signboard saying shalom, Hebrew for welcome or hello

Welcome to SJSU Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies Program, a minor program within the History Department, welcomes SJSU students and community members into a study of Jewish ethnicity, history, literature, ethics, religion, and culture. The program features classes, both on campus and in the community (see Yiddish).

We work together with the SJSU Jewish Faculty & Staff Association, Hillel of Silicon Valley, and the Jewish Student Association to offer book discussions, public lectures, film screenings, and other cultural programming throughout the year. 

Check back here for dates and times of events.

Jewish star hanging from a branch; blurry spring bloom in background

Fall 2024 SJSU courses 

Engl 157, Topics in Rhetorical Analysis: Rhetoric of Hate (4 units), Ryan Skinnell, TR 3-4:15 hybrid (see featured class and faculty on these pages)

Eng 169 Ethnicity in American Literature (3 units GE S), Allison Johnson, TR 1:30-2:45, in person

Hebr 1a Beginning Hebrew (4 units GE C2), Galia Stein-Rosen MW 1:30-3:10, synchronous online

Hist 132 Advanced Topics in World History: World War 2 (4 units), Gregory Tomlinson, TR 12-1:15 in person

Hist 170s Topics in American History: American Identities and Institutions online (3 units GE S + US1), Katherine Chilton, Victor Rodriguez, asynchronous online

Hist 181 Advanced Topics in American History: American Labor (4 units), Katherine Chilton, MW 12-1:15 in person

Hist 188 History of Women in the US (3 units GE S), Katherine Chilton, MW 9-10:15 in person

Rels 90 Bible History and Literature (3 units GE C2), Todd Perriera, TR 1:30-2:45 in person; Marianne Delaporte, asynchronous online

Rels 99 Death, Dying, and Religions (3 units, GE E ), Todd Perriera, asynchronous online + MW 1:30-2:45 + TR 9-10:15, in person

Rels 109 Philosophy of Religion (3 units), Janet Giddings, asynchronous online

Rels 162 Religion and Political Controversy in the US (3 units GE S), Lee Gilmore, asynchronous online

Rels 191 Religion in America, (3 units GE S), Todd Perriera, MW 10:30-11:45 in person



Hebrew 1a class Fall 2024

Featured class Hebrew 1a

Interested in learning Hebrew? This CSU fully online class will help you begin your language journey. MW 1:30-3:10, 4 units, GE area C2. Instructor is Galia Stein Rosen, Hebrew language instructor at UCSC for many years. 

Rhetoric of Hate class flyer

Featured class: ENGL 157 Rhetoric of Hate

Topics in Rhetorical Analysis: Rhetoric of Hate (see Professor Ryan Skinnell's bio and the course syllabus [pdf]

English 157, T TH 3-4:15; 3 units

photo of Prof Ryan Skinnell

Featured Faculty

Meet Dr. Ryan Skinnell, professor of a new course in rhetorical analysis: The Rhetoric of Hate (ENGL 157). I think you'll be as moved as I am by his responses to some questions I asked him. 

Peter Williams standing on a boat in Venice, with another boater in the rear

Featured Student

Outstanding Jewish Studies minor students may be selected to receive a scholarship for their studies.

Ira Zweig, first year Philosophy major, has won the fall 2023 scholarship, on the strength of his exploration of his grandfather's Holocaust history. You will find an interview he did with me on the People page. 

Will you be the 2024 recipient? The Jewish Studies minor is now accepting new students into the program.  

Dr. David Furst standing, giving a lecture

Featured Friend of Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies program is blessed with friends who offer the coordinator their expertise, wisdom, sense of humor, generosity of time and resources. 

One such person is SJSU Kinesiology Professor Emeritus Dr. David Furst, who this Fall has launched a five-year gift of scholarships for Jewish Studies minor program students. Please read about Dr. Furst on the People page, and about Ira Zweig, the first recipient of his scholarship. 

back of a man head's shows a kippah with the words Jew Got Questions

Jewish news, issues, questions

Peruse the Jewish News, Issues, Questions page if you're wondering about Jewish news here in the Bay Area, or about musings in Jewish thought. I welcome guest contributors to this page! Please email me with your interest.

The organization Amcha issued a report on the significant threat to students' Jewish identity, in the face of anti-Semitism on college campuses. If you or someone you know is a victim of identity-based aggression or micro-aggression at SJSU, please let's talk to explore your/their options. Email me so we can meet? 

Vicki Harrison, coordinator, profile picture

Message from the coordinator

Welcome–I’m glad you’ve stopped by. I’m Vicki Harrison, the Jewish Studies Program coordinator. My career path has been that of a wandering Jew–a PhD in English at Rutgers in New Jersey, a professorship in English at UC Santa Barbara, founding member of Kehillah Jewish High School’s faculty, and most recently, chair of Notre Dame High School’s English department. In between and again, I coordinated Jewish Studies here at San Jose State and served as faculty advisor to the Jewish Students Association. Returning home to this minor program, almost 50 years old but always in start-up mode, I welcome you: Are you a student considering an interdisciplinary, flexible minor that will challenge you as a critical thinker and as a human exploring the diversity of our world? Are you a community member considering the potentials of lifelong learning? Are you a language lover, seeking to learn another (or two) languages (Hebrew and Yiddish)? Please return to the Jewish Studies website often, as I update it whenever I have something new to show you! Email me with any questions/comments.