The Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois is among the most exciting and unique programs in the country. Along with the religious aspects of Judaism, it places special emphasis on the social and cultural dimensions of Jewish life, from the difficult existence in early modern Europe to the literary glories of the early 20th century and from the history of Jewish immigration to the United States to everyday life in Israel today. In addition to scholarship in the field of religion, it thus draws on a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to explore anthropology, history, political science, economics, as well as languages and literatures within a Jewish Studies context.
The Program is committed to supporting all undergraduate and graduate students desiring to study Jewish culture and society in the spirit of free and open inquiry appropriate to a public, secular university. In addition to a broad range of courses, we offer a major and minor in Jewish Studies as well as many opportunities for graduate studies with a concentration in Jewish culture and society.
Each semester, the program also awards scholarships, provides research support to faculty, and sponsors conferences, lectures, and workshops in the field of Jewish Studies.