Jewish Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Minor

The Jewish Studies minor is open to all UC Berkeley students and is designed to give students an overview of some of the major themes in Jewish Studies.   Students may choose offerings from a large number of disciplines including arts and humanities, social sciences, and law. After completing an introductory survey course, participants in the minor may take classes, seminars, and language courses (Hebrew in the Near Eastern Studies Department, and Yiddish in the German Department), engage in hands-on experiential learning through the Magnes Collection for Jewish Art and Life, and take relevant courses offered in various departments including Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature, History, Music, Near Eastern Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. The program allows students to work closely with members of the faculty, to be mentored by graduate students, and to participate in the intellectual life of the broader Jewish Studies community on campus. Application instructions for the minor.

Declaring the Minor

For information on declaring the minor, please contact the Center for Jewish Studies here

Visit Group Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, as well as on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. Five relevant upper division courses (including JEWISH 100 core course), minimum 3 units each, are required to complete the undergraduate minor.
  3. All courses taken to fulfill minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  4. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  5. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  6. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  7. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

The study of Modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, or Yiddish is encouraged and is essential for some but not all of the courses. However, there is no language requirement for the Jewish Studies minor and only advanced language courses are applicable to the minor.

Requirements

JEWISH 100Introduction to Jewish Religion, Culture, and People4
Select four upper division elective courses (consult academic adviser)

To Declare Jewish Studies Minor

Students must meet with the JS minor adviser to declare the minor. Bring your complete application to the meeting. This includes:

  • A completed Jewish Studies Minor Application Form.
  • A current copy of your UCB transcript printed from your student portal with your name printed on the document. Please highlight all courses that apply to the minor, including courses in progress and transferable credits from other institutions (community colleges, study abroad). Also, indicate which course (if any) will overlap between the JS minor and your major.
  • Copies of transcripts from colleges other than UC Berkeley if course work is to be counted towards the minor. Transcripts may be unofficial. We do not have access to transcripts in the Registrar's Office. Students must request copies themselves and submit them with their applications. Please highlight all courses to be applied to the minor.
  • Minors are added as plans in Campus Solutions, and must be declared in advance of verification of completion; therefore, all undergraduate minors must be declared no later than one semester prior to a student’s Estimated Graduation Term (EGT). The deadline is the last day of RRR week. 

Once admitted, minors are required to contact the JS minor adviser at least once each semester to get approval for any changes to their program.

To Complete Jewish Studies Minor

Fill out the following two forms: "Completion of L&S Minor" and "Major-Minor Overlap Check form" and submit both forms to JS Minor adviser before the final semester prior to anticipated graduation term. Forms can be found here: https://ls.berkeley.edu/advising/tools-forms/forms-and-petitions-ls-undergraduate-advising The College of Letters & Science will be notified of minor completion approximately four weeks after the final minor course has been completed for inclusion in student's diploma.

Courses

Jewish Studies

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Lila Balint, Assistant Professor. Contemporary German literature and media, theories of the Contemporary, aesthetics and politics, transnationalism and translation, digital writing, European Jewish literatures, literary and cultural theory, theories of the novel.
Research Profile

Kenneth A. Bamberger, Professor. Technology, government regulations, corporate compliance.
Research Profile

Karen Barkey, Professor. Comparative historical sociology, religion and politics, the politics of shared sacred sites .
Research Profile

Isaac L. Bleaman, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics.
Research Profile

Robert Braun, Assistant Professor. Altruism and social solidarity, comparative historical sociology, peace, war, and social conflict, political sociology, sociology of religion, social movements and collective behavior .
Research Profile

Benjamin Brinner, Professor. Indonesia, Java, Bali, Israel, musical memory, situated musical cognition, musical interaction, improvisation, gamelan, music and oral narrative.
Research Profile

John M. Efron, Professor. Cultural and social history of German Jewry.
Research Profile

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Ethan Katz, Associate Professor. Jewish history, modern France, empire, Jewish-Muslim relations, secularism.
Research Profile

Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
Research Profile

Francesco Spagnolo, Adjunct Associate Professor.

Ronit Stahl, Assistant Professor, Department of History. Faculty affiliate of the religious diversity cluster of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Yael Chaver, Lecturer.

Sarah Levin, Lecturer.
Research Profile

Visiting Faculty

Tomer Persico, Visiting Assistant Professor.

Stephanie Rotem, Visiting Assistant Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Robert B. Alter, Professor Emeritus. Comparative literature, Near Eastern studies, 19th-century European and American novel, modernism, literary aspects of the bible, modern and biblical Hebrew literature.
Research Profile

Joan Bieder, Senior Lecturer SOE Emeritus. History of Jewish communities in South East Asia.
Research Profile

George Breslauer, Faculty Director of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.
Research Profile

Claude S. Fischer, Professor Emeritus. Social networks, American social history, technology, urban sociology, sociology.
Research Profile

Ann Swidler, Professor Emeritus. Religion, culture, Africa, AIDS, political sociology, theory, development, NGOs.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Center for Jewish Studies

4401 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-4154

jewishstudies@berkeley.edu

Visit Group Website

Faculty Director, Center for Jewish Studies

Benjamin Brinner, PhD (Department of Music)

4401 Dwinelle Hall

brinner@berkeley.edu

Executive Director

Etta Heber

4401 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-4154

eheber@berkeley.edu

Program Coordinator

Kimmie Szeto

4401 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-664-4138

jewishstudies@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor, Minor in Jewish Studies (Department of History)

Ethan Katz, PhD

ebkatz@berkeley.edu

Back to Top