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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.








2016 Hebrew Arabic Cultural Event
DU students learn folk-dancing at the 2016 Hebrew-Arabic Cultural Event!

The 2016 Hebrew-Arabic Cultural Event, which took place on Feb. 18th, introduced DU students from a diversity of backgrounds to Hebrew and Arabic culture. This year's theme was folk-dancing and food! Check out our students' new dance moves by clicking here.

This year's event was made possible by the generous support of the Center for Middle East Studies and Department of Languages and Literatures. Thank you!





Hebrew 2002

Intermediate Hebrew goes tie-dye!

To celebrate the end of a unit on clothing, AND as a bit of end-of-the-quarter fun, students in Prof. Sari Havis' Intermediate Hebrew class made tie-dyed t-shirts! Of course they spoke in Hebrew during the entire lesson...right ladies? ;)

For more on our Hebrew program, click here.











Lowenstein, Sound of Music

New Art Donated to the Lowenstein Collection of the Beck Archives.

The Beck Archives is proud to announce the expansion of the Lowenstein Collection through a donation of more than 15 pieces of artwork from the Lowenstein family. The highlights of this new acquisition include Henry's watercolor paintings for various set-designs at Denver's Lowenstein Theater, including the Sound of Music (pictured above; click here for a larger image).

The artwork of Henry's mother, Maria — who was an artist in her own right— is also featured. One of Maria's most significant pieces is a charcoal drawing of her daughter, drawn with the ashes of Berlin toward the end of WWII, before the family moved to the United States.




 Sarah Hart Micke
CJS-HAI colleague, Prof. Sarah Hart Micke, reflects on her recent experience at a local Holocaust teacher training.

In February 2016, Sarah Hart Micke, Teaching Assistant Professor and Writing Center Assistant Director in the University Writing Program, participated in the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's (JPEF) "History and Resistance of the Jewish Partisans: Tactics of Resistance and Teaching with the Motion Picture Defiance" at the Mizel Museum.

Conversations about the role Jewish partisans played in resisting Nazi oppression and sustaining human dignity led to broader discussion about why we teach the Holocaust, why it matters.

Holocaust survivor and Denver artist Paula Burger shared her moving testimony of escaping a Polish ghetto and surviving with the Bielski Partisans in the woods. Her memoir, Paula's Window: Papa, the Bielski Partisans, and A Life Unexpected, offers a more detailed picture of her story, and the film Defiance narrates the Bielski brothers' partisan resistance more broadly.

In the classroom, these sources can be used to frame a variety of topics from the Holocaust to issues of ethics, diversity, and leadership more generally, providing avenues for understanding our communal responsibility.

Thank you, Prof. Hart Micke, for all of your hard work and dedication to educating DU students about the Holocaust!


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