Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University

 

Jewish Studies Program

The Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University engages in interdisciplinary study of the history, cultures, language(s), identities, and religion of the Jewish people. While our program encompasses the historical and geographic breadth of Jewish experiences, our particular strengths are in five key areas: American Jewish history, culture, and literature; European Jewish History and Holocaust Studies; Hebrew; Israel Studies; and Judaism and Jewish Philosophy.

A hallmark of our program is the close interaction of faculty, students and community members. The Jewish Studies Program offers a 20 credit undergraduate minor in Jewish Studies that allows students to explore, in interdisciplinary and flexible ways, Jewish history, culture, and identity, to learn Hebrew, and to study Judaism and Jewish thought. Students work closely with faculty mentors, who provide guidance both on academic development and professional opportunities. Our students have opportunities to engage in substantive research projects in class or as guided independent studies as well as senior theses, and to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs in Israel. The result is a collegial, supportive community of students and faculty who form lasting relationships.

The Jewish Studies Program also supports the scholarly work of Jewish Studies faculty at MSU, developing a nationally recognized program that fits with the aspirations of a 21st century global university. We have 6 core Jewish Studies faculty and over 20 affiliated faculty from ten departments and colleges across the university. The program contributes to and enhances knowledge of Jewish life in the university community, mid-Michigan, and the State of Michigan.

The Undergraduate Jewish Studies Minor
The Jewish Studies Minor offers a rich interdisciplinary program which introduces undergraduates to the history, cultures, language(s), identities, religion, and civilization of the Jewish people. Students can choose from among our varied and flexible course offerings (listed below), for a minimum of twenty (20) credits, which can be taken while fulfilling the requirements for a major in nearly any field at MSU. Our minor centers on our strengths in American Jewish History and Culture, European Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Hebrew, Israel Studies, and Judaism and Jewish Philosophy. We emphasize close collaboration with and advising from faculty, and offer rich opportunities for undergraduate research. These curricular components are enhanced by our many co-curricular lectures and films designed to enhance classroom experiences and research.

 

Jewish Studies Program Statement on Executive Order

We, members of the Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University, strongly condemn the executive order issued by President Trump, which suspends the entry of all duly screened refugees for 120 days, and indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees, as well as denying immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries entry into the United States for the next 90 days. The executive order has arbitrarily thrown the lives of innocent people across the globe into disarray, among them in all likelihood, members of the MSU community. The President added further insult to injury in issuing this order on, of all days, International Holocaust Remembrance Day – a day on which we remember, as part of the horror of the Holocaust, how many Jews were barred from entering countries in which they sought refuge from Nazi persecution, including the United States, only to be returned to Europe where many met their deaths. The issuing of these executive orders on such a day underscores the way history is in danger of being forgotten, and thereby repeated. Conscious of the course of Jewish history, punctuated by expulsion, persecution, and the search for refuge, we oppose discrimination of any kind, and particularly the denial of entry into the United States to fellow human beings fleeing persecution and war. We welcome them into our midst as our brothers and sisters, immigrants as so many of us were once, in the spirit of our great American tradition. We strongly urge that the United States Government end this inhumane and imprudent policy immediately.

Yael Aronoff | Eric Aronoff | Safoi Babana-Hampton | Kirsten Fermaglich | Steven Fraiberg | Chris Frilingos | Steve Gold | Lynne Goldstein | Karrin Hanshew | Benjamin Lorch | Mary Juzwik | Michael Kaplowitz | Yore Kedem | Michael Koppisch | Deborah Margolis | Noga Morag-Levine | Anna Norris | Matthew Pauly | Steve Rachman | Lev Raphael | Amy Simon | Ronen Steinberg | Margot Valles | Steve Weiland

Click here for Jewish Studies Courses for 2016-2017

 

SPRING SEMESTER 2017 EVENTS

TUESDAY, MARCH 14th, 7:00-8:30pm
GUEST LECTURE
TWO WORLDS COLLIDE: THE ORIGINS OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

Club Spartan, third floor of Case Hall
Alan Dowty, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Notre Dame University has published seven books and over 130 articles on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy. He will speak about his forthcoming book on the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which analyzes of the historic forces that brought the conflict into existence and an attempts to answer the question of its inevitability, given the positions and circumstances of the two sides. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and James Madison College.

