Cynthia R. Chapman, Chair, Johnston Frank Professor
Matthew Berkman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
Laura Heron, Assistant Professor
Shari Rabin, Assistant Professor
Sheera Talpaz, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies
Visit the department webpage for up-to-date information on department faculty, visiting lecturers and special events.
Jewish Studies at Oberlin College is an interdisciplinary program that teaches students to appreciate and analyze both continuities and differences in Jewish history, religion, literature, and culture around the world. Jewish Studies faculty offers courses in many fields, including History, Cinema Studies, German, Latin American Studies, Religion, Comparative Literature, Music, Theater, and Dance.
Most JWST courses are cross listed with other departments and/or programs, and students can receive credit for such courses in both. Many of our majors are double majors. Almost all our courses offer Cultural Diversity and Writing credit as well. Different JWST courses offer Social Science and Humanities credit; see individual courses for specifics. Oberlin JWST graduates have gone into academic careers, the rabbinate, and Jewish education and communal work, as well as varied professional careers (law; politics) enriched by grounding in Jewish historical experiences, texts, and critical analysis.
We encourage JWST majors to live in Johnson House, the residential program house for Jewish studies, where Jewish cultural and social programs are held. Founded in 1969 by students as a winter-term project under the name Hebrew House, today about 35 students live in the historic Victorian mansion.
In addition to program housing, students may enrich their studies by spending a semester abroad, taking a variety of Jewish Studies courses through our study away programs.
See information about Research, Internships, Study Away and Experiential Learning (RISE).
Transfer of Credit
Up to 2 courses taken on study away programs may count toward the major or minor. A student’s petition to count such courses should be approved by the program chair before the course has been completed.
We encourage students to study away to pursue advanced language and culture study, and to explore summer programs and fellowships for lesser-taught languages.
Explore Winter Term projects and opportunities.
Majors and Minors