From its inception as a concentration to its present status as an integrative major, the Jewish Studies program has been designed to reflect the dynamic complexity of Jewish histories, literatures, populations, traditions, and transformations wherever they have existed. As a richly diversified field, Jewish Studies at UT Austin has embraced a wide range of interrelated studies including history, archaeology, languages, literature, textual analysis, ritual studies, sociology, art, and religious thought. This diversity of ideas and methods constructs natural bridges for students across the university to enter into dialogue with Jewish culture and, through such conversations, to reflect on their own disciplines or traditions.
The Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies promotes an academic understanding of Jewish culture, history, society, and religion through a multidisciplinary undergraduate curriculum for a broad and inclusive student audience. No prior familiarity is necessary. It brings students and faculty into contact with visiting researchers and to the breadth of Jewish Studies resources in the University of Texas at Austin's archives and libraries. In addition, it sponsors lectures, performances, and exhibits that advance understandings of Jewish life and culture.