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The Jewish Studies Program, in the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, is an academic program whose core mission is to educate students in the breadth and complexities of Jewish history, religion, politics, and culture; to situate this learning in the larger context of their liberal arts education; and to explore the ways in which the study of religion and religious cultures affects the development of tolerance and philosophical understandings of human nature. Jewish studies courses engage students of all backgrounds in diverse aspects of Jewish civilization and address themes as divergent as identity formation, prejudice, and intercultural relations. Through the minor in Jewish studies, the program offers students an opportunity to take courses in several disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, including history, religious studies, English, and government.

As the only program of its kind in Maine, Jewish studies seeks not only to educate Colby students but also to provide public programming to members of the Maine community through its curricular and co-curricular activities. Though a major in Jewish studies is not offered, interested students are encouraged to consult the director about an independent major.


Requirements for the Minor in Jewish Studies

A minimum of six courses, including two core courses (Religious Studies 181 and 182) and four other courses in Jewish studies that are approved for the minor. Students interested in the study of Hebrew should consult the program director  for more information.

Successful completion of the minor requires a 2.00 average for all requirements above. None of the required courses may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Courses listed below are described in the appropriate department sections of this catalogue.


Courses approved for the Minor in Jewish Studies

  • English 
    • 349  Modern Jewish Writing
    • 423 Jews in Literature: Medieval to Modern
  • French
    • 376 Shadows of the Past: Remembering Vichy France and the Holocaust
  • Government 
    • 251 Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Accommodation
    • 252 Politics of the Middle East
  • History 
    • 421 Research Seminar: Debating the Nazi Past
  • Music
    • 121 Entartete (Degenerate) Musik
  • Religious Studies 
    • 143 Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures
    • 181 Conceptions of Jews and Judaism
    • 182 Jews, Judaism, and the Modern World
    • 187 Jewish Identity After Auschwitz
    • 197 Introduction to the Talmud
    • 219 Texts of Terror: Violence and the Religions of the Book
    • 221 Topics in Maine's Jewish History
    • 282 The Making of Judaism
    • 284 Medieval Judaism, Real and Imagined
    • 297 The Apocalyptic Imagination
    • 298 Family and Society in Ancient Israel
    • 322 Food and Religious Identity
    • 382 Abraham in the Abrahamic Religions
    • 398A Exhibiting Maine's Jewish Experience
For a comprehensive list of courses approved for the Jewish studies minor and courses offered in the 2010-2011 academic year, refer to the Jewish Studies Program's website.




Colby College reserves the right in its sole judgement to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, academic schedule, fees, deposits, or any other matters in this catalogue.