Jewish Studies

If you like thinking about philosophy, religion and questions that don’t have a "right" answer, then Jewish studies might be the perfect fit for you. Here, you’ll tackle questions like: What is God? What makes us human? Can we accommodate both science and religion in our belief? Jewish studies is for anyone who wants to learn how to think critically about beliefs and facts—a valuable skill that can lead to a surprising variety of careers.

What will I learn?

"I loved how intimate the classes were, and how rare it was for us to be lectured. Rather, most lecture hours were spent discussing and debating complex Jewish philosophy." As this former student said, this program challenges you to think about complicated issues from different perspectives. Here, you'll study Jewish thought, history, language and life, and dive deep into books and other texts from Jewish and non-Jewish sources. You'll also learn about different religions, and typically take at least one year of Hebrew language.

What can I do outside of class?

At UB, the classroom is just the beginning. 

  • Internships. Build your network and get real-world experience interning for an organization like the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo or during a summer internship in New York City and other areas.
  • Study abroad. Consider a life-changing experience in Israel or anywhere in the world where you can learn about Jewish heritage and culture.
  • Events. Meet some of the top scholars in the field through on-campus lectures and conferences.
  • Research. Contribute to the field and build your resume by working directly with faculty.
Study Abroad

What can I do with a Jewish studies degree?

Working with Jewish communities and organizations. Promoting rights for people with disabilities. Teaching college students about Jewish life at a Hillel. Mentoring LGBTQ+ youth. These are just a few of the ways our graduates have put their insight and expertise to work. 

In fact, our alumni have successfully pursued careers in a variety of fields, from medicine and law to advocacy and the arts. That’s because a degree in Jewish studies builds characteristics that many employers are looking for, including deep curiosity and the ability to analyze diverse points of view. Some popular career choices include:

  • Advocate.
  • Health care professional.
  • Historian.
  • Journalist.
  • Lawyer.
  • Public official.
  • Researcher.
  • Teacher.
  • Writer.

Whether you want to work for a school, museum, non-profit agency, Fortune 100 company or nearly any type of organization, this degree can help you get there.

Who will I learn from?

"Doing well in a class is so much easier when the professor is invested in their students' success, and the professors at UB have absolutely demonstrated that."

Ask our students, and you'll hear that our professors build close working relationships, give students individual attention and create a sense of community. If you're looking for teachers and mentors who can help you throughout your time at UB—and beyond—you’ll find them here. 

Of course, our faculty members are also nationally and internationally recognized scholars, who typically specialize in areas such as Talmud, ethics, and gender and sexuality studies. In addition to teachers who focus on Jewish studies, you may also take classes with faculty who are experts in philosophy, comparative literature and other related topics.