Cynthia R. Chapman, Chair, Johnston Frank Professor of Jewish Studies
Matthew Berkman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
Laura Herron, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
Shari Rabin, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies
Sheera Talpaz, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies
Visit the program webpage for up-to-date information on program faculty, visiting lecturers, and special events.
The Jewish Studies Program at Oberlin College (JWST) 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 or programs, and students can receive credit for such courses in both areas. Many of our majors are double majors. Our courses are typically in either the Arts and Humanities or the Social and Behavioral Sciences divisions, and most satisfy the cultural diversity and/or writing degree requirements. 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, also known as the Hebrew Heritage House, which is 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 choose to live in the residential community that values Jewish learning and culture.
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