Directors Message

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Ruth von Bernuth

Director, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

When it comes to building a Jewish Studies program of national and international distinction, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies has developed tremendous momentum during its first nearly 15 years. We’ve launched a Bachelor of Arts degree program, the first of its kind in the state. This was made possible because of our efforts to expand the number of faculty who teach in Jewish Studies. We now have more than 20 faculty members teaching Jewish Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and offer more than 100 courses in departments throughout the College.

The Carolina Center for Jewish Studies embraces educational outreach as an integral to the mission of a public research university. Each year, we bring more than 2,000 people to campus to participate in our public events programs. We offer both a popular series of community lectures, seminars, musical performances and film screenings that are free and open to all, as well as an annual continuing education seminar for public school teachers and the general public.

Part of what I enjoy the most about serving as the Director of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies is the opportunity to work closely with so many different people, with students, alumni and local residents, with members of the university community and with diverse groups across the state.  Needless to say, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you’d like to learn more about the Center.

Ruth von Bernuth

Director, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies
Associate Professor, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Community Support

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Public Programs

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Academics

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Leadership and Staff

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Our Vision

When the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies was created in 2003, we had a clear sense that building a program in Jewish Studies at Carolina would be different. For us, it represented an opportunity to envision an academic program that would be far more integrated into the liberal arts than many Jewish Studies programs created at peer institutions. Jewish Studies is a highly interdisciplinary field that concerns itself with the history, culture, and religious traditions of Jews in their interactions with others from the ancient period to the present. It draws faculty strength from religious studies, history, languages and literatures, archaeology, political science and other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Jewish Studies thus exemplifies what a liberal arts education can be in the 21st century.

Carolina does not aim to have the biggest Jewish Studies program offered by a major research university. But given the momentum we’ve developed for Jewish Studies at Carolina, we have emerged as one of the leading Jewish Studies programs in the nation by embracing a different, broader approach. The goal for the next decade is to make the Carolina program a nationally recognized leader in the field.

Our History

Established in 2003, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies has experienced remarkable growth and impact.

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Advisory Board

Our advisory board is comprised of alumni and community members who help with outreach.

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Fast Facts