About Us

The Jewish Studies Program at Duke University originated in the 1940s and was formally established in 1972. Today, the Center for Jewish Studies is an inter-departmental program that sponsors a wide variety of cultural events, offers educational programs, and fosters academic research and scholarly exchange of ideas.

We offer a wide range of interdisciplinary courses, offer an undergraduate certificate program, partner with other departments and programs across Duke, and work closely with organizations and groups to share resources, provide learning opportunities and promote Jewish culture.

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Academic Offerings

Undergraduate Studies

The Center for Jewish Studies offers a Certificate Program that allows students to design their particular curriculum, utilizing a variety of courses across multiple departments. Students may also pursue a bachelor’s degree with a Judaica concentration through programs in the Religious Studies, History, German, and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies departments, or through Duke’s Program II.

Graduate Studies

For students pursuing advanced degrees in Jewish studies, Duke offers a Master's degree through the Department of Religious Studies, and Ph.D. programs through the Graduate Program in Religion, in collaboration with the Department of Religious Studies and Duke Divinity School.

Featured Courses


Antisemitism and the Jewish question in Central Europe, the development of Nazi policy, the Final Solution in its different sites (ghetto, labor camps, extermination camps) and institutions (SS,… read more about The Holocaust »


Major developments in Jewish history from the early modern period to today. The Kehillah, the Spanish-Jewish Diaspora, the rise of Polish Jewry, the Safed Kabbalah, Sabbatianism, the emergence of the… read more about Jewish History, 1492 to the Present »


Comparative examination of how "death" informs the modern self. Looks at the tension between the religious death and secular death. Probes the role played by the Jewish experience of the 20th century… read more about Death and the Emergence of the Modern Self »