About Us

Mission

The Center for Jewish Studies serves as an umbrella organization, encompassing and coordinating the many academic and extra-curricular programs in Jewish Studies at Harvard University.   Faculty, courses and other academic programs at the university are located in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Divinity School, and the Harvard Law School. We sponsor our own conferences, lectures and seminars. We also cosponsor other seminars and lectures with departments across the Harvard campus, including lecture series with the Mahindra Center for the Humanities, the Center for European Studies and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. The Judaica Division of Widener Library boasts one of the world’s greatest library collections in the world. Taken together, Harvard offers students and scholars resources in Jewish Studies virtually unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Vision

The hope of the Harvard alumni, faculty and administration involved in this project was that the new Center would not only satisfy an unmistakable need for further growth within the University itself but would also benefit the study and teaching of Judaica throughout the country.

Friends of the Center for Jewish Studies

In December 1984, Peter Solomon (AB ’60, MBA ’63), then a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, announced the establishment of the Friends of the Center for Jewish Studies.  This organization seeks to provide an ongoing base of support for the Center and to enable it to expand its present areas of activity.  Annual support from the Friends helps shape the future of Jewish Studies and sustain the Center as an influential, multi-faceted enterprise at Harvard.

Some of the specific projects the Friends of the Center for Jewish Studies include:

  • student research projects (both undergraduate and graduate, school year
    and summer);
  • graduate student fellowships;
  • research-related expenses for visiting scholars;
  • public lectures and class presentations by distinguished scholars;
  • doctoral dissertation advising by specialized scholars from outside Harvard;
  • group discussions of research in progress for Harvard faculty and students in Jewish studies

Upcoming Events

  • Leora Auslander: Diasporic Home-making: Jews in Paris and Berlin in the 20th Century October 24, 2019 at 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Harvard University, Adolphus Busch Hall, 27 Kirkland Street, Hoffman Room, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Leora Auslander, Professor of European Social History and the Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor in Western Civilization, The University of ChicagoTwo inventories.A Paris Interior c. 1940. The dining room:1 Henri II sideboard with matching table and chairs; 1 tea table; 3 old pewter pots; Assorted paintings: 2 views of Rouen, 1 of the Marché de…
  • Maya Arad "Not a Good Time for Hebrew?" October 25, 2019 at 9:15 am – 10:30 am Sever Hall, Room 113, Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138 Maya Arad, Hebrew author and writer in residence at the Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford University, will discuss her novella The Hebrew Teacher, a portrait of an individual and a discipline at a significant turning point in their life.Sponsored by the Center for Jewish StudiesThis lecture is free and open to the public(Please…
  • Reading Amos Oz Through Many Eyes October 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Barker Center, Thompson Room, 12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Reflections by:Professor Boaz BarakGordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computer Science, Harvard UniversityDr. Ofrit LiviatanLecturer on law and politics, Department of Government, Harvard UniversityProfessor Abraham LoebFrank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science, Department of Astronomy, Harvard UniversityProfessor Derek PenslarWilliam Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History, Department of History, Harvard UniversityModerated byDr. Irit AharonySenior…