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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

World Literature Today Launch Party for Special Hebrew Issue

Philosophy in The Abrahamic Traditions

13th Annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture:  Screening of 50 Children


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

Holon Design Museum
Now accepting applications for the Annual Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel

The fellowship, honoring the late Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik , provides educational travel funds for academic study in Israel. Past applicants have researched diverse subjects, including urban gardening, Israeli film, Dead Sea Scrolls, peace-building, yoga, music, and art. Their projects give life to Dr. Vinnik’s wish to encourage understanding of Israel, Judaism, and Israeli & Jewish culture.

Applications are open to students, teachers, clergy, and community members from all cultural backgrounds. Please download a PDF of the application requirements here .

Applications are due by May 4.

jews and booze
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

Announcing the Week of Jewish Philosophy: featuring Dr. Randi Rashkover (George Mason University, Religious Studies & Judaic Studies)

The Week of Jewish Philosophy is a 2-day intensive series of seminars and roundtables on themes of Jewish philosophy, religion, and theology. Helping us work through difficult concepts in classical Jewish texts of philosophy the Week of Jewish Philosophy offers a series of unique intercultural and diversity-enhancing learning opportunities for those interested in philosophy, religious studies, and inter-religious dialogue. The intensive series of events addresses core questions about Judaism, including questions related to Theology, Ethics, Covenant, Religion, Law, History, Methodology, and Praxis. The event is an annual partnership between CU and DU, and is organized by Elias Sacks (CU, Religious Studies, Jewish Studies) and Sarah Pessin (DU, Philosophy, Judaic Studies).

Dr. Randi Rashkover is an associate professor of Religious Studies and director of the Judaic Studies Program at George Mason University. She is the author of Revelation and Theopolitics: Barth, Rosenzweig and the Politics of Praise (T&T Clark, 2005) and editor of Liturgy Time and the Politics of Redemption (Wm.B. Eerdmans, 2006) and Tradition in the Public Square: A Novak Reader (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007).

Her areas of expertise include Jewish philosophy, Jewish political thought, Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations and women in Judaism. She has published widely in a range of leading journals including, The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Jewish Studies Quarterly, Modern Theology, Philosophy Today and has been contributing editor of the journal Cross Currents for over ten years. Dr. Rashkover lectures at universities, synagogues and churches throughout the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.

Monday, April 20, 2015 

Seminar - topic TBA

12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
CU Boulder

Eaton Humanities Library 

Room TBA

1610 Pleasant St.

Boulder, CO 80302

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Seminar - topic TBA

2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

University of Denver

Sturm Hall

Humanities Institute Room (Sturm 286)

2000 E. Asbury St.

Denver, CO 80208 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Roundtable discussion - topic TBA

6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m

University of Denver

Sturm Hall

Humanities Institute Room (Sturm 286)

2000 E. Asbury St.

Denver, CO 80208

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CJS Highlights
  • 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, is giving the 3 following talks in March 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