The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel
The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel 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.
A hallmark of our program is the close interaction of faculty, students and community members. The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel 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 Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel also supports and highlights 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 5 core Jewish Studies faculty and 30 affiliated faculty from ten departments and colleges across the university. We support faculty professional development and achievement in Jewish Studies, including research and study travel, travel to professional meetings, and support for publication. 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 that 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, 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. 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.