Ethan Katz Appointed New Director of the Center for Jewish Studies

Ethan Katz, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, has been appointed the Director of the Center for Jewish Studies (CJS), beginning July 1, 2023. A historian of modern Europe and the Mediterranean, Ethan has served as the Chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Jewish Student Life and Campus Climate since 2021. In 2019, he co-founded the Antisemitism Education Initiative for which he serves as co-director and which he has built into a major presence in campus, local, and national conversations. Continue reading here.

John Efron, Koret Professor of Jewish History at Berkeley, is stepping down as CJS Faculty Director, having served in the role since 2020. Under John’s tireless and committed leadership, the Center has made tremendous progress, as evidenced by the growing number of students, faculty, classes, and programs now associated with CJS. Read his outgoing message here.

Article: Can Berkeley become the next center for Yiddish studies?

CJS faculty lecturer Alec Burko recently spoke with The Forward (Forverts) about the possibility of a Yiddish renaissance at UC Berkeley. To read this article in English, click here.

Fall 2023 Classes

Powerlessness and Superpowers: Comic Books and Jewish Identity

World War II and the Holocaust in the Netherlands

Contemporary Judaism in Israel: State, Religion, and Gender

The Holocaust in Thought and Memory

Immigration (Aliyah) and Israel's Ethno-Cultural Dynamics

Student Awards

Congratulations to Peter Colias, Shirelle Maya Doughty and Hannah Hillers, winners of this year’s Anne and Benjamin Goor Prize in Jewish Studies. Oren Yirmiya was the winner of the 2023 William Ze’ev Brinner Graduate Fellowship, receiving a cash award of $1,500. (Read more about our student award winners here.)

Academic Degree Programs


The DE in Jewish Studies provides curricular and research resources for students who want to concentrate on Jewish Studies within their respective disciplines and have their work formally recognized in their degree designation. Designed to bring together faculty and students from different departments, the DE is administered by the Graduate Group in Jewish Studies and provides a unique context for rigorous cross-disciplinary research. Students applying to the DE must be prepared to integrate high-level research in Jewish Studies into their coursework, qualifying exam, and dissertation. Click here to learn more.


The minor in Jewish Studies is designed to give students an overview of some of the major themes in Jewish Studies, and cultivate the potential of budding Jewish studies scholars among the undergraduate population. In addition to gaining a certain minimum breadth of acquaintance with the field, students have the opportunity to explore a particular interest among the varied topics and areas presented by Jewish Studies. The Jewish Studies minor is open to all UC Berkeley students. Click here to learn more.



How Antisemitism Shapes White Nationalism

Canine Pioneer: The Extraordinary Life of Rudolphina Menzel

Fashion Metropolis Berlin 1836-1939: The Rise and Destruction of the Jewish Fashion Industry

Politics and Poetics in the Sacred Center. Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi.

Quarantine in the Prague Ghetto: Jews, Christians, and Epidemic Disease in an Early Modern City. Joshua Teplitsky.

Satmar Hasidism: History, Ideology, and Sociology. Menachem Keren-Kratz.

Upcoming Events

Transing the Talmud: Androgynes and Eunuchs in Rabbinic Literature

Wednesday, October 18, 2023