Both a Bachelor of Arts and Academic Minor in Judaic Studies are offered by the Frankel Center, where undergraduate students receive a well-balanced understanding of Jewish Literatures & Cultures, History & Social Science, and Classical and Modern Judaism: Law and Religion along with a strong knowledge of Yiddish or Hebrew. The undergraduate curriculum aims to situate Jewish Studies within a broad-based liberal arts education and provides a framework for developing critical thinking and informed engagement.
Jewish Literature and Culture
The Frankel Center brings together a number of scholars with a particular focus on modern Jewish literature. These scholars explore the ways Jewish writers have confronted the challenges of modernity in both “Jewish” languages (e.g. Hebrew and Yiddish), as well in languages such as German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, and English. In a wide variety of course offerings, students can investigate modern Jewish writers relative to the sensibilities, ideologies, and historical pressures of their own moment as well as in relation to traditional Jewish texts and traditions.
These courses explore intersections among these literatures, as well as the myriad ways in which they have interacted with modernity and post-modernity in Europe, the United States, Israel and the Near East.
History and Social Science
Opportunities to study Jewish history in the ancient, medieval, early modern and modern eras abound at the University of Michigan. Faculty approaches include social and cultural history, gender and visuality, religious change and diasporic identities. Regions covered include western and eastern Europe, the United States, and Israel. Questions of citizenship and sovereignty, political power, authority, urbanism and modernism engage faculty and students.
Classical and Modern Judaism: Law and Religion
At the Frankel Center there are distinguished scholars of rabbinic literature and law with complementary concerns. Students have invaluable opportunities to master comprehensive study of the world of the rabbis, their thought, and their legal practices. In addition, students can explore later iterations of Jewish religious thought in medieval mysticism and contemporary theology.