Campus: CSU Chico -- August 28, 2002
Chancellor Signs Off on New Collaborative Major
in Modern Jewish Studies
Chancellor Charles Reed signed off on a modern Jewish studies major
two weeks ago that has been seven years in the making. The new B.A.
will be offered collaboratively by California State University, Chico,
San Diego State University and San Francisco State University.
Sam Edelman of CSU, Chico, Lawrence Baron of San Diego State, and Laurie
Zolloth of San Francisco State discussed the major when they met at
a conference in 1996. Each of their universities offered a core of classes
in Jewish studies, but none had enough to comprise a major.
The CSU is one of the largest state university systems in the world
and educates a majority of students in California. “We believe
students should have the option of learning about one of the oldest
religions and cultures in the world. The history, culture, literature
and politics of Judaism have had and continue to have significant impact
on the world,” said Edelman, director of the program at Chico.
Modern Jewish studies majors will take many of their classes at their
home university and fill in requirements with online classes from the
other two. The program will begin officially in fall of 2003, although
there are students at each university already beginning course work
for the major.
Although this will be the first modern Jewish studies major in the CSU
system, there are several programs in the University of California system,
including a 30-year old program at UC Berkeley. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara
and UC San Diego have Ph.D. programs in Jewish studies. UC Davis, UC
Santa Cruz and UC Irvine offer a master’s. Stanford University
offers a Ph.D. In neighboring states, the University of Oregon offers
a master’s degree and the University of Washington both an undergraduate
and Ph.D. program.
The trio of developers received a multi-year grant from the Chancellor’s
office to develop curriculum. The Chancellor’s office also provided
funds for innovative program development. A San Francisco foundation,
the Koret Foundation and the San Francisco Jewish Endowment have also
provided funds. One of Edelman’s tasks as director at CSU, Chico
will be to continue fundraising efforts to get the new program off the
ground and to pay salaries of professors that must be borrowed from
CONTACT: Kathleen McPartland, 530-898-4263
Sam Edelman, director, 530-898-4336