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Modern Jewish Studies B.A.

Immerse yourself in the many facets of the Jewish experience in modern times, as well as Jewish cultures and ideas, with this interdisciplinary major.
Students walking in front of the Hall of Languages.
The modern Jewish studies program is housed in the Hall of Languages, a campus landmark and Syracuse University’s first building.

About this Program

  • Examine Jewish cultures and ideas through literature, philosophy, Holocaust studies, the Israel-Palestine conflict and modern anti-Semitism.
  • Gain familiarity with Jewish art, architecture and visual culture, and explore Judaism, the Hebrew Bible and classic Jewish texts.
  • Experience a range of interesting events, including lectures, films and musical performances, among others.
  • Connect with students who have similar academic and religious interests through Chabad House, Hillel Jewish Student Union and LIME: Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue Group.
  • Broaden your perspective through academically relevant study abroad programs in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Madrid, Spain.
  • Develop analytical skills and cultural competencies to prepare for a variety of careers, including those in business, writing, academia and more.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

Career Path

Exterior of Hall of languages building

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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Courses explore: American, European, Israeli and Yiddish literatures; Jewish thought and culture; Jewish philosophy; Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; Holocaust studies and modern anti-Semitism; Jewish art, architecture and visual culture; an introduction to Judaism; introductory and advanced level work in Hebrew Bible and the classical Jewish textual tradition.

  • In this program, you’ll be able to identify a text, idea and/or argument in relation to its geographical place and historical time.
  • You’ll learn to advance arguments on those texts or ideas, marshaling evidence from course material.
  • You’ll gain the ability to examine texts and arguments by comparing and contrasting them with other texts and arguments, and criticize these texts and arguments on the basis of criteria defined by the instructor.
  • You’ll develop proficiency in judging and justifying arguments and texts in order to appraise the coherence of that argument or text.
  • At the completion of your studies, you’ll submit an informal essay reflecting on your course of study and your understanding of Jewish culture (literature, religion, politics and/or history). Identify what you mean by “Judaism” or “Jewish culture,” based on your program of study.

  • Introduction to Judaism
  • American Judaism
  • Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
  • Religion and Politics in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • The Torah/Pentateuch as a Scripture

Extracurricular Opportunities

Student organization

Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life

The Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life at Syracuse University provides resources and programs to students who are eager to be involved in Jewish life. Through engagement programming, Hillel draws students into Jewish life with innovative and nontraditional activities, including experiences in residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses, off-campus apartment complexes and other campus hot spots. Hillel also hosts FreshFest for new incoming students, which is the largest pre-orientation program offered on campus every year.

Study abroad opportunity

Study Abroad in Tel Aviv

Through the Syracuse University World Partner programs, students can opt to study abroad at Tel Aviv University, the largest university in Israel and the biggest Jewish university in the world. The program is taught in English and has a required intensive Hebrew language program, as well as courses in many interdisciplinary areas.

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Learn more about this program

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