Judaic Studies

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All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Jewish civilization and thought, drawing on the expertise of faculty in multiple related disciplines. As a student of Judaic Studies, you will learn to engage multiple worlds, speak several languages, obtain a broad-based liberal arts education, and develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills.

Related fields include Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Political Science, Near Eastern Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, International Studies, Museum Studies, Sociology, and Social Work.


Language Skills

Reading for understanding
Interpreting complex languages
Translating ideas / language
Evaluating translations against original text
Perceiving word patterns and structures
Communicating cross-culturally

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Developing appreciation for other cultural perspectives
Examining the relationship of historical, economic, religious, and political forces
Understanding the dynamics of culture in society
Working with competing notions and ideas

Research / Analytical / Project Skills

Identifying research topics
Generating and developing ideas
Incorporating interdisciplinary approaches
Comparing / contrasting ideas and concepts
Crafting hypotheses
Critically analyzing results
Working with original sources
Applying methodologies from many disciplines

Communication Skills

Writing clearly
Presenting to an audience
Editing / proofreading materials
Listening critically
Evaluating ideas
Reading for context and tone
Synthesizing information
Explaining complex concepts


Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Most concentrations sponsor specific student groups like an undergraduate organization or an honor society. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Other options include off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Study abroad experiences are particularly helpful to improve language proficiency and gain intercultural skills. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.


Judaic Studies concentrators develop both general and specific skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, cross-cultural communication skills may be equally useful whether working as a foreign-service officer, a consultant, or a freelance journalist.

Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Judaic Studies graduates.

Language Skills

Foreign correspondent
Language teacher
Manager, language school
Jewish communal administrator / educator
Special collections librarian open book icon

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Immigration officer
Student exchange program coordinator
Public relations specialist
Corporate travel planner
Consultant, cross-cultural relations
Foreign service officer open book icon
Social services assistant
Physician open book icon
Psychologist / Psychiatrist open book icon

Research / Analytical / Project Skills

Lawyer open book icon
Special events coordinator
Museum / Gallery curator open book icon
Market researcher
Research assistant
Legislative staff person
Director of development
Arts Center director

Communication Skills

College instructor open book icon
Foreign affairs journalist
Corporate communications director open book icon
Import / Export trade negotiator open book icon

open book icon = Further Study Required

For more career information, see O*Net at http://online.onetcenter.org/


Prerequisites: Judaic 205 (Intro to Jewish Civilizations and Cultures) and second semester proficiency in Modern Hebrew (HJCS 102) or Yiddish (Judaic 102), achieved through coursework or placement exam.

In addition, Judaic Studies concentrators are required to complete a minimum of 24 credits in approved courses, including two courses each in Classical and Modern Judaism, Jewish Literature and Culture, and Jewish History and Social Science. At least two of the courses must include materials from before 1750.

The Center offers an honors concentration to qualified students, as well as a 15 credit minor. Prospective concentrators and minors should consult with the Center’s concentration advisors and refer to the Center’s website for more information.

The Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
2111 Thayer Building

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall


To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account: 

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake: https://careercenter.umich.edu/article/handshake

The Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in: http://studentorgs.umich.edu/maize

To explore opportunities for overseas study and work, go to: http://lsa.umich.edu/cgis/ or

On-campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan