The minor in Jewish Studies offers an interdisciplinary perspective into the narratives, histories, cultures, literatures, and languages of the international Jewish community and explores the breadth and depth of the Jewish experience globally, historically, and culturally. The program involves faculty from a variety of disciplines to build relationships between the Jewish community and other communities in providing an academic overview of the Jewish experience.  Students may choose to participate in engaged learning and take advantage of internship opportunities.

Admission Requirements

Admission is open to all NEIU undergraduates who have completed 21 General Education hours and English 101 and 102 or equivalent.

University Core Curriculum Requirements

General Education Distribution Area Cr. Hrs.
Fine Arts (FA)*
2 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: Art, CMT (Mass Media or Theatre), Music (includes Dance).
Humanities (HU)*
3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: CMT (Communication), English, Linguistics. Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages and Cultures, (Note: No more than two foreign language courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.)

Behavioral/Social Sciences (SB)*

3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study: African & African American Studies, Anthropology, Computer Science, Economics, Geography & Environmental Studies, History, Justice Studies, Latino & Latin American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work


Natural Sciences (NS and NSL)**

3 courses, from at least two of the following areas of study; one course must have a laboratory component (NSL): Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics (Note: If an FYE ANTH that counts as Natural Science is taken, only one Biology course may be used for Natural Science).


Engaged Learning Experiences  

Students must complete, at Northeastern, three courses designated as Engaged Learning Experiences courses. One of the Engaged Learning Experiences courses must be at the 300-level, and one Engaged Learning Experiences course must be designated as "Boundary Crossing".


Discipline Specific (ELE-DS)

These courses have pre-requisites that are specific courses within a program of study. Discipline Specific courses give students a deeper understanding of how knowledge is created and applied in their field.


Boundary Crossing (ELE-X)

These are courses that cross disciplinary boundaries and/or cross boundaries through engagements outside the classroom or University allowing students to see how knowledge gained in one field might inform other fields or other aspects of society.


Math/Quantitative Reasoning (MA)

1 Math course, that has intermediate Algebra as prerequisite OR is a course listed on the General Education Distributive Learning List of Approved Courses. Any 3 hour college level math course, beyond Intermediate Algebra, meets this requirement.


Students should also be aware of all other university requirements to obtain a degree - NEIU requirements

Minor in Jewish Studies

6 courses/18 hours distributed across both required (4) and elective (2) courses.

Required Courses
LING-344Linguistics And Reading3
HIST-306Europe 1919-1948: Fascism, Socialism, And The Second World War3
or JS-306 Europe 1919-1948: Fascism, Socialism, And The Second World War
PSCI-396Jewish Political Thought3
or JS-396 Jewish Political Thought
ENGL-352Jewish-American Literature: People Of The Books3
or JS-352 Jewish-American Literature: People Of The Books
Elective courses
LING-316Languages And Cultures: Middle East3
HIST-314BRussian And Soviet History 1855 To Present3
or JS-314B Russian And Soviet History 1855 To The Present
Total Hours18

JS-301. Jewish Studies Applied Learning Internship. 3 Hours.

Placement in an internship with a Jewish agency, either in social services, nonprofit, or other areas. Students will meet regularly with their instructor and complete assignments and readings relating to their internship work.
Prerequisite: (100 - 399 or 100A - 399Z).

JS-306. Europe 1919-1948: Fascism, Socialism, And The Second World War. 3 Hours.

This course addresses European history from the treaties that ended the First World War in 1919 to the Berlin Crisis and the start of the Cold War. Themes will include the Great Depression and crisis of liberal democracy, the challenges to it posed by Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, and the culmination of tensions among these in the Second World War. Particular attention will be paid to genocide and the Nazi attempt to destroy the European Jewish community.
Prerequisite: (100 - 399 or 100A - 399Z).

JS-314B. Russian And Soviet History 1855 To The Present. 3 Hours.

The political, diplomatic, intellectual and social development of the peoples of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union from the accession of Alexander II to the present. The great diversity of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union’s populations will be a particular focus, with emphasis on the Jewish and the Muslim communities.
Prerequisite: (100 - 399 or 100A - 399Z).

JS-321. American Jewish Politics. 3 Hours.

This course will cover: Conceptual frameworks of American Jewish political power, institutions and
behavior; multiple theories of modern Jewish politics in America; internal and external advocacy
institutions from 1820-present; American Jews and the legal process; American Jews and the Labor Movement; American Jews and Feminist politics; Anti-Semitism and the American Jewish response; American Jewish politics and Israel.
Prerequisite: (100 - 399 or 100A - 399Z).

JS-344. Narratives Of The Jewish Experience. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on stories told in contemporary Jewish communities as illustrative of the Jewish experience. Narrative is representative and constructive of life experience, memory, and identity. We will analyze stories collected by others and available to wide audiences, and to stories we collect through interaction and interviews with members of the Jewish community. Analyses will be conducted within a narratological framework that blends discursive theory and practice. Students will gather oral narratives from family members, community members, political and religious leaders, and educators with the goal of analyzing how stories both reveal and construct personal and social identities.
Prerequisite: (100 - 399 or 100A - 399Z).

JS-352. Jewish-American Literature: People Of The Books. 3 Hours.

This course studies how the United States shapes the meaning of Jewish identity and culture, and
conversely, how Jewish literature helps shape the meaning of American identity and culture. Working in a range of cultural forms from comic books to genre fiction, Jewish writers throughout the modern era creatively and critically interrogate and re-imagine what it means to be Jewish-American, and more broadly, investigate and challenge what it means to be American.
Prerequisite: ENGL-101 minimum grade of C.

JS-396. Jewish Political Thought. 3 Hours.

This course explores the Jewish political tradition, focusing particularly on the concepts of power, sovereignty, and community. Starting from the Biblical text, we will examine how both classical and modern thinkers within the Jewish tradition understood the ways in which power was created, the different meanings of leadership, the idea of national independence, and the ultimate question of belonging within a fragmented political community.
Prerequisite: (100 - 399 or 100A - 399Z).