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Jewish Studies Undergraduate Degrees

Requirements available to students matriculating in Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 (catalog entry)

  • 18 credit hours in the minor: 12 ch must be at the 300 level or higher, 9 ch must be in residence at KU; minimum GPA 2.0.
  • Jewish Studies. Satisfied by 3 JWSH courses (9 hours)
  • Courses in Related Disciplines. Satisfied by 3 courses (9 hours) from a list of approved courses. 1 course in Yiddish or 1 course above the 200 level in Hebrew may count among these hours.
  • Among these 18 ch, one course (3 ch) must focus on the Ancient World and one course (3 ch) must focus on the Modern World

Requirements available to students matriculating in Fall 2010 to Summer 2013 (catalog entries: 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013)

  • 18 credit hours in the minor: 12 ch must be at the 300 level or higher, 9 ch must be in residence at KU; minimum GPA 2.0.
  • 6 credit hours within Jewish Studies (JWSH courses)
  • 3 credit hours of either JWSH 490 or JWSH 491 (Independent Study to investigate a special topic or project selected by the student taken normally in the student's final year at KU).
  • 3 credit hours in the Ancient World
  • 3 credit hours in the Modern World
  • of these 18 credit hours, 9 must come from at least one other unit (e.g., ENGL, HIST, REL; these courses must contain approximately 40%-50% Jewish content) and 6 may be HEBR/YDSH at the 200-level or above.

Requirements available to students matriculating BEFORE Fall 2010 (link to early catalog entries available here)

  • 18 credit hours in the minor: 12 ch must be at the 300 level or higher, 9 ch must be in residence at KU; minimum GPA 2.0.
  • 2nd year HEBR or YDSH
  • 15 credit hours in at least 3 different units
  • 3 credit hours of Independent Study (e.g., JWSH 490/491)

General requirements for the minor, whatever specific requirements are available to students regardless of when they matriculate at KU

  • Minor Hours. Satisfied by 18 hours of minor courses
  • Minor Hours in Residence. Satisfied by a minimum of 9 junior/senior (300+) hours of KU resident credit in the minor.
  • Minor Junior/Senior (300+) Hours. Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the minor.
  • Minor Graduation GPA. Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in all courses in the minor.

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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