The M.A. in Jewish Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is designed for those seeking to advance their knowledge at the graduate level to prepare for doctoral-level work in Jewish Studies or to further their careers in fields such as education, communal service, library science, and public affairs. The program affords both recent college graduates and non-traditional students, including those individuals shifting from other disciplines, the opportunity to strengthen their candidacy for admission to top-ranked Ph.D. programs in Jewish Studies. Students, particularly educators and professionals working in Jewish communal fields, may pursue the M.A. part-time. Rutgers’ program draws on the strength of a faculty with national reputations in areas such as Jewish History, Bible, Jewish Literature and Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, Yiddish, and Israel Studies.
SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
The M.A. in Jewish Studies provides students with the tools necessary to understand the development of Jewish life from the era of the Bible up to the present day.
- Examine Jewish cultural production in its social, political, and historical political context;
- Learn to recognize and analyze classical, pre-modern Jewish sources with proficiency in a Jewish language;
- Become critical readers, thinkers, and writers of the Jewish experience.
Students are exposed to a variety of methodologies used in the field of Jewish Studies, including historical, literary, philosophical, philological, anthropological, and sociological methods of analysis.
Students must complete 30 credits of graduate course work and demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew or another Jewish language. Master’s degree students will write a thesis and take a comprehensive examination, in consultation with the Graduate Director.
Nancy Sinkoff (Chair)—East European Jewish History, Modern Jewish Politics, Enlightenment
Jonathan Gribetz—Modern Mideast History; Zionism, Jewish-Arab Encounter
Gary A. Rendsburg—Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew Language
Jeffrey Shandler—Contemporary Jewish Life, Yiddish, Media, Visual Culture
Paola Tartakoff—Medieval Jewish History, Jewish-Christian Relations, Medieval and Early Modern Iberia
Azzan Yadin—Rabbinic Literature, Hermeneutics
Yael Zerubavel—Israel Society and Culture, Jewish Memory, Jewish Space
The program offers courses that focus on key areas of Jewish history and culture. Courses available through the program include:
- Jewish History I: Ancient and Medieval
- Jewish History II: Early Modern and Modern
- American Jewish Life: Social Science Approaches
- The Bible through Literary Eyes - The Akedah: The Binding of Isaac and Its Reverberations
- Rabbinic Literature - Kafka - Benjamin, Scholem, Arendt
- Europe and Its Jews: Problems and Directed Readings in Modern Jewish Historiography
- Jewish-Christian Relations through the Ages
- The Jews in Muslim and Christian Spain
- Jewish Memory, Identity and Culture
The Archibald S. Alexander Library has a significant Jewish Studies collection. Rutgers University students also have access to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive (VHA). The VHA, filmed in 56 countries and conducted in 32 languages, houses 52,000 testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The archive can be accessed from computers on any Rutgers campus and is supported by the Rutgers University libraries. Students may also draw upon the library resources of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, as well as libraries at other colleges and universities in the region.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Bachelor’s degree and GRE.