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

  • Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (Martin Jay) May 1, 2019 at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Center For European Studies, 27 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA We are now approaching the 50th anniversary of Aesthetic Theory (first published posthumously in 1970), the final masterpiece of the philosopher and social theorist Theodor W. Adorno. This lecture contributes to the semester-long series of scholarly presentations that reflect on the legacy and actuality of this major work. Speaker: Martin Jay (The University of California at…
  • Saskia Coenen Snyder: Like Dewdrops in the Waving Grass: Diamonds, Jews, and Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Trade May 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm Harvard University, Adolphus Busch Hall, 27 Kirkland Street, Hoffmann Room, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Saskia Coenen Snyder, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and the Associate Director of the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies at the University of South Carolina, ColumbiaAfter the discovery of diamond deposits in South-Africa in 1869, the extraction, trade, manufacturing, and consumption of diamonds intensified spectacularly. The combination of booming supplies, growing bourgeois…