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Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies Initiative at the University of Utah, currently a curricular stream within the Religious Studies program, allows students to explore the multiple facets of Jewish tradition, history, and ritual, from ancient times to the present day. Course offerings may focus on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Talmud, or other canonical sources; the Holocaust and anti-Semitism; ethnic and cultural diversity within the Jewish Diaspora; Zionism and the state of Israel; secular Jewish literatures; Jews in the Islamic world; and Judeo-Christian dialogue. Jewish Studies course offerings at the University of Utah emphasize exploring "Jewish identity," in a comparative mode, to investigate all kinds of assumptions about other ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos, as well as religions, such as Islam and Mormonism. Since traditional Jewish sources have much to say about encountering the "other," the study of Jewishness, as we see it, should function as a catalyst for powerful, transformative cross-cultural dialogues where we can meet each other and break down biases, stereotypes, and misconceptions.

Last Updated: 7/28/16