Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University


Jewish Studies Program

The Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University engages in the 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.

COURSES 2017-2018

From the Director:

To kick off an exciting new year, I am thrilled to announce a development that will have a profound impact on our Program: Michael and Elaine Serling have decided to establish, through a multi-million dollar Jewish Studies Program naming gift, a new endowment in MSU Jewish Studies! This new endowment in “Modern Israel” will be designed to connect MSU with Israel’s dramatic innovation and excellence in the fields of start-up high tech companies, medical discoveries in the areas of cancer research, Parkinson’s, paralysis, and biomedical engineering, as well as food science and security, water scarcity, cybersecurity and many other diverse technologies and inventions. It will also support our current ventures promoting academic exchange and joint research in the social sciences and humanities between MSU and Israeli universities. The goal of the endowment is to promote student and professor exchange, classroom experiences, and internships with Israeli universities, organizations, and companies, and promote joint research at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Upcoming Events:

Fall 2018 Events will be announced soon



Congratulations to Jewish Studies minors Mackenzie Cater, Anna Cumming, and Kaila Waineo for receiving the Jewish Studies Student Achievement Awards! They were recognized before the Rabin/Brill lecture on April 9th at Kellogg Center.


Fall 2018 Events will be announced soon


FACEBOOK: Become a fan of the Jewish Studies Program on Facebook

TWITTER: Follow Jewish Studies Program at MSU on Twitter