The Jewish Studies Program creates transformational learning opportunities for students of all backgrounds by cultivating hands-on collaboration, mutual respect, concern for marginalized voices, and the dignity of high expectations.
Through the study of Jewish traditions and experiences past and present, students gain a deeper understanding of how people construct and maintain communities, balance acculturation with the preservation of distinctiveness, and navigate challenges associated with prejudice, privilege, oppression, inequality, and injustice. Students also explore the evolution of cultural, ethnic, and religious identities as well as the interpretation of shared texts and practices.
Jewish Studies courses develop broadly applicable skills associated with critical reading, reflective thinking, and effective communication. The program emphasizes personal mentorship and courses with civic engagement or global travel components.
Inspired by the rabbinic dictum, “learning leads to action,” the Jewish Studies Program works closely with the Center for Small Town Jewish Life to create teaching and leadership development opportunities for students as well as public programs for the Colby community and the people of Maine. Students and faculty members participate in interdisciplinary, campus, and public conversations, applying insights from Jewish Studies scholarship to contemporary challenges.