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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.


"Voices from the Holocaust" Events Throughout Greeley, CO (April 19-May 8, 2016)

Call for Proposals: Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions Workshop on al-Ghazali  (due May 1; conference July 6-8, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI)

DU New Beginnings Pow Wow "Mothers Day Special" by Native Student Alliance (May 8, 2016)

Invitation to the RMJHS Annual Heritage Award Dinner - Screening of "Striking Liquid Gold: Colorado Jews in the Oil Industry" (May 16, 2016)

"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!
Natalie Peterson
CJS Hebrew student Natalie Peterson reflects on her recent study abroad experience at the University of Haifa!

In fall 2015, Natalie Peterson, a student in the Hebrew Program at DU, studied abroad in Israel at the University of Haifa. To watch Natalie speak about her experience, including what it was like to travel around Israel, click here.

If you would like to learn more about Israeli culture, please check out CJS's new Israel Cultures Initiative. You may also click here for information on our Hebrew program.







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