Judaic Studies

Judaic Studies and Hebrew Studies Minors

About Judaic Studies

The Judaic Studies Program at the University at Albany promotes literacy and scholarly knowledge about Judaism and Jewish history in their diverse cultural expressions from antiquity to the present. We are scholars, teachers, and students aimed at exploring the fundamentals of Judaic studies as an interdisciplinary academic field with a variety of methodologies. The Judaic Studies Program is affiliated with the Department of History.

Judaic Studies Scroll

Judaic Studies offers undergraduate courses at elementary and advanced levels, many of which are cross-listed with other departments. Practicum credit may be earned by assisting with course instruction and Internship credit through community service. Many students take advantage of the SUNY-wide Israel study program for a semester or year overseen by Judaic Studies. Students may apply for sponsored scholarships.

Avenues often pursued by Judaic Studies graduates

  • Graduate Training in Social Welfare
  • Jewish Communal Administration or Education
  • The Rabbinate or Cantorate
  • PhD Programs 
  • Diplomacy


Degree Requirements for the Minors

Judaic Studies Minor

A minimum of 18 graduation credits (9 or more of which must be in course work at or above the 300 level) from course work in the Department of Judaic Studies or other relevant departments. No more than 4 credits from among A HEB 450 or A JST 450 or 490 may be applied to the minor.

View frequently offered Judaic Studies courses in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Hebrew Studies Minor

A minimum of 18 graduation credits (9 or more of which must be at or above the 300 level or in coursework requiring at least one prerequisite course) from coursework with an A HEB prefix, and A JST/A HIS 225, A JST/A HIS/A REL 253, and A JST/A HIS/A REL 254. No more than 4 credits of A HEB 450 may be applied to the minor.

View frequently offered Hebrew courses in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

 

For more information about minors, go to the University's Undergraduate Bulletin.

Upcoming Events

TBD

SUNY has arrangements with Haifa University, the Hebrew University, Ben-Gurion University, and Tel Aviv University for students who desire to spend a semester or an academic year studying in Israel. Students can earn credits toward the Judaic Studies or Hebrew Studies minors for suitable courses. Learn more on the Study Abroad page.

 

 

Depictions of Israel
Judaic Studies and Hebrew Undergraduate Course Offerings
Winter 2022-23 Course

 

JST 250 (1296) (3 crs)   

 The Holocaust & Genocide in the Modern World   

Matkowska, Justyna ([email protected]  
FULLY ONLINE COURSE – ASYNCHRONOUS   
*Cross-listed with HIS 250 (1295)    

This course examines the nature, causes, historical facts, and aftermath of the Holocaust. Students will investigate the events of the Holocaust integrated within World War II and the post-war aftermath and cultural memory. Students will explore, analyze, and discuss the radicalization of Nazi policies and programs and the targeting of specific groups: four racially targeted groups (Jews, Roma and Sinti, Slavs, Soviet prisoners of the war), as well as other persecuted groups (homosexuals, political prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses, disabled people, and other victims). The focus is on the analysis of the patterns of persecution of targeted groups in Nazi-dominated Europe. Students will analyze and discuss primary source documents, the survivors’ testimonial evidence, and documentary regarding forms of Nazi persecution (extermination camps, forced labor camps, ghettos, pogroms, mass executions). and put these sources into the context of larger events, changes, regimes, and conflicts. The additional focus will be on the collective memory of Genocide, the commemoration of the victims, and the current political and historical debate on the Holocaust.

 

Spring 2023 Courses

Come visit us in SS119 or contact the director of the program, Dr. Federica Francesconi.

JST 244 (8729) (3 crs)    Zionism, Palestine, & Israel in Historical Perspective       
Theisen, Maham ([email protected]  
FULLY ONLINE COURSE - SYNCHRONOUS  
Mon, Wed, Fri 10:35am-11:30am  
*Cross-listed with HEB 244 (8730) & HIS 244 (8728)  

Starting with a study of 19th century nationalism, the course looks at the origins and evolution of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism over the last century. It covers the British Mandate for Palestine, the founding of the State of Israel, the Arab Israeli conflict, and the ongoing issues in the region. Highlights the role of political ideologies, public sentiment, and international context in the development of Israeli history.


JST 250 (8898) (3 crs) The Holocaust & Genocide in the Modern World
Matkowska, Justyna ([email protected])  
FULLY ONLINE COURSE - SYNCHRONOUS   
TBD  
*Cross-listed with HIS 250 (8897)  

This course examines the nature, causes, historical facts, and aftermath of the Holocaust. Students will investigate the events of the Holocaust integrated within World War II and the post-war aftermath and cultural memory. Students will explore, analyze, and discuss the radicalization of Nazi policies and programs and the targeting of specific groups: four racially targeted groups (Jews, Roma and Sinti, Slavs, Soviet prisoners of the war), as well as other persecuted groups (homosexuals, political prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses, disabled people, and other victims). The focus is on the analysis of the patterns of persecution of targeted groups in Nazi-dominated Europe. Students will analyze and discuss primary source documents, the survivors’ testimonial evidence, and documentary regarding forms of Nazi persecution (extermination camps, forced labor camps, ghettos, pogroms, mass executions). and put these sources into the context of larger events, changes, regimes, and conflicts. The additional focus will be on the collective memory of Genocide, the commemoration of the victims, and the current political and historical debate on the Holocaust.


JST 252 (8867) (3 crs) Jews, Hellenism, & Early Christianity
Cradic, Melissa ([email protected]  
FULLY ONLINE COURSE - ASYNCHRONOUS   
*Cross-listed with HST 252 (8866) & REL 252 (8870)  

History of the Jewish people from Alexander the Great to the decline of the ancient world. Topics include examination of cultural conflict in Judaea and the diaspora, confrontation with Greco-Roman Hellenism and early Christianity, sectarianism, and the beginnings of Rabbinic institutions.


