.