About Us

Who are we?

The Jewish Studies Program, a minor program within the History Department, encourages San Jose State University students from all backgrounds to study Jewish ethnicity, history, literature, ethics, religion, and culture, exploring the diverse experiences, contributions, and challenges of Jews in the United States and across the Jewish diaspora, including, predominantly, Israel and the wider Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.

What do we stand for?

The program encourages awareness of minority perspectives, critical and interdisciplinary thinking, and exploration of cross-cultural relations. And, as is true with any good learning, it seeks to enable students to make the leap from knowledge to commitment and action. To that end, Jewish Studies minors are encouraged to engage in deeper Jewish-focused research and/or service-oriented fieldwork.

How can you use a Jewish Studies minor?

The minor in Jewish Studies helps to prepare students for graduate education, especially in history, English, international relations, religious studies, philosophy, and world languages, as well as professional training and careers in teaching, law, public sector service and advocacy, foreign service and diplomacy, museums, religious organizations, and creative fields.

Choose your own path

Students earn a Minor in Jewish Studies by taking courses in Jewish history, literature, religion, philosophy, Hebrew or Yiddish language and completing all courses with a grade of C or better. To allow students their greatest flexibility, the Minor has no specific course requirements but requires a total of 15 course units from at least two Colleges, including at least two upper-division courses. The remaining courses may be selected from any lower or upper-division classes. Minor credit will be earned for the student's significant research and focus on Jewish aspects of the course; students should consult with the Jewish Studies coordinator to confirm this significant focus. 


Scholarships are awarded each semester for outstanding Jewish-focused work by students enrolled in the Jewish Studies minor program.