Jewish culture and religion have flourished in a rich variety of forms and in remarkably disparate places on the globe for thousands of years. Jewish contributions have deeply affected the art, language and literature, law, philosophy, political thought, and sciences of all nations. The global impact of Jewish culture thus warrants its study as an important component of the liberal arts and sciences curriculum at KU. The Jewish Studies Program at KU is the only such program in the state of Kansas. Its mission is to celebrate in the US heartland the Jewish experience and promote the understanding of its cultural importance with courses and academic programs that focus on the history, diversity, culture, and languages of the Jewish people and their religion.
The Program in Jewish Studies offers an undergraduate major (BA in Jewish Studies) and minor, Departmental Honors (both by research paper or by service learning) and courses in Jewish Studies, Hebrew, and Yiddish. We also co-sponsor courses in many other units, especially Religious Studies. Among our several focus areas are Judaic studies, identities and ethnicities, languages and narratives, history and archaeology, and applied service in Jewish organizations.