The Jewish Studies Program at Stetson University offers an interdisciplinary approach to study Jewish history, culture, language, religion, philosophy, politics and law. Conceived as a five-course minor, the program is flexible, fostering cross-cultural interactions and global learning, including the potential of study abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It is also unique among most minors at Stetson in requiring a modest research project that addresses one or more of the program's learning outcomes.
Why Jewish Studies at Stetson University?
One of the oldest fields of interdisciplinary studies, dating back to the mid-19th century, Jewish Studies was born out of a conversation between many areas of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences, and, therefore, encourages engagement with big ideas beyond disciplinary silos.
Though Jews make up a diminutive percentage of the world's population, understanding the history, religion and culture of Jewish communities leads to greater knowledge of some of the world's most decisive events: The creation of monotheism, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the French Revolution, nationalism and imperialism, the Holocaust and the foundation of the State of Israel, to name a few.
Through Jewish Studies, you will better understand regions of the world that are of vital importance for our global future, including the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe. Also, you will understand the religion and the (political) culture of your fellow American citizens, the complexities of Middle Eastern politics and the history of American interventions.
For Jewish Studies Minors interested in extra and co-curricular Jewish life, Stetson has a vibrant Hillel organization. For more information, please contact Zipporah Hruby, or follow the Hillel Facebook page.
Stetson also has a partnership with Hebrew University to facilitate study abroad for a semester or a year. For more information, please contact Stetson's WORLD office.
All Jewish young adults (18-32) are also eligible for an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel through Birthright.
As an interdisciplinary minor, which provides students with a rich background in global and transnational history, religion, culture and politics, Jewish Studies is the ideal complement to a number of majors across the arts, sciences and professional Schools. Whether you are a finance, religious studies, art, history or biology major, showing that you have the breadth of knowledge of global politics, culture and society is helpful in enriching your resumé and increasing your chances of admission to law, business or medical school.
For more information on possible career paths, educational and experiential opportunities linked to the broader field of Jewish Studies, see the excellent career website of the University of Minnesota Jewish Studies Program, as well as the many opportunities listed at the American Jewish Studies Association website.
The Jewish Studies faculty includes a diverse variety of professors who teach different subjects, including history, religious studies, political science, music and creative arts, and more.
- Rabbi Barry Altman, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies
- Michael Denner, PhD, Slavic Languages and Literature, Northwestern University
- Manuel DeMurga, PhD, composition, Eastman School of Music
- Mayhill Fowler, PhD, history, Princeton University
- Sam Houston, PhD, Florida State University
- Eric Kurlander, PhD, modern European history, Harvard University
- Susan Peppers Bates, PhD, philosophy, University of Pennsylvania
- Elisabeth Poeter, PhD, German studies, University of California at Berkeley
- Steven Smallpage, PhD, political science, Michigan State University
- Margaret Venzke, PhD, Columbia University
- Joseph (Rusty) Witek, PhD, English, Vanderbilt University
- Daniil Zavlunov, PhD, musicology, Princeton University
The Jewish Studies Minor at Stetson University provides students with the opportunity to study the global Jewish diaspora through course offerings on Jewish history, culture and language, religion and philosophy, politics and law. Students gain a working knowledge of key events, themes and turning points in Jewish history, culture, religion and geography. They will learn about Jewish ethnocultural, religious and socio-political diversity across Israel, Europe and the United States, and develop an awareness of the interdisciplinary approaches to Jewish Studies drawn from multiple scholarly disciplines and fields.
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