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Judaic Studies Program

Cynthia Roth

When I first arrived at Albany in 2004, I never thought that I would have graduated with a degree in Judaic Studies.  In fact, I did not even know what the Judaic Studies discipline was until my sophomore year, when I enrolled in my first course in the department.  The class, which was just an elective at the time, was so intellectually stimulating and demanding, that it became the first of many courses I would take within the Judaic Studies department.  As I continued to enroll in Judaic Studies courses, I discovered that they were all just as challenging and rewarding, particularly because the Judaic Studies faculty always held me to the highest standards and continually pushed me to better myself as a student.  At the same time, I was also exposed to a wide range of courses within the field of Judaic Studies, covering different time periods and themes, and each course challenged me to think critically about the material we were learning.

As satisfying and challenging as the courses were, the faculty was also always there offering help and advice with both course work and my future plans.  With the help of the Judaic Studies faculty, I was granted experiences that are unique for undergraduates.  Such experiences included working on independent research projects, serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant, and enrolling in a graduate seminar.  I was also granted several department-sponsored scholarships which helped defer some of the costs of my studies.  Additionally, when I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my future, I received unparalleled advice, support, and encouragement from the faculty, which was only rivaled by the advice, support, and encouragement I received from them when I finally began applying to graduate programs. 

Last fall, I enrolled at the University of Michigan where I began working on my Master’s degree in Judaic Studies.  Even during my first semester at Michigan, the scholarship money I received from the UAlbany Judaic Studies department greatly helped to ease the financial burden of graduate school.  My experiences at Albany also helped me develop the knowledge and skills essential for success not only in graduate school, but for any path I choose to take in my life.