About ASU Jewish Studies

ASU Jewish Studies offers college instruction, research and community outreach.

The Jewish Studies Program enhances knowledge of all facets of Jewish life through undergraduate and graduate courses, research conferences, workshops, scholar-in-residence programs and public lectures. Committed to critical inquiry and scholarly entrepreneurship, Jewish Studies offers a new and creative model to integrate a Jewish perspective into all relevant disciplines and academic units, including history, religious studies, political science, justice studies, international letters and cultures, film and media studies, and law. Concomitantly, Jewish studies practices the ideal of social embeddedness by conducting outreach programs and serving as an intellectual resource to Jewish life in metropolitan Phoenix.

The Jewish Studies program — founded in 1978 — is the academic element of ASU Jewish Studies.

The program offers an array of courses in an academic structure designed to examine the history and culture of the Jews; to provide a model for interdisciplinary teaching and research; to generate and facilitate research in Judaica; and to stand as an example of the university's commitment to a program of meaningful ethnic studies on a firm academic base.

The program offers a bachelor of arts in Jewish studies, a certificate of concentration in Jewish Studies in addition to numerous undergraduate and graduate scholarships and awards, available to all ASU students actively pursuing the degree, certificate and/or a course of study involving Jewish Studies courses or research themes.

Jewish Studies is the research and community outreach, which contributes to the production of new, collaborative, and interdisciplinary scholarship in Jewish studies.

The center was created to enhance research and promote high-level instruction in the understanding of Judaism locally, nationally and globally. It offers an innovative model for the inclusion of a Jewish perspective into relevant academic disciplines and academic units at ASU. Assuming a leadership role in educating the public about Jewish history and culture, from antiquity to the present, the center conducts a vigorous public outreach program that offers lectures, seminars, symposia and art exhibits.

Judaism is the oldest religion in the West, shaping western worldview, social institutions, and culture. The mission of Jewish Studies at ASU is to educate students, faculty and the public at large about the centrality of Judaism in Western history and culture.

Jewish Studies at ASU is devoted to:

  • Disseminating accurate information about Jewish history, religion and culture
  • Facilitating critical inquiry of Jewish past and present
  • Promoting collaborative, interdisciplinary research nationally and internationally
  • Serving an intellectual resource in metropolitan Phoenix through adult education programs
  • Enhancing the intellectual quality of Jewish life in metropolitan Phoenix
  • Developing awareness about the challenges for Jewish existence, including persecution, genocide and assimilation

Jewish Studies serves as an intellectual resource for ASU faculty and students, scholars in the U.S. and abroad, and the public of metropolitan Phoenix, and promotes research projects, conferences, symposia, and workshops, and public lectures focusing on:

  • Judaism and Science
  • Judaism and Ecology
  • Judaism and Diaspora Existence
  • Judaism, Liberalism and Secularism
  • Judaism and the Arts

Jewish Studies also supports individual research projects of affiliated faculty and students on other themes and topics.

In addition to research, Jewish Studies coordinates instruction on all aspects of Jewish civilization at ASU. Committed to life-long learning, Jewish studies promotes life-long learning throughout metropolitan Phoenix. Faculty affiliated with Jewish Studies, visiting scholars and post-doctorates offer mini-courses and public lectures on a broad range of subjects.

Beyond serving the needs of metropolitan Phoenix, Jewish Studies has a global outreach program though collaborative research projects with national and international scholars. Special emphasis is placed on strategic ties between ASU and universities in Israel (i.e., Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Haifa University) through exchanges of students and faculty.