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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies

Degree Programs

Center for Judaic Studies

Inclusive Excellence

Diversity, Inclusion, and Inclusive Excellence at the Center for Judaic Studies

With our ever-increasing knowledge of the interconnectedness of human beings comes an ever-increasing responsibility to "contribute to a sustainable common good" (Chancellor Chopp). One of the ways CJS contributes to a sustainable common good is through our commitment to Inclusive Excellence (IE).

Dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and a sustainable public good, CJS works not only to promote deeper understanding of Judaism, but deeper respect (not just tolerance) for people, texts, and ideas from all cultures, religions, and backgrounds.

CJS invites student and community learners of different religions, races, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and political and ideological viewpoints to engage in in-depth learning, in-depth dialogue, and in-depth interrogations of hatred, bias, bigotry, inequity, and prejudice.

CJS's dedication to diversity and inclusion runs deep, whether it is a CJS-cosponsored ball-pit for interfaith dialogue, a CJS travel-course to Buenos Aires exploring Jewish-Latino history, CJS students Skyping with fellow learners-of-Hebrew in other countries, a CJS co-sponsored Jewish poetry reading, students studying social justice in the Bible, a faculty panel on Middle East relations, local community members using their CJS "Vinnik Fellowships for Advanced Study in Israel" to study everything from peace-building and urban farming to yoga, art, and international relations, a Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society exhibit at the public library, DU students gathering at the Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site to talk about sexual assault prevention, students from across the Front Range traveling to DU to learn about the philosophy of Levinas and dialogue about justice at our Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, or students learning with local Holocaust survivors from our Speakers Bureau.

Our Director also sits on the Chancellor's Diversity and Equity Committee, on the IRISE advisory board , and is the co-Chair (with the Assistant Provost of Inclusive Excellence Research and Curriculum Initiatives) of the campus initiative for a program in Race, Inequality, and Social Change (RISC).

In addition to an ever-growing list of events and programs with diversity-enhancing outcomes, here are just some of the ways that the very structure and mission of CJS is dedicated to promoting IE on our campus, across our community, and beyond:

• Our Judaic Studies classes, programs, and events provide student and community learners with deeper understandings of and increased cultural competencies around a range of Jewish, interreligious, and intercultural ideas, texts, and practices.

• Our Check the Interfaith Calendar initiative and our 10 Commandments for Religious Inclusivity at DU remind campus and community partners about the importance of honoring religious diversity.

• Our faculties' research opens doors to in depth learning around Jewish, interreligious, and intercultural texts and topics.

• Our many visiting scholars and creative campus-projects and community-partnerships open doors to intercultural and interreligious understanding with an annual lineup of local, national, and international experts.

• Our CJS Inclusive Excellence Graduate Fellow , part of a special campus program for select Higher Education graduate students, works with students and partners across campus to help CJS participate in and contribute to even more diversity on our campus.

• Our Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society and Beck Archives are a gateway to the vibrant history of Jews in CO and surrounding regions, including histories of Jewish-Latino and Jewish-Native American relationship-building.

• Our Holocaust Awareness Institute —including our Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site , our Holocaust Survivors Speakers Bureau , and our annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture —brings lessons from the past into the present and future, featuring programs and projects dedicated to diversity and inclusivity.

• Our "Judaic Studies Infusion" initiative is dedicated to bringing more Jewish learning opportunities into more classrooms across DU and Iliff.

• Our annual Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel offers funding opportunities to campus and community learners from all backgrounds to help bridge the gap between the United States and Israel, and among Jews, Muslims and Christians.

• Our annual Julia Gross Scholarship spotlights undergraduates in our Judaic Studies courses who participate in interfaith community building and social justice initiatives.

• Our Zicherman-Sztrulovits Memorial Endowment , created in memory of lives lost to the Holocaust, is dedicated to enhancing awareness of Judaic Studies on campus and across the community.

• Our Chair of Judaic Studies is an ecumenical position created and maintained towards the specific goal of fostering interreligious teaching and bridge-building.

• Our multiple interfaith-earmarked donor-supported endowments ensure that we actively partner on a range of campus and community interfaith projects.

• Our current campaigns to endow a Chair of Holocaust Studies , and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the American Jewish Experience aim to enhance diversity and inclusion as well as interreligious and intercultural learning outcomes, probing the depths of Jewish history and culture for lessons about the dangers of prejudice and for models of social justice.

CJS recognizes and champions the dignity and worth of people, texts, and ideas from all backgrounds. Honoring and valuing that which separates us is the best way to come together in strength towards a better future.

For more on Inclusive Excellence at DU, please check out the resources below: 
+ State of IE at DU
+ Check out the role of IE in DU's Impact 2025 strategic plan
+ Chancellor Jeremy Haefners' Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence