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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.


Religious Existentialism Fall 2015 Course (Sept-Nov, 2015)

Eradicating Hate: A Paper Trail of Nazi Practice (Oct.7-9, 2015)

Hebrew Seminar 2015: Technology in the Hebrew Classroom (Oct. 9-11, 2015)

Israeli Immigrant Teens: Educational Contexts & Social Identity with Dr. Doly Levi (Oct. 12)

Jews & Booze: Becoming Americans in the Age of Prohibition (RMJHS Annual Mtg.; Oct. 18)

13th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture: Screening of 50 Children  (Oct. 18)

Educator Flier for October Holocaust Awareness Events


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

DU powwow
CJS Sponsors the DU Native American Student Alliance Pow-wow!

As part of our commitment to celebrating diversity across campus and in the greater Denver community, CJS continues to co-sponsor the DU Native American Student Alliance annual Pow-wow! This year's pow-wow took place on May 3, 2015, marking the 5th anniversary of the annual New Beginnings Spring Powwow. The event has become a campus-wide event with support from the Chancellor's office, DU Programming Board and the Center for Multicultural Excellence.

In Native American communities, a powwow is a social gathering, a time when dance and music honor the resilient cultural history of Native American people and tradition. A pow-wow encompasses a variety of educational experiences including history and art. This cultural celebration will enable our university and community to foster fellowship with the city of Denver and Native Peoples of the North and Southwest. For this reason, we wish to share this stunning and unique culture experience with our peers and community.

The vibrant display of American Indian culture is offered free and open to the University of Denver community and the city of Denver. The beauty of a pow-wow resides in its overreaching unity and sanctity. People of all tribal affiliations and races can participate in a powwow. Also during the powwow a brief history and information of each performance was be presented.





Hebr 1003 Cooking
Hebrew Students Learn to Cook Israeli Food!

This spring, Prof. Sari Havis' Hebrew classes visited DU's Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management where they learned to cook traditional Israeli food. Here are Shira, Yaakov, and Alex preparing to make a beautiful Israeli salad! 





Judaic Studies Spring internship with Hazon for its annual Food Festival 

This Judaic Studies Spring Internship with Hazon will explore food, sustainability, and spirituality through hands-on projects and select readings. Work with Hazon 

Colorado to produce their annual food festival on May 17, 2015. Interns will earn college credit & gain valuable on-the-job experience while working 10-15 flexible hours a week.

Off-campus internship requirements:
• Support the production of fun and innovative programming.
• Create foodie/environmental “activity kits” for exhibitors.
• Research and recruit food vendors.
• Help coordinate event volunteers.
• Disseminate marketing material.
• Assist with event set-up and cleanup.

On-campus internship requirements:
• Read Jewish texts on food/sustainability/spirituality.
• Discuss readings with Prof. Sarah Pessin (faculty in Philosophy and Judaic Studies)
• Write 5-page paper synthesizing readings with off-campus experience

Download the internship description, complete with how to apply.

Learn more Hazon (Colorado).



Katerina Arzhayev
International Studies and History Major, Katerina Arzhayev, describes her experience studying Israeli Cultures with CJS and Languages & Literatures Faculty member, Professor Sari Havis

My interactions with the Center for Judaic Studies have helped further my academic pursuits by exposing me to the different cultures, languages, and values of the people living in Israel, and helping me realize that the possibility of peaceful coexistence between the religions is possible. Participating in vivid class discussions and learning Hebrew with a hands on approach has helped me realize that I have a vested interest in the Middle East and religion as it pertains to the modern world. CJS aided in solidifying my resolve to be active in my immediate community as I continue receiving an education so that I would have the ability to be proactive abroad.

- Katerina Arzhayev, International Studies and History Major, 2015








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CJS in the community
  • Dr. Jeanne Abrams, CJS Faculty and Director of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives, was interviewed on "How tuberculosis fueled Colorado's growth" for Colorado Matters on Colorado Public Radio . Listen to the interview here: How tuberculosis fueled Colorado's growth
  • As part of University College’s Enrichment Program, Dr. Jonathan Sciarcon, Assistant Professor of History and Judaic Studies, will teach the two session evening course (Wed., 6:30-8:30 p.m., Mar. 25, Apr. 1, 2015), The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Israeli Perspectives . Click here to find out more and register for the course.
  • RMJHS co-sponsors B'nai B'rith conversation with John Rosengren, author of Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes . Find out details of the event here .
  • CJS director, Dr. Sarah Pessin, gave the following three talks in March 2015, in Milwaukee:
    • Levinas and the Paradoxes of Justice , for the Milwaukee Jewish Studies Colloquium, The Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, UW-Milwaukee
    • Love in the Jewish Philosophical Tradition , for Philosophy in Support of Religion in the Abrahamic Traditions in the Middle Ages, Marquette University
    • Participant in the Averroes-Maimonides Roundtable, Marquette University


Click here for upcoming CJS events!

Click here for past CJS events!

Philosophy Abrahamic Traditions

Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Conference, July 10-12, 2013