Welcome to the Jewish Studies Program at UC Davis! On these pages you will find information about Jewish Studies and what it offers to students, faculty, and the broader Davis/Sacramento community. You can become acquainted with the Jewish Studies core faculty, a group of world-class scholars in the fields of history, literature, cultural and religious studies, government and international relations and related fields in the social sciences and the humanities. You may explore the current course offeringsthat are listed here and learn about the requirements for completing a minor field in Jewish Studies. You can also find out about upcoming events, how to contact the program director, and read our newblog, that will give you an idea of what we do and the topics that excite us. There is even a place to make a gift to Jewish Studies, if you are inspired to subscribe to our program and the benefits it offers to the UC Davis community.
Since the founding of Jewish Studies at UC Davis three decades ago, the program has attracted students from a wide range of disciplines; historians like myself who recognize the pivotal role Jews have played in the making of global histories; anthropologists who seek to decode the complex cultural practices at the heart of the Jewish experience; students of comparative literature who see the interweaving of Jewish-inspired thoughts and feelings throughout the corpus of world literature; science and engineering students drawn to the humanistic aspects of Jewish studies and the access they offer to our collective existence ; political scientists and students of international affairs who appreciate the complexity and inter-relatedness of Middle East politics and the role of the Jewish state within them; students in the fields of medicine, psychology, human and animal health, and agriculture who simply wish to enrich their intellectual journey through UC Davis with forays into the sphere of Jewish studies.
It is a vast and diversified terrain, to be sure, both geographically and conceptually. It includes courses on Western Jewish history and culture, Biblical and post-Biblical studies, Jews of the Middle East and North Africa, anti-Semitism in all its pernicious forms, and Holocaust studies that explore the centrality of that unprecedented phenomenon to modern life. Our faculty pride themselves on their offerings of introductory as well as more advanced level lecture courses. A unique feature of the program are small seminars on specialized topics that offer the opportunity for in-depth research and discussion. . Faculty generously endeavor to establish close relationships with students through attentive listening and creative teaching methods. Some of our graduates have gone on to higher degrees in Jewish studies and have achieved fame in their area of expertise, while others simply recall their introduction to Jewish Studies at UC Davis as an illuminating moment in their college career. Either way, we hope to fulfill our mandate of making this rich and important topic in the study of world civilizations available to all those who seek us out.
Outreach is another important pillar of this program. We welcome members of the Davis/Sacramento communities to our public events listed on this website. Our blog and occasional pieces published in these pages are intended to introduce our program to even wider audiences. Please visit us often, and remember that we are also grateful for donations and other support that make this program possible.