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This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

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

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 173. Politics and Poetics in Israeli Literature: David Grossman and Other Contemporary Hebrew Writers

AMELANG 176. Introduction to Ladino: Language, Literature, and Culture

AMELANG 177. Middle Eastern Cities in Literature and Film

AMELANG 297. Directed Reading in African and Middle Eastern Languages

AMELANG 395. Graduate Studies in African and Middle Eastern Languages

AMELANG 50A. Reading Hebrew, First Quarter

AMELANG 50B. Reading Hebrew, Second Quarter

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 130C. Advanced Hebrew, Third Quarter

AMELANG 140A. Beginning Yiddish, First Quarter

AMELANG 140B. Beginning Yiddish, Second Quarter

AMELANG 140C. Beginning Yiddish, Third Quarter

AMELANG 170A. Biblical Hebrew

AMELANG 170B. Biblical Hebrew

COMPLIT 22. Memory, History, and the Contemporary Novel (Same as GERLIT 246.)

CSRE 12. Presidential Politics: Race, Class, Faith, and Gender in the 2008 Election (Same as AFRICAAM 12.)

ECON 117. Economic History and Modernization of the Islamic Middle East

ENGLISH 140A. Creative Resistance and the Holocaust

FEMST 139. Rereading Judaism in Light of Feminism

GERLIT 121. Hanna Arendt

HISTORY 137/337. The Holocaust

HISTORY 229/329. Poles and Jews

HISTORY 85S. Jews, Christians and Muslims in a Mediterranean Port City: Salonica, 1821-1945

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

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

HISTORY 287B/387B. International Law and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

INTNLREL 150. The Arab-Palestinian Minority in Israeli Society

INTNLREL 155. Counter Terrorism

INTNLREL 207. Tribe, State, and Society in the Modern Middle East

JEWISHST 299A. Directed Reading in Yiddish, First Quarter

RELIGST 23. Introduction to Judaism

RELIGST 127A. Kabbalah: The Mystical Teachings of Judaism

SLAVGEN 153/253. Russian Jewish LIterature

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