Established in 2003, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, an interdisciplinary academic program in the College of Arts and Sciences, promotes a deeper understanding of Jewish history, culture and thought through its teaching, research and community outreach initiatives.
The University offers an undergraduate degree program in Jewish Studies. The degree program, launched in 2012, is available through the Department of Religious Studies, where students earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies with a Concentration in Jewish Studies.
Two academic minors – Jewish Studies and Modern Hebrew – continually attract a diverse group of Carolina students.
The number of Jewish Studies courses offered to Carolina students has grown to nearly 40 in less than 10 years.
In the current academic year, more than 20 faculty members teach and conduct research in Jewish Studies at Carolina and funding is in place to hire additional faculty positions in the near future. Faculty members are based in eight different academic departments [Religious Studies, Asian Studies, German/Slavic Languages and Literatures, American Studies, History, English, Romance Languages, and Music].
Students have the opportunity to pursue Jewish Studies through study abroad programs in Israel, Argentina and several other countries. Students may also participate in archaeological excavations at Huqoq, in Israel.
Public Programs Each year, the Center hosts free, public lectures that bring an array of international experts to the campus community and general public. About 2,000 members of the campus community and local community attend our events annually.
The Center also co-sponsors programs with other Carolina departments, Duke University, and community organizations, to further enrich the student experience and expand community outreach efforts. One example is the Duke-UNC Jewish Studies Seminar, which the Center co-sponsors with Duke University and UNC Carolina Seminars, providing the local academic community with the opportunity to meet and discuss scholarly papers.
Community Support The Center depends on private support in order to fully realize its mission of teaching, research and community outreach. Generous donations have established endowed faculty chairs, supported graduate students, sponsored student and faculty research, and underwritten dynamic public programs.
The Center’s Advisory Board, comprised of alumni and community leaders, helps guide the Center’s growth and assists with raising private support.
Future Vision The Center’s global focus and comprehensive scope of study, coupled with Carolina’s national reputation as a student-focused research university, make the program truly unique among its peers. The Center’s rapid growth has established Carolina as the leading institution for Jewish Studies in the American south and as a prominent source of research with an international reputation.