welcome first-year students!
Learn more about the Jewish Studies Program and meet some of our faculty and past students in this video. Below, you will find more information about Jewish Studies and about studying Hebrew and/or using it to satisfy your foreign language requirement.
Hebrew language courses are offered through a partnership between Jewish Studies and MENA Languages.
Hebrew may be used to satisfy the Weinberg undergraduate foreign language requirement.
- If you have never studied Hebrew before, you must begin with 111-1, the first quarter of first year Hebrew, offered every Fall Quarter.
- If you have previously studied Hebrew in school, through private instruction, or at home, you will need to take the online Hebrew Placement Test. The link is below. The results of this exam will indicate if you already have enough proficiency to satisfy the foreign language requirement. If you do not yet have enough proficiency, the Placement exam will indicate where in Northwestern’s Hebrew language sequence you should begin.
- The Hebrew Placement Test onsists of a questionnaire about your Hebrew experience and an online proficiency test. Both can be accessed here. For questions or concerns, please contact Professor Hanna Tzuker Seltzer: firstname.lastname@example.org
what is Jewish Studies?
Jewish Studies at Northwestern is an interdisciplinary enterprise examining Jewish life from ancient to modern times with a focus on the interaction between the Jewish people and the world. It explores Jewishness as a cultural, ethnic and/or religious identity and phenomenon. More specifically, Jewish Studies courses offer instruction in Jewish texts and languages, philosophy and literature, religion and history. Our faculty seek to develop students’ skills in critical reading, writing, and thinking, using comparative approaches, and building bridges between the universal and the particular.
You can take Jewish Studies courses to fulfill distribution requirements, as a way to explore your identity, as a step toward bettering your critical thinking, or simply out of curiosity. The students who take Jewish Studies courses are a diverse group and many have no background in Judaism.
Our courses are open to everyone, and the department offers a major in Jewish Studies, a minor in Jewish Studies and a minor in Hebrew Studies for anyone who would like to make Jewish Studies a focus of their undergraduate studies.
What do we offer?
Each academic year, the Jewish Studies Program offers more than 40 courses. Many of these courses are appropriate for an entry-level student with no background; all of them will be intellectually challenging even for a student with a solid foundation in Jewish texts. Our comprehensive course listing. and quarterly lists will help you find the courses that are most interesting to you.
When it’s time to register, you will see that while a few of our courses will be listed on CAESAR under Jewish Studies, the majority are listed in other academic departments and programs including Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literary Studies, English, German, Hebrew Language, History, Political Science, Religious Studies, Spanish, and Sociology.
Introductory courses are a great starting place for exploring the themes of Jewish Studies. We particularly recommend these classes as an introduction to this field of study.
- RELIGION 220 Intro. to Hebrew Bible
- RELIGION 230 Intro. to Judaism
- HISTORY 203-1, -2, -3 Medieval, Early Modern, Modern Jewish History
- HISTORY 292 Jewish Material Culture
- COMPARATIVE LIT 278, 279 Jewish Literature
- GERMAN 234 Jews and Germans
- JEWISH STUDIES 280 Topics in Israel Studies
300-level courses may also be appropriate for new students. If you have questions about a specific course, please consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Claire Sufrin
Please contact Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Maayan Hilel (email@example.com) with any questions about the undergraduate program in Jewish Studies.