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


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 Spring 2021 Courses
Spring 2021 Courses

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

Judaic Studies Courses

JST 252 (9742) (3 crs) Jews, Hellenism, & Early Christianity | Cradic, Melissa ([email protected])
Mon., Wed. 1:10PM-2:30PM

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 254 (9211) (3 crs) The Jews in the Modern World | Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])
Tue., Thu. 1:30PM-2:50PM
*Cross-listed with HIS 254 (9210) & REL 254 (9212)
*Also meets with JST 344 (8909)

This course examines the transformations of European Jewry in the modern era beginning with the period of Emancipation and Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century and continuing to after World War II. We will examine with particular attention how political transformations affected Jews’ status in different European contexts, the rise of various forms of anti-Semitism in the late nineteenth century culminating in the racial anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and the creation of the State of Israel. We will explore the changes engendered in Jewish life and the responses of the Jews to its challenges. We will examine a plethora of new Jewish movements that emerged in this period such as Hassidism, Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), religious reforms, Socialism, and Zionism. We will use both primary and secondary sources, including memoirs, excerpts of literature, ideological manifestos, and feature and documentary films. This course fulfills the General Education requirement for International Perspectives.

JST 275 (7492) (3 crs) Antisemitism: Historical Exploration & Contemporary Challenges | Veeder, Stacy ([email protected])
*Cross-listed with HIS 275 (7587)

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 anti-Semitic hatred through several case studies and provides students with the means to assess critically both current anti-Semitic attacks and contemporary debates about antisemitism.

JST 344 (8909) (3 crs) Issues in Modern Jewish History | Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])
Tue., Thu. 1:30PM-2:50PM
*Also meets with HIS 254 (9210), JST 254 (9211), & REL 254 (9212)

This class is intended to serve as a broad introduction to Jewish history beginning with late antiquity and until the end of the early modern period (18th century). The class will examine some of the central themes and patterns in Jewish history as we will focus on the development of the major Jewish communities both in Christian Europe and the Arab Muslim world observing the main similarities and differences between them. We will devote our attention especially to the ways in which Jewish culture and identity (collective and individual) were constructed in these various communities as well as to the relationship between Jewish and non-Jewish cultures and communities during the medieval and early modern periods. We will read narrative as well as documentary histories and discuss different theoretical approaches to the writing of Jewish history (historiography). This course fulfills the General Education requirement for International Perspectives. Covers same period as JST 254, but on an advanced level. Students attend class meetings for JST 254, but have a separate, more sophisticated reading list, a research paper, and a separate recitation session. Only one of HIS 254, REL 254, JST 254, and JST 344 may be taken for credit.

JST 360 (9803) (3 crs) Bearing Witness: Holocaust Diaries & Memoirs | Veeder, Stacy ([email protected])
*Cross-listed with HIS 360 (9760)

A study in diaries, autobiographies, and memoirs of Jews written during and after the Nazi Holocaust. Considers the complex historical questions raised by such works, including: What can be learned about the Holocaust through autobiographical writing? To what extent were the authors aware of the scope of the attacks on European Jewry beyond their own immediate experience? What responses were available to Jews during this period? How did the authors make sense of their experiences? What are the merits and limits of autobiographical writing as a historical resource? How do accounts of the period change as authors' chronological proximity to the events increases? In what ways are memoirs of the Holocaust shaped by the events occurring at the time in which they written?

JST 450 (9291) (3 crs) Judaic Studies Practicum | Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])

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 (6469) (1-6 crs) Independent Study in Judaic Studies | Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])

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 102 (1647) (4 crs) Elementary Hebrew II I Zilberberg, Keren ([email protected])
Mon., Wed. 11:40AM-12:35PM
Tue., Thu. 1:30PM-2:25PM

Continuation of HEB 101.

This course designed to achieve a basic proficiency in Modern Hebrew. 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 different genres, writing, listening, and speaking in Hebrew. In addition, you will learn about the distinctive culture of Israel. At the end of the course, you should know the fundamental speech patterns and your listening comprehension and oral ability should be enhanced using audiovisual methods and the sequentially progressive exercises.

For students who know the Hebrew letters and vowels.

HEB 202 (8862) (3 crs) Intermediate Hebrew II I Zilberberg, Keren ([email protected])
Tue., Thu. 12:00PM-1:20PM

Continuation of HEB 201.

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 497 (1648) (1-6 crs) Independent Study in Hebrew | Francesconi, Federica ([email protected])

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 119C

Arthur Brenner, PhD, Lecturer
Office: SS 138B

Melissa Cradic, PhD, Lecturer
Office: SS 145D

Rabbi Nomi Manon, Lecturer
Office: SS 138B

Stacy Veeder, PhD, Lecturer
Office: SS 053

Keren Zilberberg, MA
Office: SS 119A


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, [email protected]
Jerome Eckstein
Daniel Grossberg, [email protected]
Stanley J. Isser



Judaic Studies Staff

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

Erika Dockey - Office Assistant of the Department of History and the Judaic Studies Program

Affiliated Staff

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

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.