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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

Jewish Studies

Chair: S. Heschel

Professors S. Ackerman (REL), S. Heschel (REL), S. Kan (ANTH), L. D. Kritzman (FRIT), S. Magid (JWST), T. El-Ariss (MES); Associate Professors, V. Fuechtner (GERM), Y. Komska (GERM), A. Simon, (MES), J. Smolin (MES), M. F. Zeiger (ENGL); E. Fishere (MES), S. E. Kangas (ARTH), B. S. Kreiger (ENGL), K. F. Milich (COLT); Lecturers, B. Avishai (GOVT), R. Greenblatt, (JWST)

The Jewish Studies Program serves to provide a multi-disciplinary focal point for the various courses in Jewish history, religion, literature, and culture that are given at Dartmouth as well as to sponsor special course offerings (including those by the annual Brownstone Visiting Professor) and a variety of academic activities related to the discipline. The program currently offers a major and a minor.


To view Jewish Studies courses, click here


Jewish Studies Major

Students will take ten courses for the major in JWST. We urge students to complete a range of courses, including literature, history, politics and religion, and ancient, medieval and modern Jewish history, culture and thought. We require majors to write a senior thesis over the course of two terms (JWST 86 and 87) or take a one-term independent study (JWST 85) as a culminating experience. This would include writing a major research paper, preferably making use of a foreign language. 


All majors are encouraged to participate in the joint JWST/GERM three-week Winterim FSP in Berlin, which offers one course credit towards the major. There is no specific language requirement for the major, though students are encouraged to obtain reading proficiency in Hebrew texts, classical and modern.


All of our courses are cross-listed, and we welcome students modifying the JWST major with appropriate courses from other departments and programs.


Majors should complete at least one course on the pre-modern era, one course on the modern era, and one specialized seminar, selecting at least one course from each of the following three categories: 


Pre-Modern Era

JWST 6 (Introduction to Judaism) or JWST 10 (History and Culture of the Jews: Antiquity and Medieval) or JWST 4 (Hebrew Bible);


Modern Era

JWST 11 (History and Culture of the Jews: Modern) or JWST 61 (Modern Judaism); or the FSP in Berlin;



JWST 44 (Making of the Modern Middle East); JWST 51 (Freud, Jews and Gender); JWST 74 (The Jewish Jesus); JWST 53 (Gender and Judaism); JWST 40 (Politics of Israel/Palestine); JWST 37 (Nazis, Neo-Nazis and Antifa); JWST 13 (Jews and Race); JWST 42 (Arabs, Jews and Constructions of Modernity)


These seminars are regularly offered, once or twice each year. In addition, visiting faculty may offer a seminar on a different topic on a one-time basis that may count toward fulfilling the seminar requirement.


The thesis proposal should be submitted to the JWST chair for approval by the faculty by the spring of the student's third year. Once approved, the student should enroll in JWST 86 and 87 in two terms of the senior year. The thesis should be submitted by week four of the spring term. At least three faculty in JWST will read the thesis. The student will present the thesis to JWST faculty and interested students; the thesis grade will be recommended by the student's advisor and approved by JWST faculty.

Jewish Studies Minor 

The minor is designed to offer a general introduction to the historical and cultural experience of Jews throughout the world, and to Jewish thought, literature, and contemporary political and social issues.

Requirements: A total of six courses, including one from the pre-modern era and one from the modern era