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Center for Judaic Studies

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Center for Judaic Studies

Advancing knowledge of Jewish history, thought and culture through learning, intercultural dialogue, and social action.


The Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) is a vibrant source of in-depth Jewish learning on campus and across Colorado.

Our faculty are research and teaching experts in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas of Judaic Studies. Their work is internationally recognized, and they offer an impressive annual lineup of undergraduate and graduate courses in fields of Jewish history, religion, language, literature, philosophy, film, and culture.

In addition to being home to our own faculty experts , CJS hosts annual visiting scholars, performing artists, authors, poets and filmmakers from around the world.

We offer a minor in Judaic Studies, and a number of joint MA and PhD degrees with programs across campus. We are home to the Holocaust Awareness Institute , the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site and The Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society . We also serve the broader community through many annual events and co-sponsored activities across Colorado.


"Music & Hope: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer" 14th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture (Nov 6, 2016)

[For more information on these and other events, see our full calendar.]


 CJS honoring the memory of Sandy Vinnik...(read more)

 Click on the text to read more about CJS events and happenings! 

Mor's book, 2nd Jewish Revolt
"The Second Jewish Revolt: The Bar Kokhba War, 132-136 C.E." by Dr. Menahem Mor now available through Brill Publishing!

In May 2016, Brill released a long-anticipated volume by Dr. Menahem Mor, CJS Emeritus Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor. Dr. Mor's work on the Bar Kokhba Revolt has intrigued faculty, friends, and colleagues of CJS for many years, and we are very excited to see his English volume in print!

Here is a description of Mor's new book, from the publisher:

"In The Second Jewish Revolt: The Bar Kokhba War, 132-136 C.E., Menahem Mor offers a detailed account on the Bar Kokhba Revolt in an attempt to understand the second revolt against the Romans. Since the Bar Kokhba Revolt did not have a historian who devoted a comprehensive book to the event, Mor used a variety of historical materials including literary sources (Jewish, Christian, Greek and Latin) and archaeological sources (inscriptions, coins, military diplomas, hideouts, and refuge complexes). The book reviews the causes for the outbreak while explaining the complexity of the territorial expansion of the Revolt. Mor portrays the participants and opponents as well as the attitudes of the non-Jewish population in Palestine. He exposes the Roman Army's part in Judaea, the Jewish leadership and the implications of the Revolt."

The DU Library will be adding Mor's volume to the Penrose collection in the coming weeks. In the meantime, click here for more information.








Hebrew Cooking Class
DU students learn to cook Israeli food in Hebrew class!

Hands-on learning never tasted so good! As a closing activity for a unit on food, Prof. Sari Havis' Hebrew classes learned to make Israeli food "b'ivrit" ("in Hebrew"), while practicing their newfound language skills. For more photographs of the fun, click here.

Thank you, Prof. Havis, for going the extra mile to make learning memorable for DU students. Cheers!





Jeanne Abrams

Faculty Spotlight: CJS celebrates the accomplishments of Dr. Jeanne Abrams

This academic year was an excellent year for Dr. Jeanne Abrams, Professor of Jewish History & Director of RMJHS and Beck Archives. Dr. Abrams was named the 2015 University of Denver Lecturer for "superlative scholarly and creative research." The award is presented to only one faculty member each year for the last 60 years. She also presented the University Lecture in April on "Revolutionary Medicine: The Founding Fathers and Mothers in Sickness and in Health" and was featured at a gala dinner in her honor after the presentation.

In April, Dr. Abrams signed a contract with New York University Press for her upcoming book "First Ladies of the Republic: How Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison Helped Shape the American Nation."

In April, her chapter on the story of Hannah and Jack Levy and Fashion Bar was published in the German Historical Institute's online 5 volume book project, "German Immigrant Entrepreneurship in America." Last September, she published an essay chapter on Isaias Hellman, the California German Jewish immigrant founder of Wells Fargo, in the same book project, but a different volume.

Dr. Abrams' chapter "Chasing the Cure on Both Sides of the Border: Jewish TB Sanatoriums in Denver and Montreal," was accepted for publication last fall and will be published in an edited book titled "Neither in Dark Speeches Nor in Similitudes: Visions of Jewishness in Canada and the United States" by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2016.

Besides the University Lecture, a couple of highlight for speaking presentations were the keynote address for the Colorado Conference of Medical Librarians on "Medicine in the Era of America's Founders" last September and the featured talk at the Lakewood, Colorado Heritage Center Historical Luncheon on the topic of "Chasing the Cure in Colorado: The JCRS TB Sanatorium." She was also featured twice on Colorado Matters on CPR this past year; once to talk about the history of tuberculosis treatment in Colorado for a segment they did on TB and a repeat of her interview on Revolutionary Medicine, which they featured as one of their top historical interview segments of the past.

Please join us in celebrating this stellar year!








CO State Senate

HAI named in State Senate Joint Resolution Declaring May 1-8, 2016 Holocaust Awareness Week

The Holocaust Awareness Institute is proud to share that we have again been named as a witness to the annual State Senate Joint Resolution "Concerning the Declaration of May 1, 2016 Through May 8, 2016 as Holocaust Awareness Week" adopted by the General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session.

Please click here to see a copy of the Resolution.

For more information on the Holocaust Awareness Institute, please click here.




 Alison Schofield
Dr. Alison Schofield's sold-out lecture "How the Bible Became a Book" now available online!

Over 500 Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) alums, faculty and students gathered in May for the annual Alumni Reception and John C. Livingston Lecture. This year's lecture, presented by Dr. Alison Schofield, associate professor of religious and judaic studies, was entitled "How the Bible Became a Book: The Rise of Scripture in Judaism and Christianity."

Professor Schofield described some of the dynamic history of the various texts that eventually made it into a best-selling collection of scripture. She explained that the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient sources can inform us about the origin and early history of the Bible as sacred book.

To watch Dr. Schofield's lecture, click here.


Click here for upcoming CJS events!

Click here for past CJS events!

PAT Video Conference

Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Conference, July 8-10, 2015