The Program in Jewish Studies offers an undergraduate major (BA in Jewish Studies) and minor, Departmental Honors (both by research paper and by service learning), and courses in Jewish Studies, Hebrew, and Yiddish; we also co-sponsor courses in many other units, especially Religious Studies. Among our several focus areas are Judaic studies, identities and ethnicities, languages and narratives, history and archaeology, and applied service in Jewish organizations.

Jewish culture and religion have flourished in a rich variety of forms and in remarkably disparate places on the globe for thousands of years. Jewish contributions have deeply affected the art, language and literature, law, philosophy, and political thought, and the sciences of all nations. The global impact of Jewish culture thus warrants its study as an important component of the liberal arts curriculum at KU. The Jewish Studies Program at KU is the only such program in the state of Kansas. Its mission, therefore, is to celebrate in the US heartland the Jewish experience and promote the understanding of its cultural importance with courses and academic programs that focus on the history, diversity, culture, languages, thought, and practices of the Jewish people and their religion.

Requirements for the Minor

Jewish Studies Minor Course Requirements

Student selecting this minor must complete a course in each of the following areas:

Jewish Studies
Jewish Culture or History. Satisfied by one course, for example one of the following: (3)3
JWSH 300: Topics in Jewish Studies: Israeli Politics in Society
Narratives of Jewish Life
Jewish Secular Culture
Jewish Religion. Satisfied by one course, for example one of the following: (3)3
JWSH 300: Topics in Jewish Studies: The Story of the Talmud
Religion of Ancient Israel
Introduction to Judaism
Electives. Satisfied by: (12)12
Any other JWSH course or appropriate cross-listed or cross-referenced courses in other units. (see below)
6 credit hours in Yiddish (YDSH) and/or in Hebrew (HEBR) at the 200-level or above may count among these 12 credit hours.
More HEBR or YDSH courses may be approved for the minor upon petition.

Minor Hours & Minor GPA

While completing all required courses, minors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Minor Hours
Satisfied by 18 hours of minor courses.

Minor Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 9 junior/senior (300+) hours of KU resident credit in the minor. 

Minor Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the minor.

Minor Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in all courses in the minor. GPA calculations include all courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Courses Offered in the Jewish Studies Program

JWSH 124Understanding the Bible3
JWSH 125Understanding the Bible, Honors3
JWSH 177First Year Seminar: _____3
JWSH 300Topics in Jewish Studies:_____3
JWSH 311Narratives of Jewish Life3
JWSH 318Jews and Slavs in Eastern Europe3
JWSH 321Religion of Ancient Israel3
JWSH 325Introduction to Judaism3
JWSH 327Jewish Secular Culture3
JWSH 338Languages of the Jews3
JWSH 339Languages of the Jews, Honors3
JWSH 340Topics in Modern Jewish Literature: _____3
JWSH 343The Holocaust in History3
JWSH 350Contemporary Jewish Identities3
JWSH 361Jewish Film3
JWSH 395Study Abroad Topics in Jewish Studies: _____3-6
JWSH 490Directed Study in Jewish Studies3
JWSH 491Directed Study in Jewish Studies, Honors3
JWSH 523The Dead Sea Scrolls3
JWSH 525Jews and Christians3
JWSH 526Jewish History and Literature in the Greek and Roman Periods3
JWSH 560Modern Jewish Thought3
JWSH 570Studies in Judaism3
JWSH 572Jewish Folklore3
JWSH 573Jewish Folklore, Honors3
JWSH 600Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies: _____3
JWSH 650Service Learning in Jewish Studies3
HEBR 110Elementary Israeli Hebrew I5
HEBR 120Elementary Israeli Hebrew II5
HEBR 177First Year Seminar: _____3
HEBR 210Intermediate Israeli Hebrew I3
HEBR 220Intermediate Israeli Hebrew II3
HEBR 230Biblical Hebrew3
HEBR 240Biblical Hebrew II3
HEBR 340Advanced Israeli Hebrew I3
HEBR 350Advanced Israeli Hebrew II3
HEBR 410Studies in Modern Hebrew Literature3
HEBR 420Studies in Modern Hebrew3
HEBR 490Independent Study1-3
YDSH 104Elementary Yiddish I5
YDSH 108Elementary Yiddish II5
YDSH 177First Year Seminar: _____3
YDSH 212Intermediate Yiddish I3
YDSH 216Intermediate Yiddish II3
YDSH 300Studies in Yiddish: ______3
YDSH 395Study Abroad Topics in Yiddish: _____3-6
YDSH 490Independent Study1-3

Cross-Referenced Courses

AMS 344Case Study in American Studies: _____ (Jewish-American Literature and Culture (service-learning course only))3
AMS 494Topics in: _____ (Jewish-American Literature and Culture)1-4
AMS 494Topics in: _____ (Blacks and Jews in the United States)1-4
AMS 696Studies in: _____ (Biography of a City: Jerusalem: 3000 Year History)3
ANTH 465Genocide and Ethnocide3
ENGL 203Topics in Reading and Writing: _____ (Holocaust Literature)3
ENGL 336Jewish American Literature and Culture3
ENGL 536Readings in the Holocaust3
HIST 341Hitler and Nazi Germany3
HIST 343The Holocaust in History3
HIST 503The Ancient History of the Near East3
HIST 660Biography of a City: _____ (Jerusalem: 3,000 Year History)3
HIST 661Palestine and Antiquity3
REL 107Jews, Christians, Muslims3
REL 311Religion of Ancient Israel3
REL 315History and Literature of Early Christianity3
REL 325Introduction to Judaism3
REL 326The Talmud: Its Origins, Nature, and Evolution3
REL 376American Judaism: Life and Thought3
REL 500Readings in Non-English Religious Texts1-4
REL 523The Dead Sea Scrolls3
REL 525Jews and Christians3
REL 560Modern Jewish Thought3
REL 570Studies in Judaism3
REL 761Seminar in Western Religious Thought: _____ (Talmud and Philosophy)3
THR 302Undergraduate Seminar in: _____ (Theatre & Genocide)3
THR 380Popular Culture: _____ (Jewish-American Popular Culture)3
or JWSH 300 Topics in Jewish Studies:_____