About Judaic Studies

Our Program and Courses

You can minor or major in Judaic Studies at F&M. A major in Judaic Studies may be arranged as a special studies major, meaning you design the major to meet your learning goals. You can tailor your studies by choosing from courses within any other existing major offered at F&M, in particular those examining the history and culture of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. 

By the time you graduate, you will be able to demonstrate: 

  • An understanding of Jewish culture, history, and politics, and how they relate to the world at large.
  • A more holistic understanding of Judaic experiences as both a religion and a cultural identity.
  • A familiarity with the Hebrew language 
  • Critical and analytical thinking and the ability to empathize outside of your lived experiences.
  • The ability to collaborate effectively in a manner that translates to the professional arena.

Curious what Judaic Studies courses are like? Explore our course catalog to see the choices available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Stephen A Cooper

Professor of Religious Studies

Comparative Literary Studies; Judaic Studies

Contact »

Marco Di Giulio

Associate Professor

Judaic Studies; Public Health

Contact »

Alan S Glazer

Henry P. and Mary B. Stager Professor of Business

Judaic Studies

Contact »

Maya Greenshpan

Teaching Fellow

Judaic Studies

Contact »

Kabi Hartman

Director of the Program in Support of Academic Excellence and Senior Teaching Professor of English

Judaic Studies

Contact »

Tami L Lantz

Academic Department Coordinator

Africana Studies; Judaic Studies; Religious Studies

Contact »

Scott Lerner

Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and French and Italian, Department Chair of Italian Studies & Hebrew, Program Chair of Judaic Studies

Comparative Literary Studies; French; Judaic Studies

Contact »

Alexander Marcus

Adjunct Assistanat Professor, Religious Studies

Judaic Studies

Contact »

Jeffrey S Podoshen

Professor of Marketing

Judaic Studies

Contact »

Learning Outside the Classroom

With our many research and study-abroad opportunities, you’ll have plenty of chances to step outside the structure of the classroom and embark on your own explorations in Judaic Studies.

Off-Campus Study

When studying a culture that influences the world, it is vital to experience this cultural exchange yourself. Our students have pursued advanced studies in England, Czech Republic, and at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. Our students regularly participate in international internships and social justice programs in Israel including Achvat Amim (Jerusalem) and the Yahel Social Change Fellowship (Israel). Faculty have occasionally led an F&M summer travel course to Israel, which provides an introduction to Israeli history, culture, and society from its beginnings until today. The first week is spent at F&M and the following two weeks are spent in Israel, where you will gain a firsthand perspective on many aspects of contemporary Jewish life.

Summer Research and Travel Opportunities

The Bank Summer Study Award, which provides financial assistance for studying abroad, is available to students of Judaic Studies with exceptional academic records. In recent years students may apply for summer funding to conduct research abroad in Jewish painters and painting styles in Europe, European synagogue architecture, and anthropological fieldwork focused on religion and politics in Israel. 
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Research Opportunities

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. With faculty guidance, you can do a more in-depth dive into the topics that interest you most.
Explore research at F&M

The Klehr Center for Jewish Life

Since opening in 2008, F&M’s Klehr Center for Jewish Life, home to F&M Hillel, has been committed to enriching the lives of Jewish F&M students so that they may in turn enrich Jewish people around the world.
Explore the Klehr Center of Jewish Life

Success Beyond F&M

Judaic Studies at F&M prepares you to be well-suited for any number of careers or graduate school programs. The intellectual and analytical activities that make up the work of Judaic Studies — including cultural empathy, collaborating with others, and critical thought — help you develop useful and productive skills, which are valuable for any post-college plan.

Graduate School

Graduate school is a popular path for our students. Recent graduates have pursued advanced degrees — including doctorates — in the social sciences and humanities. They have enrolled at the best universities in the U.S. and abroad, including: 

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Georgetown University
  • University of California, Davis 
  • Jewish Theological Seminary
  • New School for Social Research
  • Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Career Paths

A degree in Judaic Studies can help prepare you for a variety of career paths. Previous graduates hold positions Jewish philanthropy, Jewish engagement, university teaching and research, high school teaching and Jewish education, law, social work, nonprofit and public policy work, medicine, rabbinic studies and pastoral work. 

Alumni Spotlight

“This is such a unique experience and I feel grateful to be given the chance to broaden the scope of my impact as a Jewish leader.”

Julia Bernstein '22 was named to the 2021-22 Hillel International Student Cabinet by Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. A joint studies major, Bernstein said, "I am incredibly excited for this opportunity and I cannot wait to represent F&M and other small liberal arts colleges on the Student Cabinet. This is such a unique experience and I feel grateful to be given the chance to broaden the scope of my impact as a Jewish leader."
Read More »

Faculty Spotlight

Mystery Uncovered in Research on Modern Italy and Jews

His research on the experience of Italian Jews as a way of understanding Italian modernization in the 19th century took Scott Lerner, Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and French and Italian, from Florence in the Tuscan region to Rome and the Holy See's secret archives in the Vatican. Along the way, Franklin & Marshall's Scott Lerner uncovered an incident that helped propel the fragmented nation toward unification. It involved a kidnapped Jewish girl, an attempt to convert her, the archduke of Tuscany, and the pope. "It occurred right before the revolution of 1848, which really roiled all of Europe," Lerner said. "In the end, unification wouldn't come for another dozen years, but the incident provided a tremendous jolt for the whole movement of unification and liberal reform."
Read More »

Related Fields of Study

Hebrew

Once limited only to use within religion, Hebrew is now spoken by millions of Jewish people worldwide. As a student of Hebrew at F&M, you will learn how the language underwent this miraculous revival as well as learn about the rich culture, history, and contributions of Hebrew and the Jewish people.

International Studies

International studies is an innovative program that combines off-campus study in a non-English-speaking location with on- and off-campus coursework. As a student of international studies at F&M, you will develop a global perspective and immerse yourself in the languages and cultures of non-English-speaking countries and regions.

Religious Studies

Humans find meaning in many forms, and one of the most widespread and varied of those is religion. As a religious studies student at F&M, you will have the opportunity to study numerous belief systems, including American religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam, while challenging your own perceptions and those of the world around you.

Explore Judaic Studies at F&M

September 20, 2021

Afghanistan to Italy: A Young Migrant's Odyssey

In Fabio Geda's internationally acclaimed 2010 novel, "In the Sea There are Crocodiles," the author converses with his character/subject, Enaiatollah Akbari, and asks him how he chose his new home. Enaiatollah tells him, "You recognize it because you don't feel like leaving." Akbari and Geda appeared via Zoom in Franklin & Marshall College's Lisa Bonchek Adams Auditorium. They discussed Akbari's four-year odyssey that took him from Afghanistan, through four countries and across a sea, to Italy, where he settled.

June 7, 2021

F&M Student Named to Hillel International Cabinet

Franklin & Marshall College senior Julia Bernstein has been named to the 2021-22 Hillel International Student Cabinet by Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. Started in 2016, the Student Cabinet, which invites about two dozen selected students from across the globe annually, shares their advice, opinion and perspective with Hillel's leadership to engage Jewish college students.

May 31, 2021

Standing Out From the Crowd

Most people pursuing a career in the music industry would major in music or business. Franklin & Marshall College alumna Elena Robustelli '21 isn't most people. An American studies major and Judaic studies minor, Robustelli landed an internship with Atlantic Records. Today, Robustelli works at TikTok as a talent researcher.