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Judaic and Near Eastern Studies

Judaic and Near Eastern Studies | Courses | Faculty

744 Herter

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Office: 744 Herter
Phone: (413) 545-2550

Chair of Department: Professor James Young. Associate Chair: Shmuel Bolozky. Professors Berkovitz, Rothstein; Associate Professors Ben-Ur, El-Hibri, Shapiro; Assistant Professor Gershenson; Adjunct Professors Couch, Denny, Dienes, Donson, Ellis, Erdman, Katsh, Mednicoff, Skolnik, Sullivan, Wilson.

Judaic Studies

The Field

The program in Judaic Studies seeks to cultivate an appreciation of the central role played by Jewish culture in the development of human civilization. As an interdisciplinary program, Judaic Studies exposes students to a variety of perspectives on issues of enduring importance and global concern. Students may choose from a wide selection of introductory and advanced courses in Jewish history and thought, a full program in Hebrew language and literature, and Yiddish language. Beyond the core area of instruction, the curriculum also includes courses offered by several distinguished faculty holding joint appointments in Judaic Studies.

Students may supplement the Judaic Studies course offerings with the following options: Special Problems courses in the area of a student’s particular interest may be arranged with adjunct Judaic Studies faculty. Approved one-credit courses offered through the Hillel House or Chabad House may be taken by enrolling in JUDAIC 191, 192 or 193 alpha courses. Consult the department’s Course Description Guide produced each semester.

Students are also encouraged to spend one or two semesters of study at a recognized Israeli university, and may, with prior permission, apply Judaic and Hebrew credits toward their major in Judaic Studies. Information on available programs may be obtained at the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies.

The Major

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. JUDAIC 101 and 102 The Jewish People I
and II

2. Three years of Hebrew. Students may take Hebrew courses in a combination of language (modern and/or biblical), literature, or linguistics. However, a first-year or second-year sequence in Modern Hebrew or in Biblical Hebrew followed by its Biblical Hebrew or Modern Hebrew counterpart at the same level does not constitute an additional year in the three-year language requirement (see course listings).

3. Six 3-credit upper-division Judaic Studies courses (at or above the 300 level), with at least three in a field of concentration, determined in consultation with the Chief Undergraduate Adviser. Areas such as Bible, literature, or a particular period of history would be appropriate (see course listings).

4. The Junior Year Writing requirement: two credits of the Junior Year Writing practicum course (JUDAIC 398W), or two one-credit 398W courses taken over two semesters. In either case, each single credit will be associated with an upper-level Judaic Studies course designated as “Writing-intensive.”

5. An Honors option is available for qualified students in many courses.

6. Courses with a Pass grade or a grade lower than C cannot be accepted for major credit.

Hebrew Language
Students can fulfill the university language requirement with either modern or biblical Hebrew (see course listings).

Career Opportunities

A major in Judaic Studies is suitable preparation for any preprofessional training which requires an undergraduate liberal arts education. Many of our majors have plans for a career related to Judaica or graduate study. Alumni and alumnae who have majored in Judaic Studies have gone to graduate schools such as Brandeis, Harvard, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yeshiva University School of Social Work, and have entered fields such as Jewish communal service, social work, the arts and communications, teaching, and advanced graduate study.

The Minor

The Judaic Studies or Hebrew Minor enables students to gain grounding in some particular facet of the discipline, without fulfilling the full range of major requirements.

In Judaic Studies
1. JUDAIC 101 and 102.
2. Four additional courses, at or above the 300 level, with two in a field of concentration (see course listings).

In Hebrew
Any six courses (18 credits) in Hebrew language (beyond Hebrew 120 Elementary Modern Hebrew II), literature or linguistics (see course listings).

Middle Eastern Studies

744 Herter Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Tayeb El-Hibri, Director
Office: 729 Herter Hall
Phone: (413) 545-5874

Middle Eastern Studies Advisory Committee: Shmuel Bolozky, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies; Walter Denny, Art History; Tayeb El-Hibri, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies; Mohammed Jiyad, Mount Holyoke; David Mednicoff, Legal Studies; Robert Sullivan, German; Mary Wilson, History.

The Field

The Middle Eastern Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses related to the Middle East offered through various departments. The program also includes various levels of Arabic and Hebrew courses offered through the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies. In addition to the university’s courses, students can draw on Middle Eastern Studies courses offered at the other four colleges in the Five College system. A Middle Eastern Studies major allows students to explore various academic and professional prospects after graduation, including teaching, journalism, international relations, business, and joining non-profit organizations.

The Major

Requirements for a major are as follows:
1. HISTORY 130 and 131;
2. Fulfilling the intermediate level requirement (two years) in a Middle Eastern language;
3. 24 upper-level credits (300-level courses and above) in Middle Eastern subjects in a variety of disciplines including Arabic, Art History, Economics, Political Science, Religion, Sociology; with adviser’s approval some of these courses may be taken at the other four colleges in the Five College system;
4. Junior Year Writing requirement (usually taken in the History Department, HISTORY 591-595).

The Minor

The Minor in Middle Eastern Studies requires students to complete one year of a language of the region, HISTORY 130 and 131, and three upper level courses chosen from an approved list of courses offered by the Five College consortium. For a minor in Arabic language, non-native speakers are required to take one year (6 cr) beyond the intermediate level. Native speakers are required to take six courses (18 cr) beyond the intermediate level.

Education Abroad

In addition to the courses offered, the University has an exchange program with the American University in Cairo, which offers both summer and full-year scholarships through the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA). The summer program at AUC concentrates only on colloquial Egyptian Arabic, while the full-year program offers Modern Standard Arabic as well as courses in history, religion, political science, economics, and literature. Credits earned may be transferred to the University as part of a Middle Eastern Studies concentration, subject to approval of the program adviser. Other programs in Tunisia, Morocco, and Syria are also available to qualified students.

For detailed information on study abroad opportunities, contact the Middle Eastern Studies Program or the International Programs Office.


Judaic and Near Eastern Studies | Courses | Faculty