CAS Adds Judaic Studies Minor and Expands Hebrew Language Program

Posted: July 27, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

This fall, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) will roll out a new interdisciplinary minor program in Judaic Studies. As part of this initiative, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages will expand its foreign language offerings, putting in place four semesters of modern Hebrew language training over the next two academic years while also expanding its Biblical Hebrew program for the 2006-07 academic year.

“Faculty felt that since there were Judaic courses taught in a variety of fields and departments, including History and Art History, Sociology and Anthropology, and Religious Studies, it would be useful to put together a minor program that would gather together all of these courses so that interested students could take a cohesive program of study,” says John Barclay Burns, associate professor of religious studies and coordinator of the Judaic Studies minor.

“The minor will also, hopefully, help to foster a global understanding of Judaic culture, since it emphasizes Jewish history, religion, literature, and sociology.”

Students who enroll in the program will have to complete 15 credits in Jewish history, literature, politics, and religion. They will be required to choose three out of four set courses to fulfill the minor’s core requirement, covering topics such as Jewish religious life and thought, classical Jewish religious texts, the social history of the Holocaust, and the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. An additional 6 credits of elective course work will also be required.

Although foreign language courses such as modern or Biblical Hebrew may be taken for elective credit, foreign language study is not yet a formal requirement.

The decision by Modern and Classical Languages to begin offering modern Hebrew language was directly related to the start of the Judaic Studies Minor.

“It seemed to us that this modern language should certainly be an available option for students enrolled in the new minor,” says Jeffrey Chamberlain, the department’s chair. This fall, the first elementary-level course, Hebrew 101, will be offered, followed by Hebrew 102 in the spring of 2006.

For more information on the new Judaic Studies interdisciplinary minor, visit the program’s web site.

For more information on the Biblical Hebrew program, visit the Department of Modern and Classical Languages’ web site.

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