Academics & Jewish Studies Program

Jewish Academics

Jewish Academics


Department for the Study of Religions & The School of Divinity

The Department for the Study of Religions (  and the School of Divinity ( offer courses in the Hebrew Bible and Comparative Judaism courses, with additional courses being planned for the future. They also offer Biblical Hebrew, which meets the language requirement for Wake Forest students.


History,German Studies, English, Political Science and the American Ethnic Studies Departments as well the Humanities Institute offer courses in American Jewish Culture, American Jewish Literature, a survey of Jewish history, Ancient Israel and courses on the Middle East.

Guest Lecturers and Discussions

Wake Forest currently has a faculty exchange program with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has hosted several of its distinguished faculty who have lectured on Israel, the Holocaust, Education and Science. Wake Forest has also hosted distinguished Jewish Studies faculty from other institutions who have lectured on Anti-Semitism, Jewish identity and other subjects.

Office of Jewish Life

Staff from the Office of Jewish Life, within the Office of the Chaplain, offers informal classes on prayer,  on Torah, and on Judaism.  Students are encouraged to ask questions and are given opportunities to learn one on one.

Jewish Faculty and Staff

Wake Forest has numerous Jewish faculty and staff members throughout its various schools. Students and faculty have opportunities to mingle at all Hillel events as well as at all Office of Jewish Life activities.

Graduate Studies

Wake Forest boasts a graduate population of approximately 2,500 students, including the School of Business, the School of Law, and the School of Medicine.  We welcome all graduate students to all our events.

Jewish Studies Program

 לימוד לימודי יהדות

The Interdisciplinary Jewish Studies (JWS) program at Wake Forest requires 18 credit hours, from at least two departments with three courses numbering 200 or above.  History, German Studies, English, Political Science and the American Ethnic Studies Departments, and the Humanities Institute offer many interesting courses as part of the Jewish Studies Program, including American Jewish Culture, American Jewish Literature, History of European Jewry from the Middle Ages to the Present, Ancient Israel, and courses on the Middle East.

Pre-Approved Jewish Studies Program Courses

American Ethnic Studies (AES )

  • 232 The American Jewish Experience

Communications (Comm)

  • 339 Practices of Citizenship

English (Eng)

  • 377 Studies in American Jewish Literature
  • 371 American Ethnic Literatures
  • 364 Studies in Literary Criticism – Benjamin &Adorno
  • Secular Jewish Communities in the Diasporas

German (Ger)

  • 350 German-Jewish Literature & Culture

History (His)

  • 305 Medieval and Modern Iberia
  • 312 Jews, Greeks, and Romans
  • 313 History of European Jewry from Middle Ages
  • to the Present
  • Jewish Migrations in the Americas

Politics and International Affairs (PIA)

  • 259 Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • 242 Special Topics: The Politics of Exile or
  • The Politics of Exile and Diaspora

Religion (Rel)

  • 113 Introduction to Jewish Traditions
  • 308 Sacred Scripture in the Traditions of Abraham
  • 310 Intermediate Readings in Classical Hebrew
  • 314 Readings from the Rabbis
  • 355 Jewish Identities:  Religion, Race, and Rights
  • 356 Modern Jewish Movements
  • 357 Jews in the United States

Romance Languages  (ROM)

  • 331 Medieval Spain:  A Cultural and Literary
  • Perspective



The Process for Jewish Studies Program at WFU:

  • Apply for acceptance into the JWS program
  • Meet with an advisor to map out your program
  • Take classes in a wide variety of departments and disciplines
  • Take a minimum of 18 credit hours
  • Enjoy your classes and learn a lot
  • Complete the paperwork to receive the Jewish Studies Program classification status at graduation

For more information about The Jewish Studies Program, please contact:

Dean Franco, PhD
Director, WFU Jewish Studies Minor
C208 Tribble Hall

Study Abroad, and in Israel

Contact Us

Jewish Life Office

Dr. Gail Bretan
Program Director, Jewish Life
The Office of the Chaplain
Wake Forest University
Benson Center 321, PO Box 7204
Winston-Salem, NC 27109

Jewish Studies

Dr. Barry Trachtenberg
Director, Jewish Studies
B101, Tribble Hall


Jamie Lichtenstein
Hillel President


Matt Kanter
AEPi President

SSI – Students Supporting Israel

Frank Benzecry
SSI President

Office of the Chaplain

Peggy Beckman
Administrative Coordinator
8A, Reynolda Hall

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