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(2011) International handbook of Jewish education, Dordrecht, Springer.

Academic Jewish studies in North America

Judith R. Baskin

pp. 657-668

Academic Jewish studies refer to non-doctrinal, non-parochial, and non-denominational scholarship and pedagogy about aspects of the Jewish experience using modern research tools and a range of disciplinary methodologies from the humanities and social studies. Jewish studies programs in secular universities do not offer "Jewish education" in any traditional sense: professors are not necessarily Jews nor do students fit any particular ethnic or religious profile. However, the growth of Jewish studies courses and programs in significant numbers, beginning in the 1970s, has been furthered by endowments from Jewish individuals, communities, and family foundations. In 2010, the Association for Jewish Studies listed over 200 endowed positions in Jewish studies at 80 colleges and universities. Jewish studies courses and programs take a variety of organizational and structural approaches depending on their institutional homes and the diverse student populations they serve. Declines in Jewish student populations in the early twenty-first century suggest that academic Jewish studies will increasingly depend on the field's continuing appeal to non-Jewish students. While this indicates the "normalization" of Jewish studies within the university, it may also lead to potential conflicts with the concerns of Jewish donors.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0354-4_37

Full citation:

Baskin, J. R. (2011)., Academic Jewish studies in North America, in H. Miller, L. Grant & A. Pomson (eds.), International handbook of Jewish education, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 657-668.

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