Campus: San Francisco State University -- October 02, 2002

SFSU offers new bachelor's degree in Modern Jewish Studies

San Francisco State University, in collaboration with San Diego State University and California State University, Chico, is now offering a bachelor’s degree in Modern Jewish Studies — the first such degree in the 23-campus CSU system.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed and the California Post-secondary Education Committee recently approved the degree program.

“Students from all backgrounds will now have more opportunities to learn about the rich culture, literature, history and politics of Jewish people,” said John Gemello, SFSU interim vice president for academic affairs. “In addition, the bachelor’s degree program better prepares students for a wide range of careers in social service, government, education and clergy. As the University is dedicated to providing a broad-based multicultural and international curriculum, we also plan to continue to expand offerings in other areas.”

About five SFSU students have declared a major in Modern Jewish Studies this fall.

The degree program, which was first discussed in 1996, consists of 42-43 required units of courses in modern Hebrew, Jewish culture and society, history, religion and thought, and a senior seminar. As a consortium degree with SDSU and CSU Chico, students may take courses not offered at their home campus via distance learning classes through the partner universities.
Founded in 1993, the SFSU Jewish Studies Program offers about 11 courses taken by nearly 175 students each semester. Course offerings include Good and Evil: Jewish Ethics, Yiddish Theatre, Modern Jewish History, Jewish Thought and Culture, and Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions and Society. A diverse group of students from many racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as others from the community enroll each semester. The program also offers a minor in Jewish Studies and a graduate certificate in Jewish Community Studies.

For more information, contact the Jewish Studies Program at (415) 338-6075 or or visit its Web site at:

Contact: Matt Itelson (415) 338-1743; (415) 338-1665;

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