JST 253 (8503) (3 crs) Medieval & Early Jews among Muslims & Christians
Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])  
Tue, Thu 3:00pm-4:20pm  
ES 242  
*Cross-listed with HIS 253 (8502) & REL 253 (8504)  

The history and culture of ancient Israel from its beginnings to the Persian Empire. A survey of the Hebrew Bible (in English) as the major source for the study of early Judaic religious and social forms in the context of the Near East.


JST 275 (9020) (3 crs) Antisemitism: Historical Exploration & Contemporary Challenges
Matkowska, Justyna ([email protected]  
FULLY ONLINE COURSE - SYNCHRONOUS  
Tue, Thu 3:00pm-4:20pm  
*Cross-listed with HIS 275 (9021)  

This course explores pre-modern forms of anti-Jewish hatred, the manifestation of antisemitism in the modern period, and several of the current debates on antisemitism. Explores the instrumentalization of antisemitic hatred through several case studies and provides students with the means to assess critically both current antisemitic attacks and contemporary debates about antisemitism.


JST 342 (8868) (3 crs) Issues in Hellenistic Rabbinic Judaism
Cradic, Melissa ([email protected])  
FULLY ONLINE COURSE - ASYNCHRONOUS  
*Cross-listed with HIS 358 (8869)  

Covers same period as JST 252, but on an advanced level. Students attend class meetings for JST 252, but have a separate, more sophisticated reading list, a research paper, and a separate recitation session.   


JST 343 (8505) (3 crs) Issues in Medieval Jewish History
Francesconi, Federica ([email protected]  
Tue, Thu 3:00pm-4:20pm  
ES 242  

Covers same period as JST 253, but on an advanced level. Students attend class meetings for JST 253, but have a separate, more sophisticated reading list, a research paper, and a separate recitation session.             


JST 450 (7065) (3 crs) Judaic Studies Practicum
Francesconi, Federica ([email protected]  
ARR  

Advanced Judaic Studies students receive undergraduate credit for assisting with 100 or 200 level Judaic Studies courses under the close supervision of the instructor. Students at this level lead small group discussions several times in the semester; offer one class presentation, which will also be written up as a paper and submitted to the instructor; and may assist in grading quizzes and examinations. Students meet regularly with the instructor, who helps students improve their knowledge of the topic and discusses pedagogical techniques. Course may be repeated once for credit with approval of department chair.                                                                        Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor and department chair.


JST 497 (5135) (1-6 crs) Independent Study in Judaic Studies
Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])     
ARR  

Directed reading and conferences on selected topics in Judaic studies. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): permission of program director.


Hebrew Studies Courses

HEB 244 (8730) (3 crs) Zionism, Palestine, & Israel in Historical Perspective
Theisen, Maham ([email protected])    
FULLY ONLINE COURSE - SYNCHRONOUS  
Mon, Wed, Fri 10:35am-11:30am  

Starting with a study of 19th century nationalism, the course looks at the origins and evolution of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism over the last century. It covers the British Mandate for Palestine, the founding of the State of Israel, the Arab Israeli conflict, and the ongoing issues in the region. Highlights the role of political ideologies, public sentiment, and international context in the development of Israeli history.


HEB 497 (1596) (1-6 crs) Independent Study in Hebrew
Francesconi, Federica ([email protected]  
ARR  

Directed readings and conferences on selected topics in Hebrew language and literature.                          Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor and department chair.

Faculty and Staff
Faculty

Judaic Studies Faculty

Federica Francesconi, PhD, Director of the Judaic Studies Program & Associate Professor in the Department of History.
Melissa Cradic, PhD, Lecturer in History and Judaic Studies.
Richard Fogarty, PhD, Associate Professor of History.

Justyna Matkowska, PhD, Lecturer in History and Judaic Studies.

Michael Taylor, PhD, Associate Professor of History.

Maham Theisen, ABD, Lecturer in History and Judaic Studies.

Keren Zilberberg, MA, Language Instructor and teaches classes in Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Hebrew.

 

Affiliated Faculty 

Victor Asal, PhD, Director of the Center for Policy Research and Professor of Political Science.
Professor Bob Gluck, Associate Professor of Music.
Patrick Nold, PhD, Associate Professor of History.
 

Emeriti Faculty

Judith R. Baskin
Toby W. Clyman, [email protected]
Jerome Eckstein
Daniel Grossberg, [email protected]
Stanley J. Isser

 

Staff

Judaic Studies Staff


Jamie Winn - Administrative Manager of The Department of History & The Judaic Studies Program                       

Erika Dockey - Office Assistant of The Department of History & The Judaic Studies Program


Affiliated Staff

Sharona Wachs, Libraries, Cataloging Services, [email protected]

Resources
Jewish Life at UAlbany

UAlbany offers a wide variety of organizations and resources for students interested in participating in Jewish life on and off campus.

UAlbany Hillel is made up of a number of different student run groups that plan activities throughout the year. These groups are formed by students and new ones can be started at any time. Current student groups include: Jewish Student Coalition/Hillel; RUACH!; Kol Echad; L’Chaim; Jewish Women’s Connection; JenV, AEPi. Visit www.ualbanyhillel.org.

Shabbos House Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center Serving UAlbany since 1976, directed by Rabbi Mendel and Raizy Rubin, it offers Shabbat and Holiday meals and services, weekly Torah study, and an array of student programming and events in a "Home Away From Home" welcoming atmosphere. Visit www.shabboshouse.com.

Dutch Quad Dining Room offers an extensive variety of kosher dining options.