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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.



4-in-1 CJS Event Flier, Fall 2016

Special DU Event: A Conversation with Efraim Zuroff, the Last Nazi Hunter (Nov. 2)

Sign-Up to Bring Your Class/Group to the Marcus Lecture! (Nov. 6)

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

RMJHS Annual Meeting, a screening of "Jewish Pioneers" + exhibit (Nov. 13)

Ongoing Projects:

Check the Interfaith Calendar: A How-To

DU Words of Healing Nomination Form (Ongoing); click here for more information.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of CJS, HAI & RMJHS Exhibits & Spaces

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the American Jewish Experience (call for support) 

[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! 

Sephardic Cook-In Students
CJS launches a series of intercultural, graduate student cook-ins, beginning with Sephardic food and culture!

On Thursday evening, September 29, CJS hosted the first ever DU Graduate Student Intercultural Cook-In in partnership with DU's Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, and it was a huge success!

For the pilot version of this new series of cook-ins, graduate students from across campus gathered to cook authentic Sephardic Jewish dishes, which were then served at the Evening of Sephardic Food & Culture, a feast open to the entire DU community. All food was prepared under the supervision of Chef Tim Downs, in DU's very own teaching kitchen, before the students transitioned into an evening filled with good food, good company, and, of course, good coloring and play-dough shaping!

For fantastic photos of the entire evening, check out our Facebook page by clicking here (and a big "thank you" to Patricia Guerra of CJS for taking such great shots)!






New CJS Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Inclusive Excellence at the Center for Judaic Studies!

In preparation for our upcoming CJS Diversity Initiative, Dr. Sarah Pessin (Director) and Dr. Amy Balogh (Program Manager) have drafted the CJS Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Inclusive Excellence at the Center for Judaic Studies.

Read this exciting new statement by clicking here; for more information on our upcoming CJS Diversity Initiative, check the special-edition of our e-newsletter coming mid-September!

Not subscribed? Email us at to be added to our e-list!




Jeanne Abrams

New Beck Archives online exhibit, "Chasing the Cure," is now available!

After much hard work, Thyria Wilson, Archivist and Reference Specialist of the Beck Archives, has launched a new online exhibit about Colorado's early history as a destination for tuberculosis patients, titled "Chasing the Cure."

Because of its high altitude and sunny, temperate climate, by the 1880s Colorado had earned an international reputation as "The World's Sanatorium." The state's small Jewish community was the first to come forward to aid consumptives who arrived in droves to "chase the cure" for tuberculosis, or "The White Plague," as it was also known, the leading cause of death in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century America.

Dr. Jeanne Abrams provided the text for this exhibit, which is based on her monograph Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail.

View the exhibit by clicking here.





CJS Book News

Featured on DU's Recommended Reading List: Books Authored by 2-CJS Faculty!

CJS is proud to announce that of the 4 books featured in the "Faculty-Written Books" section of DU's 2016 Back to School Reading List, 2 of them are authored by CJS faculty!

Dr. Beth (Campbell) Karlsgodt, one of CJS's esteemed affiliate faculty members and Associate Professor in the Department of History, is an expert on the topic of art looting during WWII. Her featured book, Defending National Treasures: French Art and Heritage Under Vichy, explores the fate of art and cultural heritage during the Nazi occupation of France. Click here for more information.

Dr. Adam Rovner, one of CJS's core faculty members and Associate Professor of English & Jewish Literature, is an expert on modern Hebrew literature and translation. His featured book,  In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel , brings to life the amazing true stories of six exotic visions of a Jewish national home outside of the biblical land of Israel. For more information, click here.

Congratulations to both Dr. Karlsgodt and Dr. Rovner on the continued success of their books!







 Sciarcon, Educational Oases in the Desert
Dr. Jonathan Sciarcon's forthcoming book is officially announced!

Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Sciarcon, Assistant Professor of Jewish History, on the acceptance of his manuscript for publication at SUNY Press! 

Educational Oases in the Desert: The Alliance Israelite Universelle's Girls' Schools in Ottoman Iraq, 1895-1915 is due out in 2017. More information will be added to the publisher's webpage and the CJS webpage in the coming months.

In the meantime, please join us in celebrating this milestone event!



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