Welcome to Jewish Studies!

Explore our website to learn more about our major and minor in Jewish Studies, the assortment of courses offered by a diversified faculty, and to see the variety of events sponsored by our program. We invite all students, alumni and friends to see what we're up to here at KU as well as in the surrounding communities.

Statement on recent events in Charlottesville

The faculty and students of the Jewish Studies Program fully support the Chancellor's strong statement, "Confronting Racism and Hate" (https://chancellor.ku.edu/news/2017/aug14), published soon after the recent events of 14 August in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Jewish Studies Program is also acutely aware that anti-Jewish slogans, signs, and gestures were very much present at the rallies of the white supremacists. Such antisemitism has been on the rise in the United States for some years, but there has been an especially sharp rise in recent months, with some people feeling empowered by the current political climate in the US and elsewhere.
The Jewish Studies Program and its faculty and students are devoted to resisting and calling out racism, antisemitism and all forms of dehumanizing discrimination. We believe that discrimination and bigotry are antithetical to the egalitarian principles of our country, that all people are created equal, deserve equal respect, and should enjoy equal protection of the laws. Bigotry, hatred, and discrimination hurt us all.

voted and accepted by the Jewish Studies Executive Faculty, 28 August 2017
endorsed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, 10 September 2017

If you see something, say something!
As members of the Jewish Studies community, if you notice any antisemitic activity or are concerned or threatened by hateful actions and expressions on campus, please reach out to the Kansas University Public Safety Office [785-864-5900 or kupso@ku.edu], and/or to the Jewish Studies Program (jewishstudies.ku.edu); we are committed to address your concerns.


News for Fall 2017

The JS faculty has been working very hard to keep Jewish Studies constantly developing.

We now step into our second year of offering BOTH a Jewish Studies minor and a major. See our websites on the two programs: the JS Minor and the JS Major. And this year we should be adding an undergraduate certificate in Holocaust Studies; check out our Academics website for details!

And to make sure that our students are receiving the best advice, JS now has its first dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Renee Perelmutter. Check out the sidebox at the right!

With the major, Jewish Studies is now an independent, stand-alone program.

We also continue to sponsor study abroad programs in Israel (Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem) and at Jewish Studies programs in other countries: check out the Office of Study Abroad: http://studyabroad.ku.edu.

This past summer, KU JS continued to excavate in southern Israel at Tell es-Safi, the site of ancient Gath, led by Professors Aren Maeir of Bar Ilan University and our own Eric Welch. Check out their video!

The Program has received several donations of books on Jewish subjects; we're beginning to amass quite a library! We and the development staff of KU Libraries have been in negotiation with several prominent donors in the area to receive their libraries on Jewish topics from art to history.

This year, Professor Emeritus David Katzman is in the final stages of his research on Jews and Jewish communities of the Midwest. This Fall, on Nov 12 (Sun), 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, we sponsor a one-day symposium about this work with 5 speakers drawn from around the US. For more information, click on the poster at the right.

Gal Levy of the Open University of Israel returned on Aug 23 (W) to give a lecture, "Citizenship in Crisis in Contemporary Israel," 4-5:30 in the English Room, KS Union; Gal taught for us in 2015-2016. Maybe we can get him back again.

Check out our calendar page for more events.

We're getting better all the time!

John Younger, Professor in Classics and Director of Jewish Studies
jyounger@ku.edu - Email me with your thoughts and suggestions!

Why major in Jewish Studies? Because Jewish Studies offers a creative environment to learn, think, and reflect about Jewish culture, history,  communities, and religion from both a national and global perspective.

Upcoming Program Events
Dr. Perelmutter to be first Director of Undergraduate Studies!

Dr. Renee Perelmutter will be the first Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Jewish Studies Program! Dr. Perelmutter is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Slavic. She will begin her position as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Fall 2017 semester.


Dr. Gal Levy, former Visiting Israeli Professor at KU, has won first prize for best article in Hebrew from the Israeli Political Science Association. The article looks at the post-protest protest in Israel and Dr. Levy gives acknowledgments to the KU Jewish Studies Program. Dr. Levy currently teaches at the Open University in Israel.

KU Jewish Studies Facebook Page
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Nondiscrimination Policy

In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at The University of Kansas, we understand that an equitable and safe multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural environment produces innovative thinking, research, and learning. Click here for the University's nondiscrimination policy.