The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel
Established in 1992, The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel introduces students to the history and religion, culture and civilization of the Jewish people. Courses survey these themes from biblical times to the present; from ancient Israel to Europe, the United States, and modern Israel; from the Inquisition to the Holocaust; and from biblical texts to modern Hebrew. Our emphasis is on modern Hebrew. Students may take Jewish studies courses to satisfy requirements in their major programs and/or complete a 20-credit minor in Jewish Studies.
In addition to advising students about Jewish curriculum and courses, the program director counsels students about study in Israel, including MSU programs in Israel; financial assistance for study in Israel, including three Jewish Studies-managed funds, the Levy., Slade, and (soon the) Gladner scholarships; approved courses of study at Israeli universities; admission to and fellowships for graduate and professional programs in Jewish Studies; and employment opportunities in Jewish communal services, Jewish education, journalism, Middle East conflict negotiation, and several related professional fields.
The Jewish Studies Program includes five core faculty spread in six departments or fields and four colleges, an additional 25 affiliated faculty spread in six colleges, and a Jewish Studies librarian in the MSU libraries. Jewish Studies also mounts an annual schedule of events, lectures, films, and performances, including annual events connected with several endowment funds focusing on Yiddishkeit, Jewish Music and Art, Jewish and Israeli film, Modern Israel, and the Holocaust. An annual Kirschner Recruitment Event flies the MSU flag at the JCC in West Bloomfield.
The Jewish Studies office is at C730 Wells Hall, with the director’s office at C725 Wells, and the administrative assistant at C712 Wells Hall. The phone number for Jewish Studies is (517) 432-3493.