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 in course work with an A HEB prefix above the 102 level. Students who begin with A HEB 101 and/or 102 must complete 15 graduation credits above the 102 level. 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

The 2020 Colonie Jewish Community Association Annual Lecture
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 7pm at the William K. Sanford Library in Loudonville
Dr. Aviva Ben-Ur (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Being Jewish in a Slave Society: The Case of Early Modern Suriname

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 Fall 2020 Courses
Fall 2020 Courses

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

Judaic Studies Courses

JST 150 (7905) (3 crs) Jewish Civilization: From the Birth of the Israelites until the Present | Manon, Nomi (nmanon@albany.edu)
Wed, Fri 11:40am-1:00pm
ES 245
This class explores the dynamic history of the Jewish people and its interaction with great world cultures. Beginning with the origins of Israelite monotheism, we will first trace the consolidation and subsequent fragmentation of the ancient Israelites. We then explore several dispersed Jewish communities through the Middle Ages, and examine the ways they redefined themselves and Judaism in light of their experiences in several different host societies. Finally, we examine the Jewish encounter with the Modern world, including the Jewish Enlightenment, the nationalization of the Jews, the rise of new Jewish centers on the eve of the Nazi Holocaust, and Judaism as it is expressed in contemporary America and Israel.

JST 225 (9233) (3 crs) The Modern Jewish Experience in Film | Francesconi, Federica (ffrancesconi@albany.edu)
Tue, Thu 3:00pm-4:20pm
HU 020
*Cross-listed with HIS 225 (9232) & AARH 225
With a specific eye on films, this course examines the transformations of world Jewry as well as important historical themes that crossed geographical areas beginning with the early modern period and continuing throughout nowadays. It is intended to provide an opportunity for students to engage some of the main themes in modern Jewish history by analyzing, watching and discussing American, European, and Israeli feature and documentary movies and videos that document or fictionalize Jewish life in the modern era.

JST 244 (6153) (3 crs) Zionism, Palestine, & Israel in Historical Perspective | Veeder, Stacy (sveeder@albany.edu)
Mon, Wed 4:30pm-5:50pm
BB 08
*Cross-listed with HEB 244 (6465) & HIS 244 (6183)
This course explores the course of Jewish history from the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem until the French Revolution. Investigates the experience of Jews between and within the major religious and cultural systems that dominated medieval Europe; Islam and Christianity. The course charts the history of Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewry, noting the important social, religious, cultural, and political characteristics of each community, as well as their interaction with two great world civilizations.

JST 250 (7259) (3 crs) The Holocaust in History | Veeder, Stacy (sveeder@albany.edu)
Mon, Wed 3:00pm-4:20pm
*Cross-listed with HIS 250 (7257)
Begins with an overview of European Jewish life on the eve of the attempt at its destruction, examines the cultural, social, and intellectual roots of Nazism, and discusses the efforts to isolate and marginalize those marked as “a- socials” in German society. Explores the radicalization of the Nazi program and investigates the variety of ways targeted groups responded to the crisis. Covers a number of survivor accounts and the memorialization and politicization of the Nazi Holocaust in the United States and Israel.

JST 253 (9271) (3 crs) Medieval & Early-Modern Jews among Muslims & Christians | Francesconi, Federica (ffrancesconi@albany.edu)
Tue, Thu 1:30pm-2:50pm
HU 020
*Cross-listed with HIS 253 (9270) & REL 253 (9272) *Also meets with JST 343 (9273)
The course explores various forms and manifestations of anti-Jewish hatred, in the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and in modern history. It will also examine several contemporary manifestations of Antisemitism. It will consider how anti-Semitic hatred has been used for various purposes, and how Jews have responded to its challenge. The course explores the ideological, political, and socioeconomic underpinnings of Antisemitism, allowing us to see how anti-Jewish intolerance and prejudice became embedded in the worldviews of significant sectors of society. This course includes a mixture of lecture and discussion.

JST 343 (9273) (3 crs) Issues in Medieval Jewish History | Francesconi, Federica (ffrancesconi@albany.edu)
Tue, Thu 1:30pm-2:50pm
HU 020
*Also meets with JST 253 (9271), HIS 253 (9270), & REL 253 (9272)
This course covers the 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. Prerequisite (s): JST 150 or permission of instructor.

