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

  • What is the Mishnah? (Panel 6) January 19, 2021 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Zoom meeting Links to join the individual sessions are pasted below, please register in advance:(after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting)International Zoom workshop Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University; the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, Harvard Law School; and the Littauer Chair in Hebrew Literature and Philosophy, Harvard University  Panel…
  • What is the Mishnah? (Panel 7) January 21, 2021 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Zoom meeting Links to join the individual sessions are pasted below, please register in advance:(after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting)International Zoom workshop Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University; the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, Harvard Law School; and the Littauer Chair in Hebrew Literature and Philosophy, Harvard University  Panel…
  • Kiril Feferman: To Flee or Not to Flee? Soviet Jews Face the German Invasion February 24, 2021 at 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm Register for Zoom Webinar or Watch live on Facebook https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1KI98JyBRwuz9UeMxPsiVAhttps://www.facebook.com/DCRES/Jews as a group were never mentioned in Soviet evacuation orders, which prioritized withdrawal of the Party, Soviet and security agency functionaries, as well as those employed in defense industries. During the Cold War, this led to allegations of Soviet indifference to the fate of the Jews; accusations that they were deliberately abandoned to their…