Jewish Studies

major

The Center for Jewish Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies, a minor, and two certificate programs. A strong interdisciplinary curriculum with a language requirement provides a basis for understanding the broad spectrum of Jewish cultures, languages, and histories.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Center Information

The Center for Jewish Studies promotes academic study of Jewish culture, history, and politics for all students at the University of Florida. The Center’s curriculum encourages critical thinking, textual analysis, research, oral argumentation, and writing. The Center has scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as study abroad opportunities.
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CONTACT

352.392.9247

P.O. Box 118020
1120 Turlington Hall
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-8020
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 Curriculum

Related Programs 

The Center for Jewish Studies fosters the academic study of Jewish cultures, languages, history, society and religion for all students at the University of Florida. Students are expected to develop as critical thinkers, aware of the diversity and complexity of the field. The center promotes a broad and interdisciplinary approach including the arts, social sciences, and textuality. The curriculum emphasizes historical transformations and comparative frameworks among various Jewish communities and with other groups and religions. Courses draw upon a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality with methodologies that are both textual and performance oriented.

The program may serve as preparation for graduate work in Jewish studies, as background for a career in Jewish education or community service or as an area of special interest that will enrich the undergraduate experience. Students often combine the JST major or minor with other majors and go on to careers in law, medicine, journalism, business, or other professions.

Coursework for the Major

The major requires a minimum of 27 credits in Jewish studies and related courses with minimum grades of C. In addition, one year of Hebrew or equivalent language with significant Jewish culture production is required. A minimum of 15 credits for the major must be taken at the University of Florida. Students should consult the undergraduate coordinator in 201 Walker Hall.

Required Coursework

  • JST 2930 Introduction to Jewish studies or an introduction to Jewish culture or, Jewish history or a survey course in Jewish studies (3 credits)
  • Senior seminar, generally offered every other spring, or an approved equivalent JST course requiring a comprehensive research paper
  • Minimum 21 credits at the 3000 level or above

Special topics courses in other departments may be counted toward the major provided they include substantial coverage of material relevant to Jewish studies. Individual work (JST 4905), which also fulfills requirements for the major, is also available for independent study and special projects. No more than six credits of independent study (JST 4905) will be counted toward the minimum. Normally, no more than 12 credits of the minimum may be transfer credit; however, all transfer credits in JST-related courses from UF-approved programs abroad will apply toward the major.

Course Details

Most JST courses are listed in the schedule of courses under Jewish Studies. Related courses offered by other departments are listed in departments of Anthropology, English, History, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Political Science, Religion, and Sociology. A list of courses is available in the center each semester before advance registration.
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Specializations

  • European Jewish Studies
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Israel Studies

Honors

Honors in Jewish studies can be earned by students who have at least a 3.5 GPA in their upper-division work and a 3.5 GPA in the major. Students who seek honors are required to complete an honors project, with a grade of A or B, under the guidance of a Jewish studies faculty member. In their senior year, honors students should register for JST 4970, a 2-3 credit course.

Internship in Jewish Communal Services

Students can gain practical experience as an undergraduate through the internship option of JST 4940. The goal of this program is both to expose the student to the opportunities for service in the world of organized Jewry and to provide a means for students to understand how Jewish values are propagated in organized settings. Students earn credit for volunteer work and training in applied settings such as Jewish family and social services agencies, community centers, federations, educational institutions, museums, newspapers, denominational organizations, public affairs groups, synagogues, Hillel or equivalent institutions. To qualify for JST credit, the organization must have an explicit public tie to Judaism and be approved for internship credit by the Center for Jewish Studies.

Overseas Study

The Center for Jewish Studies provides counsel regarding study abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The overseas programs at these Israeli universities offer summer, one semester and full-year courses of study. Information is available in 201 Walker Hall and at the UF International Center, 170 Hub.

Scholarships are available. Travel restriction updates are available on the department website.

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 2

  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 3

Semester 4

  • Complete HBR 1131 and one Jewish studies course with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 5

  • Complete all critical-tracking courses with a 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete 2 of the remaining Jewish Studies courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 7

  • Complete 2 of the remaining Jewish Studies courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 8

  • Complete all remaining Jewish Studies major requirements
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
HBR 1130 Beginning Modern Hebrew 1 (Critical Tracking) 5
JST 2930 Special Topics in Jewish Studies (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Humanities and International) 3
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
State Core Gen Ed Mathematics 3
 Credits14
Semester Two
HBR 1131 Beginning Modern Hebrew 2 (Critical Tracking) 5
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
Jewish studies elective 3
State Core Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences 3
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Credits17
Semester Three
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
Jewish studies electives 6
Gen Ed Mathematics 3
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Credits15
Semester Four
Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences (area not taken in semester two) 1 3
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 3
Science laboratory (Gen Ed Physical or Biological Sciences) 1
Electives 7
 Credits14
Semester Five
Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
Elective 3
Jewish studies electives 6
Gen Ed Physical Sciences 3
 Credits15
Semester Six
Gen Ed Biological Sciences 3
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
Jewish studies electives (Critical Tracking) 6
 Credits15
Semester Seven
Electives 6
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
Jewish studies elective (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Humanities) 3
 Credits15
Semester Eight
JST 4970 Senior Honors Thesis (Critical Tracking; optional; or elective) 3
Elective 3
Electives (3000 level or above; not in major) 6
Jewish studies elective (Critical Tracking) 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits120

This major familiarizes students with the aspects of Jewish history, religion, languages and cultures. Emphasis is placed on basic language acquisition, analysis and critical evaluation of texts and contexts, integration of cultural data with disciplinary concerns outside of Jewish studies and comparative frameworks among different Jewish groups and with co-territorial non-Jews.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Satisfactory evaluation of paper written for the CJS capstone course, graded according to department rubric.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of and competence in the Jewish experience, including minority and diasporic communities within a comparative framework.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of transformations of Jewish communities over time and space.

Critical Thinking

  1. Understand the significance of language in assessing Jewish culture(s).
  2. Evaluate and apply effectively the significance, quality and veracity of information (both primary and secondary) in the literature.

Communication

  1. Articulate research results clearly and effectively in an accepted style of presentation.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4 SLO 5
Courses are taken multiple times with changes in topic.
JST 2930 Introduction to Jewish Studies I I I I
JST 3930 Holocaust Studies R R R R R
JST 3930 Modern European Jewish History R R R R R
JST 3930 Jewish History R R R R R
JST 3930 Secular Jewish Culture R R R R R
JST 4936 Judaism and Politics A A A A A
JST 4936 Israeli Society A A A A A

Assessment Types

  • Direct assessment of essays and final tests (by track: Holocaust studies, Israel studies, general studies)