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lilianagregory.may2015webProspective students and current undergraduates interested in learning more about the Jewish Studies major and minors, should email or call 919-962-1509 with questions. Please visit our academics section for information on our programs.


Click here to read profiles of our undergraduate students.



Carolina’s First Jewish Studies Graduates

collindavis.vsm_After earning his Associates Degree, Collin Davis, ’15, was looking into schools with religious studies and Hebrew programs. “Carolina clearly had the best programs, and once I started here I was able to become even more focused on Jewish studies.” In May 2015, he completed the undergraduate B.A. degree program in Jewish Studies. After graduation, Collin planned to return to Israel for a year before applying to graduate schools.




hayleywright.capgown.may13-1024x682In May 2013, Hayley Wright officially became the very first student at Carolina to graduate with the new Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Jewish Studies. She initially planned to simply take Modern Hebrew for her language requirement, but then she found herself taking more and more classes in Jewish Studies. Soon, she was working on the minor, and by the end of her sophomore year she learned about the upcoming new major in Jewish Studies. When she started her senior year in fall 2012, the new degree program was on the books and she was able to complete all the requirements in time for her spring graduation. Just a few weeks after graduation, Hayley started a new job at a Jewish organization.

Undergraduates in the News:

Requested by students:“Topics in Jewish Studies: Confronting Antisemitism” is a new, one-credit-hour course that takes a broad look at antisemitism in history, our contemporary world and on campus. The course examines the intersections between antisemitism and other forms of racism and identifies tools that can be used to counter antisemitism. The class sessions feature guest speakers and discussions on different aspects of this persistent form of hatred, and students write reflective essays in response to the lectures. Students are also conducting a formal review of websites and media outlets that perpetuate antisemitic messaging. The course concludes with a roundtable discussion on how to address antisemitism at Carolina. The idea for the course was initiated by an undergraduate studentin fall 2019. The course was offered in spring 2020 and again in spring 2021. Read more.


A reporter goes wherever the story is—whether that’s just off campus in Carrboro or 6,100 miles away in Israel. As part of the Documenting the Dig course, 14 Hussman School of Media and Journalism students followed one of the University’s biggest global research stories to an archaeological dig site in Huqoq, Israel. The class documented the work of archaeologist Jodi Magness, who is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2012, Magness has been conducting a dig in Israel in the Lower Galilee region, discovering unparalleled mosaics adorning what was an ancient Jewish synagogue. The depictions of Biblical stories shed new light on life in this area during the early fifth century. The 14 students from the School of Media and Journalism filmed and photographed the excavation process to produce news packages that they then pitched to media. Read more. July 3, 2019


magness.tile2_.web_Sunlight creeps above the horizon east of Galilee when undergrad Bryan Bozung scrapes his hoe across a hard surface. He brushes dirt away, revealing something smooth and black. He stands up and hollers for lead archaeologist Jodi Magness. She comes running, looks into the open pit, and crawls in. With paint brushes, they carefully sweep the dirt aside to reveal black tesserae—or mosaic cubes. They brush more dirt aside. White cubes. Tan. Brown. Then they stop. “Whoa,” Magness mumbles under her breath. Read more
UNC Endeavors Magazine, September 12, 2013


UNC-Samson-mosaic-See-meta-data-for-caption-Please-credit-Jim-Haberman-999x1024An archaeology student from Concord has helped uncover a “stunning” historical find during an excavation at an ancient synagogue in Galilee. Megan Hynek, a 2010 graduate of Jay M. Robinson, was part of a UNC archaeological team that discovered a mosaic depicting Samson at a synagogue in Huqoq (or Hokok), Israel.
Read more
Hickory Record, July 10, 2013


Huqoq photos by J. Haberman

The Center’s Jewish Studies Undergraduate Advisory Committee was created in Fall 2020. This committee will work together to build community and enrich student experiences in the Jewish studies program. Committee members for 2020-2021:
  • Abigail Adams ’24 is a first-year student and plans on double majoring in Religious Studies with a concentration in Jewish studies and political science. She recently joined the Jewish Studies Undergraduate Advisory Committee to help create outlets for students who share similar interests and to form a network of Jewish studies scholars. She is excited to take unique Jewish Studies courses at UNC Chapel Hill
  • Olivia Bornkessel ’22 is a junior history major with a concentration in modern European studies and minors in Jewish studies and creative writing. She values Jewish studies at UNC because it has brought her much closer to her heritage and helps her feel accepted and empowered by everyone in the community.
  • Ariel Nissan ’21 is a senior at UNC majoring in Advertising and Public Relations with a double major in Jewish Studies. As an Israeli Jew of Iraqi and Kurdish descent, she is passionate about studying other unique Jewish communities and cultures, which she has been able to do through the many Jewish Studies courses she has taken at UNC. She is excited to serve on the Jewish Studies Undergraduate Advisory Committee and to combine her interests in educational programming and Jewish Studies by creating new and fun educational opportunities.
  • Nikki Salazar is an undergraduate student at UNC majoring in psychology and minoring in Jewish studies. She is Costa Rican but resides in Lincolnton, NC. She is on the leadership team for Carolina Conexiones, is a member of Mi Pueblo, and is a research assistant at UNC DSN Lab. In her free time, she enjoys all kinds of reading, her favorite genres are classics, young adult fiction, and science fiction.

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