Jewish Studies at CofC

The Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program serves anyone at the College of Charleston and the greater community who has an interest in Judaism through courses, student life, and community outreach activities. The Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program is the only program of its kind in the United States, where academics, student life (via Hillel), community outreach, and a kosher dining facility all operate under one roof, in a 24,000 sqft building, and as integral parts of the program. Visit us at the Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center on 96 Wentworth St. to see it for yourself.

Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary academic program at the College of Charleston, focusing on the diverse elements of the Jewish tradition. Students may study Jewish history, Jewish religious practice, Jewish literature, Modern Hebrew language, Jewish thought, and culture.

Jewish Studies courses are taught by professors from a wide variety of disciplines with very different perspectives. Unlike most Jewish Studies Programs in the country that are made up of faculty who primarily teach at other departments, the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program has its own faculty, housed in the program and dedicated to it entirely.

Students can earn a major in Jewish Studies by completing 36-40 credit hours of Jewish Studies courses and can earn a minor in Jewish Studies by completing eighteen credit hours of Jewish Studies courses. Students may also fulfill their College language requirements by completing four semesters of Hebrew (every student at CofC must study a language for 2 years (4 semesters) or reach equivalent proficiency by other means. Students interested in enrolling in classes within the Program should contact Associate Director Joshua Shanes, or the program’s director, Yaron Ayalon.

By far, the majority of students taking Jewish Studies courses are not themselves Jewish. Most students take Jewish Studies courses as a way to appreciate the cultural diversity within the Western tradition. Understanding such diversity fosters a deeper and more self-conscious appreciation of one’s own traditions.

A Jewish Studies major or minor is a great addition to many other areas of studies. In fact, our majors are almost always double-majoring in Jewish Studies and another area at the College. Jewish Studies provides the intellectual and creative foundations for whatever one chooses to do later in life. Studying with us will make you a better writer, thinker, and speaker. It will help foster your creativity, unconventional thinking, and critical approach. And it will equip you with a set of tools, values, and ideas that you will keep coming back to at various points throughout your life.

For more information, contact Program Director, Dr. Yaron Ayalon

For the official page of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies program on the College of Charleston website, click here.