The mission of Colby’s Jewish Studies Program is to further the understanding of Judaism and Jewish culture, past and present, within the context of the liberal arts.

Jewish Studies courses engage Colby students of all backgrounds in diverse aspects of Jewish civilization: religious, literary, social, ethical, and political.  These courses regularly address interrelationships among peoples and cultures, exploring such universal themes as identity formation, prejudice, tolerance, and the construction of meaning.

Students earning a minor in Jewish Studies develop skills in various disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, including History, Religious Studies, English, and Government.  Since Hebrew has been the primary vehicle of Jewish expression, minors are strongly encouraged to develop working knowledge of the Hebrew language.  Interested students are invited to apply for an independent major in Jewish Studies.

As the oldest and largest program of its kind in Maine, Jewish Studies seeks not only to educate Colby students but also to provide public programming of the highest caliber, both on campus and across our state.  Through its curricular and co-curricular activities, the Jewish Studies Program complements Colby’s motto, “Knowledge is the light of the mind,” with an emphasis on the Rabbinic aphorism, “The knowledgeable learn from everyone.”