Undergraduate Students

Israel Book Club

Though the Institute serves the entire university community, the College is at its heart. Providing Columbia and Barnard undergraduates with a variety of opportunities to learn about Jewish studies and Israel – in all their complexity and diversity – Supporting our students is a central mission of the Institute. We are proud to be teaching and training the next generation of students in the field, from expansive course offerings in the classroom to programs both on campus and abroad. From our Undergraduate Israel Fellowship to guest lecturers presenting on a wide range of topics, our students are engaged with the study of the diversity of Jewish experience and the totality of Israeli history, literature, culture, and geopolitics.

Undergraduate Israel Fellowship

  2013 Fellows at a tour of Mahane Yehuda

The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies is delighted to offer a number of Undergraduate Fellowships combining support for study, service, or internship work in Israel and an invitation-only educational opportunity at Columbia University.

For more information about the Fellowship, click here, or be in touch with Dana Kresel, Program Coordinator, at drk2106@columbia.edu.

Undergraduate Studies Special Concentration in Jewish Studies

The special concentration in Jewish studies is designed for students who wish to gain a broad-based knowledge of Jewish studies. It enables undergraduates to acquire a background in the most important aspects of Jewish culture, religion, civilization, and history in an interdisciplinary setting. 

For a special concentration in Jewish studies, students are required to complete a minimum of 21 points. Within these points, at least one course must be taken from three of the focus areas listed below. Credits for language courses may constitute at most 10 points, and one year of Hebrew or Yiddish language is strongly recommended. A minimum of 18 points must be taken in residence or as part of an approved study abroad program (unless equivalent courses are not offered within the College, as determined by the faculty advisor). 

Focus Areas:

Bari & Jordan
  1. Bible and Rabbinics/Ancient Judaism
  2. Medieval Judaism
  3. Modern Judaism
  4. Israeli Society
  5. Gender and Judaism 
  6. Jewish History and Culture
  7. Jewish Literature
  8. Jewish Language

For more information about the special concentration, including sample courses please see the
IIJS Undergraduate Special Concentration Information Packet

Online Resources:

**Please note, the same course cannot be counted towards both a major and a concentration.** For more information on the special concentration in Jewish studies, please contact Yitzhak Lewis at yml2108@columbia.edu (office hours: Tues/Thurs, 2 - 3pm, in 410 Knox Hall - no appointment necessary).

BA/MA in Jewish Studies      

This year, for the first time, the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies will offer a joint BA/MA option for Columbia and Barnard students. This program allows qualified students to begin earning credits towards a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies while they are still undergraduates, making it possible to complete the BA and MA degrees in as little as five years. For more information, click here.