Minor in Jewish Studies

The Minor in Jewish Studies, drawing from faculty throughout the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, has both disciplinary and interdisciplinary components. We offer an array of Jewish languages at all levels, including biblical Hebrew, rabbinic Hebrew, Israeli Hebrew, Yiddish, as well as all pre-modern Jewish Aramaic dialects. We offer courses that cover the span of Jewish history and religion, from the Bible through modern times. Our offerings in Judaica are strong not simply in number but by their contextualization, unique among the University of California campuses, within an energetic Religious Studies Department and the perspective that it brings. A further strength lies in our interdisciplinary configuration, especially in the modern period. Jewish political movements, the sociology of Jewish minor and majority communities, and the representation of Jewish experience in literature, philosophy, film, art, and architecture – all these facets combine to produce a dynamic yet grounded study of Jews throughout the world. Our program reflects the diversity that is inherent in Jews themselves.

Minor Requirements
Undergraduate Program: All courses to be applied to the minor must be completed on a letter-grade basis.

Preparation for the minor: Religious Studies 17A-B-C or, Hebrew 1, 2, 3 (or equivalent), or, GSS 95A-B-C.

Upper-division minor: Twenty-four units, including:

A. One course in Hebrew Bible (4 units): RS 115A or English 116A.

B. Two courses in Jewish history and religion (8 units): History 33D, 117D, 131F, 133D, 133Q, 146T; Religious Studies 115B, 115D, 115E, 115F, 116A, 118J (same as Soc 118J), 130, 131B, 131C, 131D, 131E, 133; Education 197.

C. Two courses in Jewish literature, culture, and society (8 units): Comparative Literature 113, 122A, 122B (same as French-Ital 122X); English 134JB, 134 JL, 197; History 118B; Political Science 149; Religious Studies 131F, 131H (same as Soc 131H), 131J.

D. One additional course from either of the above lists (4 units): Area B, Jewish history and religion or C, Jewish literature, culture and society.

Students wishing to concentrate in Hebrew should complete the lower-division language preparation and two of the following language courses: Hebrew 4, 5, 6, 114A-B-C, or Religious Studies 142A-B-C. In addition, students concentrating (i) in Biblical Hebrew (ii) in Yiddish may complement their work by completing Religious Studies 121A-B or Linguistics 194 (where topically appropriate), respectively.

Note: Substitutions and waivers are subject to approval by the chair of the Religious Studies Department. Please see “Academic Minors” for special conditions governing minors in the College of Letters and Science.

Prospective Minors are encouraged to meet with Professor W. Randall Garr, Department of Religious Studies: wrgarr@religion.ucsb.edu.

To declare the Minor in Jewish Studies, you will need to visit the Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Religious Studies, 3rd Floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSSB) Building, (805) 893-2744.


Jewish Studies Advisory Committee

Elliot Wolfson, Advisory Committee Chair
Professor of Religious Studies

Debra Blumenthal 
Associate Professor of History

Susan Derwin 
Professor of Germanic, Slavic & Semitic Studies and Comparative Literature

W. Randall Garr
Professor of Religious Studies

Richard D. Hecht 
Professor of Religious Studies

Barbara Holdredge
Professor of Religious Studies

Russell Samolsky 
Professor of English

Janet Walker 
Professor of Film and Media Studies

Elisabeth Weber 
Professor of Germanic, Slavic, & Semitic Studies

Volker M. Welter 
Professor of History of Art & Architecture

Featured Courses

The Image of Jews in Film

RGST 190JF: This course will look at the myriad ways Jews have been presented by Hollywood movies overthe past century. Beginning with a discussion of the Jewish roots of Hollywood, the course will examine, via movies by the Coen Brothers, Woody Allen, Elia Kazan, Barry Levinson and others, the religious, cultural and sociological importance of these images. There will be guest writers and producers. A different movie will be shown each week followed by class discussion, Midterm and Finals.