SATURDAY, MARCH 25th, 7:30-10:00pm
STANLEY AND SELMA HOLLANDER JEWISH MUSIC AND ART EVENT
THE YELLOW TICKET

RCAH Theater, lower level of Snyder-Phillips Hall
The Yellow Ticket is a multimedia event featuring a rare 1918 silent film and an original score by renowned klezmer violinist/vocalist/composer Alicia Svigals, performed live along with virtuoso new-music pianist Marilyn Lerner. Joel Rubin, clarinetist, ethnomusicologist, and Associate Professor of Music and Director of Music Performance at the University of Virginia, will also perform. “The Yellow Ticket” tells the story of an innocent young Jewish woman from a Polish shtetl who is constrained by anti-Semitic restrictions to lead a double life in a brothel while attempting to study medicine in Tsarist Russia. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters, James Madison College and Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

SUNDAY, APRIL 2nd, 1:45PM-8:45pm and TUESDAY, APRIL 4TH, 7:00-9:15pm
FILM FESTIVAL
THE ANNUAL ISRAELI FILM FESTIVAL

April 2: Wells Hall B-122; April 4: Wells Hall B-119
The Jewish Studies Program will show four full-length Israeli films: Apples from the Desert, Arabic Movie, Baba Joon and Sand Storm. See pages 7 and 8 for more information on the festival. Co-sponsored by the Union Activities Board, the College of Arts and Letters, the Asian Studies Center, and James Madison College.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5th, 7:00-8:30pm
GUEST LECTURE
MYSTERIES OF THE AFTERLIFE: TRANSCENDING DEATH AND FINDING HEAVEN IN JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM

The Kellogg Center Auditorium
How did the hope for a blessed afterlife arise and evolve in Judaism, Christianity and Islam? Based on his ongoing research. Professor J. Edward Wright (University of Arizona) will address this and other questions related to the power of afterlife beliefs and images of heaven. Co-sponsored by the Muslim Studies Program, the Department of Religious Studies, the College of Arts and Letters and James Madison College.

THURSDAY, APRIL 20th, 7:00-8:30pm
25th ANNUAL RABIN HOLOCAUST/3rd MICHAEL BRILL MEMORIAL LECTURE
HISTORY AND CATASTROPHE: THE SECRET WARSAW GHETTO ARCHIVE OF EMANUEL RINGELBLUM

The Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Center
During World War II Jews resisted not only with guns but also with pen and paper. Even in the face of death they left “time capsules” full of documents, which they buried under the rubble of ghettos and death camps. The Ringelblum Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto buried thousands of documents. But of the 60 people who worked on this mission, only three survived. Professor Samuel Kassow (Trinity College) will discuss their story. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and James Madison College.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21st, 9:00-5:00pm
STUDENT RESEARCH CONFERENCE
ANNUAL JEWISH STUDIES STUDENT RESEARCH CONFERENCE

Wells Hall B-342
Students will present projects from their Jewish Studies courses, followed by a lunch with Jewish Studies alumni.

 

News

MSU’s Jewish Studies Summer Program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem offers students the opportunity to earn 8 credits in the arts and humanities or social sciences while living and studying in Jerusalem. For more information, contact Yael Aronoff, Director, Jewish Studies Program at 517-884-1275 or aronoffy@msu.edu.

Events

TWO WORLDS COLLIDE: THE ORIGINS OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
TUESDAY, MARCH 14th, 7:00-8:30pm in Club Spartan, third floor of Case Hall
Alan Dowty, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Notre Dame University has published seven books and over 130 articles on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy.

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