Tulane Jewish Studies is nationally recognized for its vitality and vibrancy. In an era where enrollments across the nation are declining, our department stands well above peers. A remarkable one out of every four 2018 graduates enrolled in a Jewish Studies course during their time at Tulane.Moreover, over 750 students enrolled in Jewish Studies and Hebrew courses in the 2017-18 academic year, many of whom also studied abroad in Israel and across the globe. Our impact extends beyond Tulane, as our majors and minors excel in medicine, law, aviation, technology, business, and other competitive fields.
Tulane Jewish Studies began in the 1970s, offering a limited number of courses in Hebrew language and American Jewish literature. As the Soviet Jewry movement gained traction around the nation, Jewish Studies gained a more prominent place on campus, and its growth continued into the 1990s. The program was transformed by a major gift in 2003 from the Sizeler family, and in the ensuing decade, Tulane received significant gifts from generous donors and national foundations. In 2013, Tulane Jewish Studies become a standalone department in the School of Liberal Arts, and we now stand poised to become a global leader in the field of Jewish Studies.
Jewish Studies represents an interdisciplinary approach to thinking and learning, exploring the evolution of Judaism, Jewish culture, and Jewish nationalism from biblical times to the present. Through the specific study of the Jewish people from multiple perspectives, we offer insight into the universality of the human experience. We provide tools for individuals, Jewish and non, to ground contemporary issues within their historical contexts. We emphasize skills of communication, inquiry, critical thinking, and writing, equipping our graduates with the skills to be competitive and successful in myriad careers.