JST 450 (8731) (3 crs) Judaic Studies Practicum | Francesconi, Federica (ffrancesconi@albany.edu)
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 (5610) (1-6 crs) Independent Study in Judaic Studies | Francesconi, Federica (ffrancesconi@albany.edu)
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 101 (7243) (4 crs) Elementary Hebrew I Zilberberg, Keren (kzilberberg@albany.edu)
Tue, Thu 1:30pm-2:25pm
Mon, Wed 11:40am-12:35pm
HU 115
Ivrit min HaHatchala (Hebrew from Scratch) is a program developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to teach others to communicate in Hebrew. It includes vocabulary and syntax in a gradual sequence, enabling learners to build and expand on their acquired knowledge. Students learn to read and communicate in different contexts. The program is interactive and uses a variety of methods for teaching and learning. This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of modern spoken and written Hebrew. Learn the 4 skills of language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Hebrew. Study of fundamental speech patterns. Listening comprehension and oral ability, using audiovisual method. Progressively greater emphasis placed on reading and writing skills.
For students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew.

HEB 201 (8510) (3 crs) Intermediate Hebrew I Zilberberg, Keren (kzilberberg@albany.edu)
Tue, Thu 12:00pm-1:20pm
HU 115
Hebrew from Scratch, Part 2 continues right where the first volume leaves off.
Upon completion of both volumes of Hebrew from Scratch, the student should be able to recognize and understand the basic elements of the language, and should have attained a good command of and familiarity for the language in terms of writing, speaking, reading comprehension and listening comprehension. Students will apply and extend their knowledge of Hebrew grammar, and continue to build their vocabulary with the goal of enhancing their ability to independently read and understand ancient through modern Jewish texts in Hebrew. In this course, the student is exposed to a variety of reading selections on various subjects, including Jewish, Israeli and general topics. The student is exposed to conversation from various levels of language. Alongside the texts and conversations you will find systematic and staged exercises in grammar, structure, composition and use of the dictionary.


HEB 244 (6465) (3 crs) Zionism, Palestine, & Israel in Historical Perspective | Veeder, Stacy (sveeder@albany.edu)
Mon, Wed 4:30pm-5:50pm
BB 08
*Cross-listed with JST 244 (6153) & HIS 244 (6183)
A study of 19th century Jewish and European history resulting in the formation of Jewish nationalism. Covers the development of various Zionist ideologies and organizations as well as their challengers within and outside the Jewish community. Examines the history of settlement in Palestine, the founding of the state of Israel, and the country’s subsequent development.

HEB 497 (1704) (1-6 crs) Independent Study in Hebrew | Francesconi, Federica (ffrancesconi@albany.edu)

Directed readings and conferences on selected topics in Hebrew language and literature. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor and department chair.

Faculty and Staff

Judaic Studies Faculty

Federica Francesconi, PhD, Director of the Program and Assistant Professor of History
Office: SS 119 C
Spring 2020 Office Hours: On partial research leave during the academic year 2019-2020. For urgent queries concerning the Judaic Studies program please contact the Judaic Studies office (518-442-4130) or the Department of History (518-442-5300). 

Arthur Brenner, PhD, Lecturer
Office: SS 138B
Office Hours: Tue 11:45-12:30 or by appt.

Lucia Finotto, PhD, Lecturer
Office: SS 145
Office Hours: Mon. 10-11, Thu. 4-5

Rabbi Nomi Manon, Lecturer
Office: SS 138B

Stacy Veeder, PhD, Lecturer
Office: SS 110

Keren Zilberberg, MA
Office: SS 145
Office Hours: Mon, Wed 11:20-12:25, 1:35-2:10


Affiliated Faculty 

Richard Fogarty, PhD, Associate Professor of History
Professor Bob Gluck, Associate Professor of Music
Patrick Nold, PhD, Associate Professor of History
Edward Schwarzschild, PhD, Associate Professor of English
Michael Taylor, PhD, Assistant Professor of History


Emeriti Faculty

Judith R. Baskin
Toby W. Clyman, clyman@albany.edu
Jerome Eckstein
Daniel Grossberg, dg@albany.edu
Stanley J. Isser



Judaic Studies Staff

Daniella Hen - Undergraduate Student Representative
Elana Krischer - Graduate Assistant and Research Fellow
Rebecca Theadore - Research Graduate Fellow
Jamie Winn - Administrative Manager of the Department of History and the Judaic Studies Program

Affiliated Staff

Sharona Wachs, Libraries, Cataloging Services, swachs@albany.edu

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.