Academic Activities & Resources

Academic Resources and Activities

  • Language Programs in Yiddish and Modern Hebrew: Harvard undergraduates, graduate students and visiting scholars may enroll in a full array of language courses in modern Hebrew and Yiddish languages. Undergraduate students may take these classes to meet their undergraduate language requirements and gain language citations.
    • Modern Hebrew Language at Harvard (Coming soon)
    • Yiddish Language at Harvard (Coming soon)
  • The Center for Jewish Studies supports the Jewish Studies Reading Room in 745 Widener as a study and socializing place for students and Harvard affiliates working in any area of Jewish studies. The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations administers this room. The Reading Room contains a small library of basic works in Jewish studies in multiple disciplines and periods. For access to the Jewish Studies Reading Room please contact the
  • The Harvard Judaica Collection is the leading university Judaica Collection in the world and is the largest collection of materials published in or related to the State of Israel next to the National Library of Israel. Harvard’s Judaica Collection includes some 900,000 books, pamphlets and periodicals in a variety of formats including print, microform, sound recordings, and video recordings from some 70 countries and in over 50 languages. Some 500,000 titles in the Judaica Collection are in Hebrew, making Hebrew the 8th largest collection by language in the Harvard Library. The Collection also includes 5.3 million digital photographs and 400,000 digitized ephemera (posters and broadsides) dealing with Jewish history and culture in Israel and throughout the world—all available online.  The Judaica Collection provides access to many electronic databases as well as to thousands of e-books in Jewish studies. The Judaica Division’s operation is made possible in its entirety by some 450 Judaica Library endowments provided by alumni and friends of Harvard.
    • The origins of the Harvard Judaica Collection date back to the very beginnings of Harvard’s Library in 1638 which included a number of Judaica books. That original collection was considerably augmented in the late 1920s with the acquisition of several collections primarily of Hebraica by Littauer Professor Harry A. Wolfson. The systematic development of the Judaica Collection, however, began in 1962 with the establishment by the Library of a unit—now called the Judaica Division—dedicated to building a collection of Judaica as a research resource for Harvard faculty and students and the international scholarly community. Since 1962 the Division has been collecting comprehensively Judaica from all over the world with special focus on materials produced in Israel—effectively implementing Professor Wolfson’s advice of 1932 that a great university library “…should acquire every book that may be helpful to the scholar in his researches or the presence of which may be stimulative to new researches….”
    • Information on the Judaica Collection may be found:
      • In over 100 Judaica Division publications that are available online that deal with various aspects of the collection
      • Information about the Judaica Collection on the Library’s website
      • Information about the Digital Judaica Collection on the Library’s website
    • The Judaica Division may be contacted at or 617-495-2985.
  • GSAS Student Workshop groups: The Center for Jewish Studies offers support to two workshop groups organized by and for Harvard graduate students. These workshops give Harvard students opportunities to share their work with each other, give and receive feedback. The workshops are not open to the public.
    • Hebrew Bible Workshop
    • Jewish Studies Workshop: The Jewish Studies Workshop is an interdisciplinary, student-led group dedicated to workshopping academic papers and presentations, in any stage of the writing process. We invite papers that relate to Jewish studies, very broadly construed, from a wide range of topics across all disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences.
  • Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, Harvard Law School:
    The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at the Harvard Law School pursues excellence in the scholarly study of Jewish law, conceived as a dynamic religious system, and Israeli law, the legal system of a state formally committed to democratic and Jewish values. We study the two subject matters as distinct while also taking particular interest in points of overlap and contestation and the competing claims they sometimes make on one another. We emphasize methodological and ideological diversity and strive to present the full range of opinion and critique, internal and external, consistent always with the academic values of civility, openness, and mutual respect.
  • Center for the Study of World Religion, Harvard Divinity School:
    The Center for the Study of World Religions is an integral part of Harvard Divinity School. By its resources and programming the Center supports, focuses, and enhances the School’s mission, with respect to research, teaching, and community. The Center seeks
    • to promote the study of the world’s religions in their classical and historical forms, drawing on traditional and contemporary disciplines of learning;
    • to promote understanding of the complex roles that religions play in today’s cultures, economies, and political structures;
    • to foster community of life and intellectual exchange among the faculty, students, and staff of the Divinity School, particularly through the unique resource that is the Center’s residential community;
    • to facilitate the interaction of the Divinity School’s faculty and students with colleagues around the university, as well as institutional collaboration with other schools and centers;
    • to convene conversations among scholars and practitioners across the global network that is the Center’s heritage and future.

Resources for Jewish Life at Harvard

  • Harvard Hillel is a Jewish home on campus that seeks to welcome students to experience the variety of Jewish identity, tradition, practice, values, culture, and community. 
  • Harvard Chabad: With the vision to open the door of Judaism to all Jewish students and faculty on the Harvard campus, we have established the Chabad House, a place where Jews of all backgrounds and degrees of observance can enjoy exploring their Jewish heritage in a warm, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment.