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

  • Judith Wechsler: Isaiah Berlin: Philosopher of Freedom - (Film Screening) December 11, 2018 at 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Harvard University, Adolphus Busch Hall, 27 Kirkland Street, Lower Level Conference Room, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Judith Wechsler, Professor Emerita, Tufts University"Isaiah Berlin: Philosopher of Freedom" is a 72 minute documentary film tracing the development of his ideas in the context of his life and times. The film presents this intellectual biography through interviews with Sir Isaiah, and filmed for the documentary, with Michael Ignatieff, his biographer, and Henry Hardy, his…
  • Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (Samantha Matherne) February 13, 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: Samantha Matherne (Harvard University)Sponsored by the Harvard…
  • Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (Michael Rosen) February 20, 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: Michael Rosen (Harvard University)Sponsored by the Harvard…