Cornell University: New Jewish studies major approved in College of Arts & Sciences

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As Cornell’s Jewish Studies Program celebrates its 50th year, it’s also celebrating the news that a new Jewish studies major has been approved by the state and the Cornell Board of Trustees.

Plans for the major received strong support from students, faculty and alumni, said Deborah Starr, professor of modern Arabic and Hebrew literature and film in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and a past director of the Jewish Studies Program.

“This recognizes the work we’ve done in Jewish studies as a discipline, making it possible for students to be credentialed in this field,” she said.

Students who major in Jewish Studies will critically analyze Jewish cultures, histories, literatures, media, thought, and religion. Faculty in the program are spread across 11 departments within the College of Arts & Sciences, from religious studies and Near Eastern studies to anthropology and history. Jewish studies majors will also study Jewish experiences in a comparative context, gaining insight into larger questions of global concern. The major will begin accepting students in Fall 2023 and is open to any student in the College of Arts & Sciences. Students throughout the university can take classes or minor in Jewish studies.

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