Department Overview

In the Western world, Jewish thought has been foundational to our common culture. The experience of the Jewish people, however, has both reflected that of the majority culture and diverged profoundly from it.

The study of Judaism and of the varieties of Jewish experience can be both a complement, and a corrective, to any course of study examining the history and culture of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas.

From its origins to the present day, the Judaic Studies minor at Franklin & Marshall provides a comprehensive introduction to the religious, cultural and political traditions of Jewish life.

The program incorporates the history and literature of the Jewish people and their interactions with the other peoples among whom they have lived. Students will also gain familiarity with the Hebrew language.

F&M's international emphasis enables Judaic Studies students to pursue specialized studies abroad. Our students have pursued advanced studies at Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, Israel, at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel, in Bath, England and in Prague, Czechoslovakia.


Hebrew at F&M

The study of Hebrew confers many benefits, including the ability to function in and understand modern Israeli society, and a more nuanced comprehension of ancient texts. Franklin & Marshall offers three years of Hebrew language instruction as part of the Judaic Studies minor

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Learn through Exploration

F&M in Israel: Seventy years of Nation Building

JST275 / HIS275 

This three-week course provides an introduction to Israeli history, culture, and society from its beginnings until today. We will spend our first week on the F&M campus, studying the ideologies, movements, and events that led to the creation of modern Israel and how they have shaped Israel’s physical space, material and cultural artifacts, and body politics. In Israel, we will meet with community leaders and public intellectuals and gain a firsthand perspective on many facets of contemporary Jewish life, including the tension between the secular and religious spheres, the accommodation of national minorities, and the multiethnic fabric of Israeli society. Tel Aviv will be our home base, and we will visit key museums as well as the Sea of Galilee, Zikhron Ya'akov, Jerusalem, and other sites of historical significance.

Link to the application form.


Study Abroad

Connect your studies to the living cultures and histories of Judaism!  Judaic Studies students are strongly encouraged to study abroad and gain firsthand experience with Jewish cultures, language, and history.  

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Summer Awards in Judaic Studies

Watch for more information during the spring semester.  

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Judaic Studies
News and Stories

Story 9/29/2021

In-Person Celebration of Matt Hoffman's Life Planned for Oct...

An in-person celebration of Prof. Matt Hoffman's life is planned for Friday, October 8, 2021, at 2 p.m. in Stahr Auditorium on the F&M campus. 

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Story 3/19/2019

Mystery Uncovered in NEH 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 him from Florence in the Tuscan region to Rome and the Holy See’s secret...

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Judaic Studies Spring 2019 Events

  • Judaic Studies & Hebrew - Spring 2019 Events
  • poster for sign for love

Recent Publications 

Story 2/4/2019

The New Italy and the Jews: a new faculty publication.

Professor Scott Lerner has recently published The New Italy and the Jews: From Massimo D’Azeglio to Primo Levi 

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Experience Jewish Life and Activities on Campus

Hillel at the Klehr Center for Jewish Life

The Klehr Center for Jewish Life has been committed to engaging Jewish students in Jewish activities so that they develop leadership skills, access service learning opportunities, and form and inform their identities as independent Jewish adults who will make an enduring commitment to Jewish life and the world.

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The Pulse