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Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Program


The Major in Jewish Studies

The courses are taught by CSUN professors and adjunct lecturers from the departments of English, History, Modern and Classical Languages, Religious Studies, and Sociology.

Students of all religions and ethnic backgrounds are welcome to enroll in individual Jewish Studies courses or to complete the B.A. in Modern Jewish Studies.


Upon completion of the Modern Jewish Studies major, students should be able to

  • describe the major events and cultural features of Jewish life in different international settings from 1600 to the present;


  • define and analyze significant Jewish religious beliefs, ethics, religious practices, philosophies, and cultural expressions;


  • describe the principal social contours of modern Jewish communities and families, and give examples of the complex and multifaceted forms of modern Jewish identity;


  • demonstrate an ability to speak, comprehend, and write Modern Hebrew at an elementary level.

Introduction — 3 units

  • JS 200 - Introduction to Judaism

Language — 4 units

  • HEB 102 - Elementary Hebrew II

Culture and Society — 9 units

Choose three of the following courses:

  • ENG 371 - Issues in American Writing
  • JS 318 - Jewish Ethics and Society
  • JS/GWS 330 - Women in the Jewish Experience
  • SOC 306 - Jewish Communal & Family Structure
  • SOC 335 - Jewish Identity in the U.S.
  • RS 378 - American Jewish Experience

History — 9 units

Choose three of the following courses:

  • JS/HIST 210 - History of the Jewish People
  • HIST 356 - Antisemitism in Europe
  • HIST 357 - History of the Holocaust
  • HIST 406 - Jews in the Ancient World
  • JS/HIST 409 - Jews in the Modern Era
  • JS/HIST 427 - Israel's History and Peoples
  • JS/HIST 486J - History of the Jews in the United States  

Religion and Thought — 9 units

Choose three of the following courses:

  • RS 356 - Contemporary Religious Thought (Jewish thought section only)
  • RS 375 - Classical Judaic Texts
  • RS 377 - The Holocaust: Religious Responses
  • RS 379 - Zionism: Religious and Secular
  • RS 476 - Modern Jewish Thought

Electives — 9 units

Choose three of the following courses:

  • JS 300 - Humanities in the Jewish Society: Ancient and Medieval
  • JS 390CS - Service Learning in the Jewish Community
  • HEB 101 - Elementary Hebrew I
  • RS 310 - Religion and Literature (Jewish literature section only)
  • RS 320 - Hebrew Bible
  • RS 375 - Classical Judaic Texts
  • JS 151 & RTM 151f (linked course) - Natural Environment and Judaism

With prior approval of the Coordinator, students may substitute courses, Independent Study, or an online Jewish Studies course from another CSU campus in the above categories.

The university publishes academic planning guides to assist you in planning which courses to take in order to finish your major on time. There is a four-year plan available, and a two-year plan for transfer students.

  • Units in the Major — 43 units
  • General Education — 43-52 units
    (9 units of the courses required for the major may be applied to G.E. — see Coordinator for advisement)
  • Title V — 6 units
  • Additional Electives of your Choosing — 19-28 units

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree — 120 units

The Jewish Studies Major Graduation Check Worksheet