Program News

The University Daily Kansan published on article on the approval of the new Jewish Studies major

Sep 22, 2015 - Check out the article in UDK, "KU adds Jewish Studies as a Major"!  View the article here!

The Wichita Eagle published an article on Dr. Eric Welch and the discovery of entrance gates in Tell-es Safi

Aug 20, 2015 - The Wichita Eagle publishes the article, "KU Students get to help in digging up a scene from the Bible"  View the article here!

KU Today published an article on Dr. Eric Welch's role in the discovery of the entrance gate to the biblical city of Gath

Aug 10, 2015: Dr. Eric Welch, newly appointed Visiting Assistant Professor in Jewish Studies is part of an archaeological excavation that discovered the entrance gate and fortification wall to the ancient biblical city of Gath. View the article here!

The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle published an article on the first KU student to graduate with a special major in Jewish Studies

The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle published an article May 28, 2015 on Molly Rissien, the first KU student to graduate with a special major in Jewish Studies this Spring, 2015.  View the article here!

KU student receives Undergraduate Research Award to study at archaeological dig in Israel with Lecturer, Eric Welch

Darra Stuart has received an Undergraduate Research Award to study Early Bronze Age fortifications at the archaeological excavation site in Israel, Tell es-Safi this summer, 2015.  She will complete her research project under the supervision of Jewish Studies Lecturer, Eric Welch.

Recent Jewish Studies guest speakers interviewed by the University Daily Kansan

On March 11th, 2015 the University Daily Kansan featured an article on guest speaker Deborah Lipstadt.  View the article here!

On March 4th, 2015 the University Daily Kansan featured an article on  guest speaker Ari Shavit.  View the article here!

Visiting Israeli Professor in Jewish Studies, Gal Levy, is interviewed by the LJ World

On March 2nd, 2015 Dr. Gal Levy, Visiting Israeli Professor in Jewish Studies, shared his view of the Prime Minister of Israel's speech to Congress with the LJ World.  View the article here!

Congratulations to Professor Renee Perelmutter and Jewish Studies minor Maggie Boyles!

Professor Perelmutter received Honorable Mention for the Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award and Maggie was awarded a prize for her research presentation on First Women of the Yiddish Stage. We are pleased to have such dedication and talent within the Jewish Studies program!

KU approved Study Abroad programs to Israel for students

Read the article in the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle about the new opportunities for KU students to study abroad in Israel.

Israel once again study abroad option at University of Kansas (April 2, 2014)

Congratulations to Biri Rottenberg-Rosler!

Biri is a lecturer with the Jewish Studies program and was awarded the American Psychological Association Psychoanalytic Division 39's Early Career Professional Scholar award for 2014!

Congratulations to Professor Rebecca Rovit! (January 2014)

Her book, The Jewish Kulturbund Theatre Company in Nazi Berlin, was chosen as a 2013 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title!

For the full list, see here.

PRESS RELEASE (16 May 2013): Hebrew, Yiddish awards to KU Jewish Studies students (pdf)

PRESS RELEASE (02 May 2013): Renewed Focus on Jewish Studies Program at KU (pdf)

Professor's new book on Jewish theatre in Nazi Germany (March 2013)


Congratulations to Professor Rebecca Rovit on the publication of her book "The Jewish Kulturbund Theatre Company in Nazi Berlin." More information on the book and her research.


Jewish Studies Program statement in solidarity with protests against police brutality

Beloved community,

As an academic program in the University of Kansas, we stand in solidarity with Black Americans -- including Black Jewish people -- and everyone hurting after the senseless, brutal murder of George Floyd and all people targeted by systemic racism and injustice in our country. We continue to be committed to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This morning, the Association for Jewish Studies sent out an email reminding us that as scholars of Jewish Studies, we are keenly aware of the devastating impact of discrimination and violence against minority groups. Dr. Cécile Accilien, the Chair of the KU Department of African and African-American studies, shared with us the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Jewish Studies academic community is rich and diverse – it includes scholars and students who are Jewish and non-Jewish, scholars and students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from multiple denominations and creeds, people who are immigrants (like myself) and those who are American-born. The Bible commands: צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף tzedek tzedek tirdof, which translates into English as “Only justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). In this well-cited verse, the Hebrew word tzedek, or justice, repeats twice. There can be many explanations of the repetition – textual interpretation in all its many forms is a beloved pursuit for many of us. Today, I am going to give you my own interpretation -- though I am sure that it already exists somewhere in the treasury of Jewish exegesis. One tzedek, or justice, you must pursue for yourself and for people like you; that is, perhaps, the justice that is easiest to understand, because we keenly feel injustices committed against ourselves and people like us. The other tzedek is the justice you must pursue for the sake of people who are not like you. It is often a harder lesson, but a necessary one. The justice, or tzedek, which we pursue thus also becomes a gift of chesed, of lovingkindness that enriches all of us.


In solidarity,

Dr. Renee Perelmutter,

Director of the Jewish Studies Program

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