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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Jewish Studies

Directors: Charlotte Fonrobert, Vered Shemtov

Academic Advisory Committee: Zachary Baker (Stanford University Libraries), Joel Beinin (History), Jonathan Berger (Music), Arnold Eisen (Religious Studies, emeritus), Amir Eshel (German Studies), John Felstiner (English), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English), Charlotte Fonrobert (Religious Studies), Avner Greif (Economics), Mark Mancall (History, emeritus), Norman Naimark (History), Jack Rakove (History), Aron Rodrigue (History), Gabriella Safran (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Vered Shemtov (African and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures), Peter Stansky (History, emeritus), Amir Weiner (History), Steven Weitzman (Religious Studies), Sam Wineburg (Education), Steven Zipperstein (History)

Offices: Building 360, Room 362H

Mail Code: 94305-2190

Phone: (650) 725-0577


Web Site:

The Taube Center for Jewish Studies investigates all aspects of Jewish life in history, religion, literature, language, education and culture from biblical times to the present. Courses are offered on the undergraduate and graduate levels in a program complemented by a full range of guest lectures, conferences, and symposia. The Center annually sponsors the Donald and Robin Kennedy Undergraduate Award for the best undergraduate essay on any theme in Jewish Studies, and the Dr. Bernard Kaufman Undergraduate Research Award in Jewish Studies to an undergraduate engaged in research on Jews in modernity.

Graduate students enroll in the program through the departments of English, History, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies, or the School of Education, and must meet the requirements of those departments.

Undergraduate Programs in Jewish Studies


The Individually Designed Major in Jewish Studies permits interested students to focus their attention on the broad field of Jewish Studies and, at the same time, to expand their knowledge of one or another related fields.

Each major should complete at least 75 units, all in courses at or above the 100 level (or their equivalent). A maximum of 15 of these 75 units may be taken on a credit/no credit basis. A maximum of 5 of these 75 units may be taken in individual study or directed reading. Students must present evidence that demonstrates their ability to do independent work and have at least three full quarters of undergraduate work remaining at Stanford after the date on which the proposal is approved by the committee. Each major must obtain sponsorship from three faculty members, one of whom is the student's primary adviser, and from one of the Directors of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. The application deadline for IDM proposals is the fifth week of Spring Quarter of the sophomore year. Applications are reviewed only once a year. Details about the written procedures and documents necessary for application for an individually designed major in Jewish Studies can be obtained at the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Bldg. 360, Main Quad, (650) 725-2789.


The faculty members in Jewish Studies have designed the following structure for the major:



History and Society:

Students must take one course in each of the three periods: biblical and ancient, medieval and modern, and contemporary



Biblical, rabbinic, medieval, modern



Hebrew, Holocaust, American Jewish, Yiddish, German Jewish, Russian Jewish


Hebrew Language (second year or beyond):

Students who demonstrate by examination that they have completed the equivalent of at least two years of university-level modern Hebrew may apply the 12 units required in this category to more work in another category, with the approval of their primary adviser


Ancillary Courses:

Ancient history, medieval history, modern European history, history of philosophy, Islam, Christianity


Total number of units required


Students planning an Individually Designed Major in Jewish Studies are also urged to write an honors thesis. Students interested in declaring an Individually Designed Major in Jewish Studies should discuss this with their adviser(s) when discussing the major itself. Up to 10 honors thesis units may be included in the major.

No course proposed for the major may be counted as fulfilling more than one required category in the proposed major. Transfer credits from other universities must be approved by the appropriate Stanford authorities.


Students interested in pursuing an Individually Designed Major in Jewish Studies are advised to consult the following list of courses in preparing their program.

AMELANG 50A. Reading Hebrew, First Quarter

AMELANG 127. Land and Literature

AMELANG 128A. Beginning Hebrew, First Quarter

AMELANG 128B. Beginning Hebrew, Second Quarter

AMELANG 128C. Beginning Hebrew, Third Quarter

AMELANG 129A. Intermediate Hebrew, First Quarter

AMELANG 129B. Intermediate Hebrew, Second Quarter

AMELANG 129C. Intermediate Hebrew, Third Quarter

AMELANG 130A. Advanced Hebrew, First Quarter

AMELANG 140A. Beginning Yiddish, First Quarter

AMELANG 140B. Beginning Yiddish, Second Quarter

AMELANG 140C. Beginning Yiddish, Third Quarter

AMELANG 170A. Biblical Hebrew, First Quarter

AMELANG 170B. Biblical Hebrew, Second Quarter

AMELANG 170C. Biblical Hebrew, Third Quarter

COMPLIT 247. Modernism and the Jewish Voice in Europe (same as GERGEN 221A, SLAVGEN 221)

COMPLIT 345. Modern Hebrew Literature Reading Circle

FEMST 139. Rereading Judaism in Light of Feminism

GERLIT 104N. Resistance Writings in Nazi Germany

HISTORY 137/337. The Holocaust

HISTORY 185B. Jews in the Modern World

HISTORY 207. Biography and History

HISTORY 211B/311B. Jews Under Islam and Christianity in the Middle Ages

HISTORY 217A/317A. Poverty and Charity in Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

HISTORY 217B/317B. Land of Three Religions: Medieval Spain

HISTORY 229/329. Poles and Jews

HISTORY 287D/387D. Tel-Aviv: Site, Symbol, City

HISTORY 287E/387E. Jewish Intellectuals and Modernity

HISTORY 288/388. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (same as IPS 388)

HISTORY 385A. Core in Jewish History, 17th-19th Centuries

HISTORY 385B. Core in Jewish History, 20th Century

HISTORY 385K. History of Modern Antisemitism

HISTORY 387C. Zionism and Its Critics

HISTORY 486A. Graduate Research Seminar in Jewish History

INTNLREL 120. Terrorism and Security in Israel

MUSIC 80. Music of Modern Israel

MUSIC 80T. Jewish Music in the Lands of Islam

RELIGST 15N. The History of Immortality

RELIGST 23. Introduction to Judaism

RELIGST 95. How to Read the Bible

RELIGST 132C. Jesus the Jew in First Century Christianity

RELIGST 148A. St. Paul and the Politics of Religion

RELIGST 221A/321A. Philology of Rabbinic Literature

RELIGST 221B/321B. The Talmud as Literature

RELIGST 226A/326A. Judaism and Hellenism

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